A policy of zero prices for entry to publicly provided parks and reserves treats people equally, but does not result in equitable outcomes. Entry to New Zealand parks and reserves is free, but usage of these areas is only weakly influenced by zero entry price. Travel costs and incomes are major determinants of usage of natural areas. All citizens of a country may receive benefits from the existence of parks and reserves, and the option to visit those areas. But visitors receive disproportionately more benefits than do non‐visitors, and can legitimately be asked to meet a greater share of the costs of these areas. Equity arguments do not provide a convincing basis for continuing with zero prices to users. Recent legislation recognises this argument and will push regional governments to identify beneficiaries of Regional Parks, and levy charges which ensure users meet a greater share of the costs of Regional Parks. Given the weakness of the equity case, alternative explanation must be sought for continued zero entry prices.
CitationDownload as .RIS
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited