Rod Donald Trust Summer Scholarship Research Results

Banks Peninsula tracks are under-utilised by Christchurch youth organizations, according to the second Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust ‘Summer Scholarship’. Lincoln University student Jessica Hughes Hutton received the scholarship to research the demand for local outdoor recreation opportunities among youth groups in Christchurch, as well as to gauge the implications for the Spine of the Lizard project.

Jessica presented the results of her research on Friday the 8th May to the Rod Donald Trustees and staff, Department of Conservation staff and her Lincoln University supervisors. The initial task of the research was to compile a database of youth organizations in Christchurch. The leaders of the 150 organisations were then asked to complete an online survey, with 72 usable surveys being completed. The final task of the research involved qualitative interviews with 13 of the survey respondents.

Among the findings were that 12% of the respondents reported visiting Banks Peninsula for outdoor recreation with the most popular tracks being those linking to the Packhorse Hut. Reasons cited for not visiting the Banks Peninsula for outdoor recreation included a tradition of going elsewhere or not being able to find information about where to go.

The perception of Banks Peninsula among the interviewees who used it as an outdoor recreation location were favourable, as evidenced in the following quotes:

It’s a nice place. It’s got so many different areas. No matter where you go it’s a totally different place. It’s awesome for little kids. It’s just rough enough; you can get off track a little bit, and for little kids that’s brilliant. It’s endless the options you have”.

“I think Banks Peninsula is as a whole is such a rich place because it’s got beautiful old forest, regenerated forest . . . it’s got all the history of Māori settlements, and obviously there’s lots of recreation activities”

A lack of circular tracks were cited as reasons for youth organizations not utilizing Banks Peninsula as much as they could, as well as the terrain not being challenging enough for older children.

The results of the research provide an opportunity to develop a marketing strategy for Banks Peninsula tracks, including the Spine of the Lizard and also provide the basis for further summer scholarship research topics.

The full research paper is available from:

Rod Donald Banks PeninsulaTrust's Summer Resarch paper