Natural areas: accessibility, entry, and equity
A very large proportion of New Zealand's land area is reserved for conservation and recreation purposes. The Department of Conservation claims responsibility for the management of thirty percent of New Zealand land. Entry to this land is regarded as free - there are no entry charges. A system which provides for free entry may superficially sound to be equitable, but care needs be taken to specify just what is meant by 'fair.' The approach taken in this essay is an application of the 'benefit principle' - the people who benefit from actions should contribute towards their costs. This essay contends that users of natural areas such as National Parks should contribute directly toward the costs of operating the parks, and non users of parks are unfairly treated by the absence of charges for use of parks. The argument that free entry can be inequitable may be highlighted when the major sources of users of these areas are considered. Rapidly increasing numbers of overseas tourists are now major users of some of New Zealand's most popular natural areas.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsnatural areas; access; entry charges; national parks; benefit principle
Fields of Research1506 Tourism
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