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dc.contributor.authorWray, Kerry A.en
dc.date.accessioned2010-08-10T21:06:17Z
dc.date.issued2009en
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10182/2372
dc.description.abstractIn the latter half of the 20th Century, New Zealand’s wilderness resource developed iconic status at the national and international scales, and now represents highly significant social, cultural, political, ecological and economic value. In the early 21st Century, however, social changes such as urbanisation, globalisation, increasing consumerism and growing international tourism may be eroding the traditional values and practices which underpin New Zealand’s wilderness heritage. This study explores the complex phenomenon of wilderness in contemporary New Zealand society through the eyes of wilderness users and, in doing so, addresses a significant gap in the research literature. The research was undertaken in Fiordland National Park (considered to be New Zealand’s largest remaining expanse of ‘wilderness’). A combination of qualitative research diaries and in-depth interviews were used to address questions such as: ‘what does wilderness mean?’, ‘why is it important to those who venture within it?’ and ‘how is it being affected by social and environmental changes?’ Findings demonstrate that wilderness is a multi-faceted (yet fragile) concept, at the heart of which lies a set of unique dimensions common to the experiences of most users. Respondents displayed strong attachments to the wilderness resource, and many expressed concern about the impacts of external influences (such as international tourism, commercialisation and technological advancements) on the wilderness as they knew it. Discussions with participants indicate that the protection of wilderness is extremely important to New Zealand society for social and cultural (as well as ecological and economic) reasons. Wilderness in New Zealand represents an historical affinity with the land and the natural environment, and is viewed by many as a cultural icon. Wilderness provides important connections to a proud pioneering heritage - a legacy interpreted as a gift to future generations. In a broader sense, wilderness is also one of the many ways in which key elements of New Zealand culture and identity are produced and reproduced (these include characteristics such as freedom, independence, egalitarianism, adventure, self sufficiency, an affinity with nature and the ability to withstand hardship). Based on these findings, it is argued that protected area managers require a deeper understanding of the ideas and philosophies behind wilderness in order to maximise the personal, social and environmental benefits wilderness can provide for society. The main challenge for New Zealand managers will be to continue to protect and maintain the country’s unique wilderness heritage in the face of rapid and enduring social changes.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherLincoln Universityen
dc.subjectsocial valueen
dc.subjectprotected natural areasen
dc.subjectvisitor impactsen
dc.subjectqualitative researchen
dc.subjectthreatsen
dc.subjecttourismen
dc.subjectwildernessen
dc.subjectFiordlanden
dc.subjectNew Zealanden
dc.subjectcultural identityen
dc.subjectnational parksen
dc.titleThe Culture of the wild: an exploration of the meanings and values associated with wilderness recreation in New Zealanden
dc.typeThesis
thesis.degree.grantorLincoln Universityen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
lu.contributor.unitLincoln Universityen
lu.contributor.unitFaculty of Environment, Society and Designen
pubs.organisational-group/LU
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Faculty of Environment, Society and Design
pubs.publication-statusPublisheden


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