Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Leaving only footprints

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  • Moz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    If the routes were less well marked, you'd need to think about what you were up to and carry a map and compass, right?

    Nope. I have run round in the hills looking for people on occasion, too many of whom were wearing beach attire in mountainous areas when the weather changed. Very rarely do those expeditions target people who are well equipped and sensible (and those are usually the happy ones, as well. You wander round until you find a bunch of people camped somewhere obvious waiting for the river to go down, or the medical team to arrive, or whatever).

    But you know, the other 99.99% of the time everyone has a good time and the only injuries are due to the ferocious wildlife... sandflies, mussels, keas and such.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Moz,

    the ferocious wildlife… sandflies, mussels, keas and such.

    I thought we had big worms here, too?
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Moz, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I thought we had big worms here, too?

    How else are you gunna catch Te Ika a Maui?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,


    This obviously makes the route more accessible (and it’s needed to control erosion in some places), but does it encourage people to go walking in jandals and t-shirts?

    From what I’ve heard that’s a never-ending dilemma for management of parks.

    On the surface New Zealand has different tiers of recreation management for catering to people who want different types of experiences. You can book on a Great Walk which is almost like a highway, or you could seek out remote Wilderness Zones, which have policies of zero artificial construction of tracks and huts and bridges, and flight restrictions to keep the aircraft away. And there’s lots in between.

    Where something like the Tongariro Crossing and a few other places are concerned, I think DOC’s just doing everything it can to reduce the likely consequences of mistakes and unfortunate judgement. Trust is probably also an issue. The nature of backpacking means that people will often prefer to trust and learn from each other, often before even arriving in New Zealand, before taking notice of whatever advice DOC might issue on behalf of a foreign government... since governments have a tendency of trying to shape where tourists go and what they do.

    There are some giant heuristic traps, too. eg. If you’ve set aside one day for what you’ve been told could be the greatest experience of your life, you’ve looked forward to it for 12 months, then you show up at the end of the road and the weather’s a bit dodgy, and there’s a sign (see attachment) screaming “you should have done all these things to prepare”, which you didn’t, many people will simply take the risk because people aren’t always rational when weighing risk versus reward.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • David Hood,


    Most weekends this time of year I will spend a few hours wandering around in Orokonui Ecosanctury- I can't even really call it a day walk, but it is a chance to get to where there is no traffic noise, not encountering many other people, and a lot of birdsong. Photo from today

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report

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