Tongariro National Park Board
Report of Royal Society's Representative.
The Board has had two meetings during the year at which a great deal of routine business has been done. It must be remembered that the Park has a perimeter of some 65 miles. There is practically no recognizable boundary throughout this distance, and two-thirds of it traverses open grass country. In countless places it is traversed by streams which afford ideal camping sites and no permission has to be obtained to camp on the Park. There is only one official to control this Park which is a natural playground for the whole of the North Island. It is readily accessible on all sides, for a main highway runs close to its boundary.
The Council of the Royal Society must, therefore, understand that no definite patrolling or caretaking is in any way possible for the Board. It can only be stated in general terms that efforts are made to prevent further encroachment of exotic plants with considerable success. Most of the country is too elevated to allow of the free growth of the broom. A good deal of what there is has been grubbed up during the year. The heather on the lower levels of the Park on the northern sides still grows in quantity, but close observation makes one think that the high robust Danthonia and even Poa is, to a considerable extent, saving and even restoring the natural appearance of the Park's surface. Some eleven mountain and out-of-door clubs have applied for permission to erect huts and, after consultation with the federated mountain clubs, permission has been granted to some nine of these, subject to report from the warden, Mr. Shout. In general, the Board is satisfied with the conduct of the members of these clubs though it is hard to exact quite satisfactory results. On the North side there is a good road for motor vehicles to the region of the club houses. One result of this is that motor cars with tourists take a multitude of beer bottles of which many
are broken and the surrounding ground becomes littered with broken glass. The Board is endeavouring to stop this.
These remarks are made in order to emphasise the difficulties that are encountered by the Board over the very wide and varied area that it endeavours to control and administer.
17th April, 1950.
The report of the Tongariro National Park Board submitted by Dr. P. Marshall, the Society's representative on the Board, was adopted.
National Parks. There was some discussion in committee on the draft of the National Parks Bill which had been submitted by the Department of Lands and Survey to the sub-committee set up by the Standing Committee to consider the administration policy of National Parks.
On the motion of Dr. Oliver it was resolved that the suggestions made regarding the Bill be forwarded to the Lands Department.