The CMS provides the overall direction for managing and integrating conservation and recreation values on and off public conservation land.
Since the Otago CMS was released in 2016, there has been increased interest in the development of new cycle and mountain bike trails through the government-funded NZ Cycle Trail Network and local mountain biking trails.
DOC Whakatipu wai Māori operations manager Geoff Owen says cycle trails offer a great opportunity for people of all ages to connect with nature and the outdoors.
“In Otago there are a number of proposed NZ Great Ride cycle trails and proposed local mountain biking trails. The CMS does currently acknowledge cycle trail initiatives, but not necessarily the individual public lands they will cross. A partial review means that we can properly assess and consider the proposed trails.”
“It doesn’t mean all trails will go ahead, it’s simply enabling the conversations to take place,” Geoff says.
DOC will carry out the partial review in close consultation with their Treaty Partner, Ngāi Tahu and the Otago Conservation Board.
The partial review is a public process which includes pre-draft consultation with interested parties and considers all values. Once developed the draft CMS will be open for public submissions and then revised based on those submissions. The revised draft is then considered by the Otago Conservation Board before going to the New Zealand Conservation Authority for their consideration and approval.
Pre-draft consultation is expected to run through April and May.
For cycle trails proposals elsewhere in New Zealand a national approach is required to address consistency with the relevant CMS.