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Call for The Remarkables to become a national park

The Remarkables is a stunning area deserving of national park status, argues the FMC. Photo: Flickr/John Morton

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The Federated Mountain Club is calling on DOC to classify the Remarkables Conservation Area as a national park.

“This land is glorious, it’s national taonga, and it deserves a classification that honours it appropriately – a classification that gives DOC a mandate to fiercely protect it,” FMC president Jan Finlayson told Otago Daily Times.

The FMC said the conservation area is inadequately protected under its current stewardship status. 

Finlayson has written a submission on behalf of FMC, urging the 33,000ha area is reclassified.

In partnership with Ngai Tahu runanga, DOC is consulting the public on the matter, and submissions close on February 26. 

Skateboarders take on the Milford Road

The beautiful, but dangerous, Milford Road has been tackled by two daring skateboarders. 

The ride was captured on video by Kiwi skater Levi Hawken, who was visiting Fiordland with friends, Otago Daily Times reports.

“The lack of tourists and a dry spell made this usually impossible to skate road in Milford Sound in the South Island of Aotearoa a goer,” Hawken said in a Facebook post.

The riders reached speeds of up to 80km/h, Hawken said.

New Zealand Police told the Herald it is legal to skate on the road, but skaters should follow road rules.

“If road users witness risky or dangerous behaviour on the roads, they are encouraged to contact police immediately so it can be followed up. We would also encourage users to use safety helmets and gear,” a police spokesperson said.

Equality in cross-country hotly debated

Should men and women run the same distance in cross-country? It’s a debate that is more complicated than it seems, writes Martin Fritz Huber for Outside magazine.

The British grassroots initiative RunEqual says yes, explaining that having different distances sends the message that women aren’t as capable.

Former cross-country world champion Paula Radcliffe disagrees.

In a statement signed by her and 22 elite women athletes, Radcliffe insisted this wasn’t part of their experience.

“We are saddened by the suggestion that our past performances are viewed as somehow lacking, simply because we raced shorter distances than men,” the statement read.

Read the full story here.

Waiheke seeks Dark Sky status

Waiheke Island is following in the footsteps of Aotea/Great Barrier Island and Rakiura, and seeking Dark Sky status.

The Waiheke Local Board is finalising an application for International Dark-Sky Association accreditation to protect the island’s nightscape, Stuff reports. 

The request is supported by Dark-sky New Zealand, Piritahi Marae, Ngati Paoa Iwi Trust, DOC, and community groups on the island.

Waiheke resident Nalayini​ Davies said the accreditation could see the island shift towards ecotourism and sustainability.

“If people come to look at the starry skies, it’s a different kind of people than the 20-somethings that have come here for a hen party,” she said.

Read the full story here.