Outdoor Access Champion Award
Photo by Dot Dalziell

Nominations close soon for outdoor access champions 2023

Do you know someone who has made it easier to explore the outdoors? Here’s a chance to honour and recognise them.

Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa is calling for nominations of people or groups who champion public access to the outdoors. Nominations are open for another two weeks, until Monday, 21 November 2022.

The Outdoor Access Champion awards have been running since 2013. They recognise individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to public access to the outdoors. This might include building new tracks and trails, securing new legal access or championing public rights of access.

“These awards thank some of New Zealand’s amazing kaitiaki,” says Ric Cullinane, chief executive of Herenga ā Nuku. “They honour people who love the outdoors and want to share it with their community.”

“Celebrate the champions in your local community—individuals and groups—and nominate them for an award,” says Ric.

Anyone can make a nomination by completing the nomination form.

2022 winners were:

  • Ally Davey, of the newly formed Coromandel Trail Collective and a Project Manager of the Ride Coromandel Bike Park. Ally is developing a 9-km loop and 20-km trail connecting Colville and Waikawau along original horse and cart trails.
  • Jan Finlayson, a former president of Federated Mountain Clubs.  Jan fiercely defends the public’s right to access conservation land – including protecting wild lands.
  • Judy Donovan, a core member of Pukekohe Tramping Club, helped create the Pukekohe Five Summits Trail project to celebrate 50 years of the club and provide a walking connection to Pukekohe.
  • Suky Thompson, the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust Manager since 2010. The trust restored the Banks Peninsula to its traditional status as Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū and created a network of long-distance walking and cycling routes. 
  • Josephine Elworthy, of the Clevedon Trails Steering Group. Josephine has worked since 2010 to get trails included in the Council Structure Plan for the area. This means trails are included as land is developed in the growing semi-rural community.