Review of the Walking Access Act 2008

Find out about this review, why it's happening, and who is involved.


  • December 2018: Workshops with a range of stakeholders to do some early scoping of the issues.
  • April and May 2019: Public consultation.
  • September 2019: Review completed.

We'll be updating this web page as the review progresses.

About the review

The review of the Walking Access Act 2008 is mandatory. It's written in the Act that a review must be held after 10 years.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be assessing what changes might be needed to the Act – both for now and for the future of public access. This includes access to the outdoors in cities, towns, rural areas and further afield, and access to wāhi tapu and other areas of cultural significance.

The review will consider:

  • whether the Act is needed
  • the operation and effectiveness of the Act
  • whether changes to the Act are necessary or desirable.

More details are in the terms of reference.

Terms of reference [PDF, 336 KB]

An expert panel formed

MPI is working with a panel of 3 people, chaired by Dr Hugh Logan, to complete the review by September 2019. The other 2 panel members are Leith Comer and Sandra Faulkner. The panel has experience in public access to the outdoors, Māori access issues, government, and connecting with rural landholder communities.

Dr Hugh Logan

Dr Logan has had wide experience at national, regional and local levels that involve major outdoor access stakeholders. This includes environmental, conservation, primary industry, local government and recreation organisations. He has worked as chief executive for the Ministry of the Environment and the Department of Conservation.

He has a lot of experience in multi-stakeholder processes at national level. This includes chairing the Land and Water Forum. He has also been involved in community level local groups, including the Mackenzie Trust and the Canterbury Mountaineering Club.

Leith Comer

Leith Comer (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Rangitihi, and Ngāti Pāhauwera) is the Chairman/Executive Director of Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru Education Trust and the Chairman of Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi). He served in the military for over 20 years and is a current trustee of the Fallen Heroes Trust and the Chair of the Veterans' Advisory Board. He is a member of the New Zealand Parole Board. 

Leith is also a former Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri. He helped establish and was an inaugural member of the Rotorua District Council Te Arawa Standing Committee. In 2018 he became a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to Māori, the State, and local government.

Sandra Faulkner

Sandra Faulkner owns and runs Wairakaia Station (a 600ha sheep, beef, cropping, and citrus operation south of Gisborne) along with her family. Together they won the 2014 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and a trustee of the Campaign for Wool (NZ).

Sandra has extensive connections with rural landholder communities through being the Gisborne/Wairoa Provincial President for Federated Farmers of New Zealand, and an Executive Committee member of Farming Women Tairawhiti Inc. She is also a Director of Arohiwi Station (which is owned by Presbyterian Support East Coast), and is Vice-President of Gisborne Riding for Disabled Inc.

About the Act

The purpose of the Act is to provide the New Zealand public with free, certain, enduring, and practical walking access to the outdoors. It is also the piece of legislation that established the New Zealand Walking Access Commission.

The commission leads and supports the negotiation, establishment, maintenance, and improvement of walking access and other associated types of access, such as cycling, horse trekking, 4-wheel driving, hunting and fishing. The commission works with private landowners, local government, the Department of Conservation and others to carry out this work.

Find out more

Our media release issued on 29 November 2018 has more information.

Who to contact

If you have any questions or comments about the review, email

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