Public access champion recognised 08-Oct-2013

October 8, 2013 10:51 pm

More than 100 people a week walk the Cable Bay Walkway, which was set up in 1984 by the Stuart family, who granted access across their farm near Nelson.

Now Rural Women NZ member Barbara Stuart and her husband Ian have been recognised for their significant contribution towards improving public access to New Zealand’s outdoors.

They were recently honoured as public access champions at the inaugural NZ Walking Access Commission Awards in Wellington.

NZ Walking Access Commission Chairman John Forbes said “Their monumental efforts over many years have helped create the access we enjoy today and will no doubt play a major role in ensuring future generations continue to enjoy the same.”

The Stuarts were one of the first private landowners to create a formal public walkway across their farm when Ian’s father established the Cable Bay Walkway 30 years ago.

“Ian and Barbara have continued that spirit of goodwill and embody the values many of us grew up with. Their belief in stewardship and willingness to share the section of our country that they inhabit is something to be admired,” Mr Forbes said.

Other 2013 award winners are Wellington and Dunedin legal advisor and author Brian Hayes and Dunedin public access advocate Alan McMillan.

Rural Women NZ has had a close association with the NZ Walking Access Commission since it was set up five years ago, initially as a foundation stakeholder group from the rural landowner perspective.

We also support the Commission’s project to supply signs for landholders to mark public access routes when crossing private property. For more on the Walking Access Signage project, visit the website.

Pictured above from left, Sam Stuart, Barbara Stuart, and John Forbes. Pictured below is Barbara Stuart at Cable Bay and the signage for public access (click on the image below to enlarge).

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