Protecting public walking access

Published date15 March 2023
These recent terrible storms have caused many landholders near riverbanks or beside the coast to consider building walls between themselves and the water

Chief executive Ric Cullinane says it is important that these seawalls and barricades do not obstruct public access to the outdoors for other New Zealanders.

"As the sea rises and pushes up against private property, the public access strip that often sits between the water and private land gets pinched." For the most part, our planning regulations protect public access as we adapt. But part of the problem is incremental encroachment from private landholders into neighbouring public space. Tennis courts, barbecue spaces and gazebo gardens, along with actual walls, can make people walking past feel as though they are trespassing, even when they are on public land.

New Zealand's rivers regularly change course, and the sea erodes...

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