Who got rid of tramping huts?

Labour’s sports policy includes  upgrading the infrastructure of huts and tracks.

Nothing wrong with that in theory, but who got rid of several tramping huts or reduced the number of beds in them?

Oh yes, that would be the last Labour government.

As for upgrading the infrastructure of huts, what does that mean and how will they afford the upgrades and on-going maintenance? The Department of Conservation which is charged with looking after them has a budget which is already over stretched.

7 Responses to Who got rid of tramping huts?

  1. Scotty says:

    I think you will find that the upgrading or removal of DOC huts began in earnest in the 1990s,under National.
    So do you agree that the upgrading of huts is a good thing or not?
    Would you support an increase to DOC funding or not?


  2. homepaddock says:

    Some upgrading is good – if you don’t look after buildings they deteriorate and sometimes if you’re doing maintenance it’s not much more difficult/expensive to do improvements.

    Given the constraints on public spending I wouldn’t support an increase in funding and I’m definitely not in favour of it getting more land through tenure review when it already has more than it can look after properly.


  3. Scotty says:

    So it was crocodile tears.
    You are not really concerned about maintaining back country huts,
    are you Ele?


  4. MikeM says:

    My impression of the bunk-removing fiasco at the time was that independent DoC conservancies started deciding to remove beds because of technical concerns of illegality under the Building Act, and soon after it was discovered as a problem a law amendment was rushed through, with bunk removals suspended on the understanding that the law was definitely in the process of changing. People can read into that what they will.

    Realistically, most of the back-country network is in remote places that aren’t accessed by many people, so the motivation for any government to pour active effort into it for recreation without ulterior motives (like the massive deer culling attempts through the 50s and 60s) isn’t great, especially when so many voters don’t step outside city boundaries these days, except for the places that are most accessible. It’s probably more a question of how much the government should be doing compared with users, but if it’s the latter then users need to be freed up legislatively to be able to do things legally without necessarily being sued every time a remote ad-hoc 3 wire bridge collapses after it wasn’t inspected adequately. There are good and bad points both ways.


  5. homepaddock says:

    Scotty – no tears at all. Tramping tends to appeal to people who are already active and have neough moeny to get out of cities and towns. Huts and tracks isn’t the best place to direct scarce resources with the aim of getting people active.


  6. Scotty says:

    Iv’e found trampers and hut users come from all walks of life,not just people with money from towns and cities.
    Do you use huts often?
    I reckon 10% of John Keys’ PR budget would have all the huts in New Zealand shipshape for summer.


  7. MikeM says:

    Huts and tracks isn’t the best place to direct scarce resources with the aim of getting people active.

    As much as a enjoy getting out tramping and did frequently until I lost the opportunities, I tend to agree with this. If any government wants to promote tramping as a recreational activity, it at least needs to encourage cheap and easy transport to places where people can go tramping, and also the various support to help people learn properly about what they’re doing without killing themselves, or where appropriate foster organisations (like clubs) that often help to arrange for this kind of thing.


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