Review of the Walking Access Act 2008

Find out about this review and how to have your say.


  • December 2018: Workshops with a range of stakeholders to do some early scoping of the issues.
  • 17 May to 2 July 2019: Public feedback.
  • September 2019: Review completed.

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

Have your say

The Walking Access Act 2008 (the Act) is about providing free access to the outdoors for walking and for types of access that may be associated with walking, such as access with firearms, dogs, bicycles, or motor vehicles.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is reviewing the Act and we want to hear your views about what’s working well and what could be improved.

You can provide feedback between 17 May and 2 July 2019.

Feedback documents

Public feedback paper [PDF, 3.8 MB]

Summary of public feedback paper [PDF, 5.9 MB]

Providing feedback

You can provide feedback by using the online feedback form, or by email or post. Provide examples or evidence to support your responses, if possible. Public feedback closes at 5pm on 2 July 2019.


Email or post

If you don't use the online form, you can email your feedback to

To help you, answer some or all the questions in this document:  

Questions for feedback [PDF, 244 KB]

Or you can post your feedback to:

Ministry for Primary Industries
Walking Access Review Team
Environment and Communities Directorate
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

Your feedback is public information

People can ask for copies of submitted feedback under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) so your feedback may become public. The OIA says we have to make submitted feedback available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. 

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your feedback. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. Any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

Public meetings and hui

We will be holding a small number of public meetings and hui. You are invited to attend these to find out more, ask questions, and share your views. Feedback from these meetings and hui will be captured and analysed along with the written feedback we receive. The hui will have a focus on issues of particular interest to Māori.

Public meeting schedule

17 June 2019 Wellington Ministry for Primary Industries
Charles Fergusson Building
34-38 Bowen Street
6pm to 8pm
18 June 2019  Auckland Grand Mercure Auckland
8 Customs Street East
6pm to 8pm
19 June 2019  Christchurch Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
52 Cathedral Square
6pm to 8pm

Hui schedule

24 June 2019 Wellington St Andrew's on The Terrace
30 The Terrace
1.30pm to 3pm
25 June 2019  Auckland Te Puni Kōkiri Tāmaki Makaurau
9 Ronwood Avenue, Manukau
1pm to 2.30pm
26 June 2019  Taupo REAP
73 Titiraupenga Street
1pm to 2.30pm
28 June 2019 Gisborne Te Puni Kōkiri Te Tairāwhiti
299 Gladstone Road
1pm to 2.30pm


If you are going to a meeting or hui, RSVP as soon as possible to

Questions and answers document

Information on this web page is also available to download in a question and answer format:

Questions and answers [PDF, 477 KB]

Use posters to encourage feedback

You may want to encourage the members of your organisation to provide feedback. We've created some posters you can print off to display.

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.

If the report on the findings of the review contains any recommendations for changing the Walking Access Act 2008 or any other act, or for other major changes, we will undertake formal consultation after September 2019.

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 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 types of access that may be associated with walking, such as access with firearms, dogs, bicycles, or motor vehicles. The commission works with private landowners, local government, the Department of Conservation and others to carry out this work.

Media releases

17 May 2019: Public invited to have their say on access to the outdoors

29 November 2018: Mandatory review underway

Who to contact

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

Last reviewed: