Renowned adventurer Sir Graeme Dingle is putting his mana behind a new climbing advocacy group.
The 76-year-old has become a patron of Aotearoa Climbing Access Trust, which was established last year in response to the closure of several climbing areas.
“I am proud to add my name to those dedicated to protecting access to climbing areas that are such an important part of New Zealand’s culture and heritage,” Sir Graeme said.
General manager Edwin Sheppard said the trust was already having an impact, including successfully advocating for outdoor climbing to be permitted under Auckland and Waikato’s level 3 lockdown in 2021.
Climbing received little recognition or support from the Government, and landowners were often concerned about potential liability if they allowed climbers onto their land, Sheppard said.
With Sir Graeme’s help, the trust is seeking to build relationships with landowners and to encourage safe and responsible climbing, and care for the outdoors.
Sir Graeme is one of New Zealand’s greatest climbers and has helped develop climbing areas throughout the country.
He founded the Outdoor Pursuits Centre in the 1970s and, with wife Jo-anne Wilkinson, established the Graeme Dingle Foundation for youth development.