The mountain land recreationist in New Zealand : the first of three volumes on the current status and future direction of mountain land recreation in New Zealand
Barring love and war, few enterprises are undertaken with such abandon, or by such diverse individuals, or with so paradoxical a mixture of appetite and altruism, as that group of avocations known as outdoor recreation. It is by common consent, a good thing for people to get back to nature. But wherein lies the goodness, and what can be done to encourage its pursuit? (Leopold 1949). In 1949 Aldo Leopold asked this question. It is the basic and essential question which must be answered in order to serve the recreational needs of people. The question remains unanswered. The "goodness" lies hidden somewhere in a variety of needs which people have, needs which, when fulfilled, help make life rich and satisfying. In our report we have not attempted to answer Leopold's question. We have attempted to show just how close we are today in identifying "wherein lies the goodness and what can be done to encourage its pursuit" for people seeking recreation in New Zealand's mountain lands. - More specifically, this report sets out to present the following: - What is known and what information is available in New Zealand. - A critical review of selected aspects of the information and how it is being used. - What information is not available. - The implications for planners, management and the public recreationist of having or not having the information available. - What needs to be known. - The present trend toward obtaining the information. - Some tested and suggested methods of obtaining the more critically needed information. In general we have found the task of identifying what is known about New Zealand mountain land recreationists far too easy, because little such knowledge is available. While this was a relatively easy; albeit time consuming, task for us, the implication is that those who must plan and manage for New Zealand’s mountain land recreationists are faced with a very difficult task. For the less one knows about the recreational requirements of the people for whom one is planning and managing, the greater are the chances for mistakes. A fuller knowledge of the recreationist and his requirements also fits into the broad scale of land-use planning. We can then balance what needs to be provided to meet the recreationists’ requirements (which may be simple rather than extravagant) and what can be provided. Some recreational activities may be damaging to a fragile mountain environment, even destructive of the very experience sought. Thus the physical resource itself is a real constraint. Again, recreation may compete or conflict with other valued land uses such as nature preservation, soil and water conservation practices, forestry and farming. However, individual recreation activities may be co-ordinated and integrated to some degree with these uses in multiple-use practices. Other very real limitations are the money and manpower available. This report is presented to clarify what is known and what needs to be known about mountain land recreationists in an attempt to help planners and managers at all levels in their task of helping people enjoy life. If any part of this report contributes to this endeavour we consider ourselves truly lucky. For we too are in love with the New Zealand mountain lands and seek them for our recreation.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsmountain lands; recreational use; New Zealand; mountain land management; recreational activities; indigenous recreation; recreational needs
Fields of Research160402 Recreation, Leisure and Tourism Geography; 150603 Tourism Management; 150602 Tourism Forecasting; 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
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