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The divergence and coalescence of public outdoor recreation values in New Zealand and England: An interplay between rights and markets

Curry, Nigel


Nigel Curry


Mid 19th Century English settlers in New Zealand developed a clear set of values for outdoor recreation. A small gregarious farming population used recreation for team sports and the nurturing of a 'moral and physical health'. Work on the farm was a solitary activity. Recreation should therefore be a social one, taking place on land the rights to which were to be available to all. Developments in England from this time, by contrast, provided recreation values dominated by notions of quiet rural refreshment in manicured landscapes. These values were inextricably linked with national identity for a country with an Empire: the English landscape was the image of a spiritual home and rights over the use of this landscape became increasingly restricted over time. Contemporary national policy in both countries reinforced these distinct value systems. From the late 1970s, however increasing globalisation has led to a coalescence of value systems for outdoor recreation. Traditional forms of outdoor activities, and the rights to pursue them, have given way to more common leisure lifestyles in both countries. These are now much more based around the home and on health and fitness, and are driven by access through the market rather than through public access rights. Public policy for outdoor recreation in both countries also has embraced this market orientation, pulling back from the centrality of the public provision of access rights. © 2004 Taylor and Francis Ltd.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 1, 2004
Journal Leisure Studies
Print ISSN 0261-4367
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 205-223
Keywords public outdoor recreation, recreation values, New Zealand, England, leisure
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