CONSERVATION MINISTER SAYS NO TO CHARGING SCHOOL GROUPS FOR ACCESSConservation
The Department of Conservation has no intention of charging schools for public access to national parks and other conservation areas.
Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith, said that to do so would require a legislative change and the Government has no intention of even examining the issues.
"This Government has never had any intention of charging schools groups for access as has been suggested in some media reports today. Access charges to national parks were suggested by the Business Roundtable late last year and these were soundly rejected by me at the time."
"The Department is currently discussing with bus and coach operators the requirement to have a concession to undertake commercial, business operations on conservation lands. Other commercial business such as skifields, hotels, guided walking companies and flightseeing helicopter operators already hold such concessions. However, there is currently an inconsistent approach to tourist coaches. The Department does intend to charge tour bus operators on a nationally consistent basis where they use conservation facilities. This will not include coaches or buses on school organised visits."