BC Update: No.84 - Backcountry huts
20 May 2008: The Department seeks your comments on proposals to change the New Zealand Building Code to simplify consenting for Department of Conservation (DoC) backcountry huts.
DoC manages almost 1,000 backcountry huts throughout the conservation estate. They have been used by generations of domestic and foreign visitors alike, and are a major part of New Zealand’s cultural identity. Many backcountry huts will be due for replacement in the next few years.
Backcountry huts provide essential shelter and are used by fully independent, physically fit visitors. To ensure that consenting requirements for backcountry huts reflect their special character, they would be exempt from certain requirements that apply to other buildings, but that are not consistent with the huts’ intended use and the profile of their visitors.
Under the proposals, backcountry huts would not need to have smoke alarms, potable water supply, artificial lighting, and ramps and accessible toilets for wheelchair users.
Further details of the proposals and how to comment can be found on the Department's website. The closing date for comments is Monday, 23 June 2008.