Dunedin public access advocates Alan McMillan (front left)
and Brian Hayes (right) have received awards for their
contributions from the New Zealand Walking Access
Commission. Its chief executive, Mark Neeson, is at the
rear. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Fighting for the public's right to access New Zealand's
outdoors has earned two Dunedin residents a national award.
Dunedin residents Brian Hayes and Alan McMillan were among
four people to be recognised as part of the inaugural New
Zealand Walking Access Commission Awards.
After holding an awards ceremony in Wellington last month,
the commission made the trip south to present Mr McMillan the
award at his home yesterday.
Mr McMillan, who lives in Wingatui, is chairman of Public
Access New Zealand (Panz) and has worked tirelessly for
decades to uphold public rights of access.
He said he was ''humbled'' to receive the award and took the
chance to thank other members of his organisation.
''I'm really only the mouthpiece of Panz,'' he said.
New Zealand Walking Access Commission chief executive Mark
Neeson said Mr McMillan had made a ''huge contribution'' to
ensuring public access to New Zealand's outdoors.
He also remarked on the contribution made by others in the
Otago region, including Mr Hayes.
''Whatever is happening down here, long may it continue,'' Mr
Mr Hayes, a former registrar-general of land and the author
of numerous reports on the law regarding public access,
received his award at the Wellington ceremony, but was also
Mr Hayes said he had long had a passion for the outdoors and
had used his expertise as a lawyer to help ensure future
generations had access to New Zealand's natural beauty.
''It's an important part of the ethic of being a New
Zealander,'' he said.