2014 media releases



Waikaia pest control operation complete

Date:  28 August 2014
The Department of Conservation completed its Battle for our Birds aerial 1080 pest control operation in the Waikaia Forest in Southland yesterday.

East Coast hunters reminded permits are online

Date:  28 August 2014
Recreational hunting is an excellent way to get into the outdoors and to reduce the number of pigs, deer, feral cattle and goats on public conservation land. Hunters are reminded before they head out they can apply for a permit “online”.

Iris Burn pest control operation complete

Date:  26 August 2014
The Department of Conservation completed its Battle for our Birds aerial 1080 pest control operation in the Iris Burn valley in Fiordland National Park yesterday.

Waitutu pest control operation complete

Date:  26 August 2014
The Department of Conservation completed its Battle for our Birds aerial 1080 pest control operation in the Waitutu Forest in Fiordland National Park yesterday.

1080 operation in Abel Tasman National Park

Date:  26 August 2014
The Department of Conservation and Project Janszoon completed an aerial application of 1080 pesticide in the Abel Tasman National Park on 22 August.

Conservation grant supports bird recovery

Date:  26 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Wildbase Recovery Community Trust is to receive a $90,000 grant from the Department of Conservation to put towards a new state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for birds and wildlife.

$208,000 for conservation of wetlands

Date:  26 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
The Government is to provide a $208,000 Community Conservation Partnership Fund grant over three years to Project Tongariro to advance the restoration and preservation of the largest wetland in the Taupō basin, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today at a community event in Turangi.

Pirongia pest control operation nears completion

Date:  21 August 2014
The final stage of the 2014 pest control operation on Pirongia Forest Park and Te Kauri Park Scenic Reserve is expected to be completed by this weekend on Saturday 23 August, weather permitting.

More funding to prevent kauri dieback disease

Date:  20 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Associate Minister of Conservation
Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today announced the Kauri 2000 Trust has received $57,000 to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Shark finning to be banned from 1 October

Date:  20 August 2014
Source:  Joint release from the Minister for Primary Industries and the Minister of Conservation
A ban on the finning of all shark species within New Zealand waters will take effect from 1 October this year, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced today.

Battle for our Birds operation underway in Waikaia

Date:  20 August 2014
The Department of Conservation’s Battle for our Birds pest control operation in the Waikaia Forest begins today.

Historic fire under Denniston Plateau

Date:  19 August 2014
Reports of smoke rising from cracks in Denniston Plateau are due to an historic fire which poses little significant threat to the area, says Department of Conservation (DOC) Conservation Services Manager Bob Dickson.

First Battle for our Birds operation underway

Date:  17 August 2014
The Department of Conservation’s Battle for our Birds pest control programme to protect native wildlife from rats and stoats this spring has started today with an operation in the Iris Burn valley in Fiordland National Park.

Aerial bait applications completed on Ahuahu - Great Mercury Island

Date:  15 August 2014
The final of two aerial bait applications required to remove rats and feral cats from Ahuahu/ Great Mercury Island have been safely and successfully completed.

New Rotorua guide for visitors and locals

Date:  13 August 2014
Explore Rotorua is a new publication which features maps and information on narly 40 different tracks and trails in the Rotorua area.

Whitebait season begins

Date:  15 August 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is reminding the public to be aware of the whitebait regulations with the commencement of the 2014 season.

New wharf opens on Rangitoto Island

Date:  14 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
A new wharf designed to accommodate growing visitor numbers on Rangitoto Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana was formally opened today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

New East Coast/Hawke’s Bay Conservation Board meet for first time

Date:  13 August 2014
The new East Coast/Hawke’s Bay Conservation Board held their inaugural meeting and field trip in Napier last week.

Ford repairs will keep Fiordland road open

Date:  13 August 2014
Repairs to a ford on the road to Doubtful Sound mean the road will no longer be closed during heavy rain.

Whitebait season starts Friday

Date:  13 August 2014
People preparing for whitebaiting opening day this Friday, 15th August, should be aware of regulations which allow fishing but act as a conservation measure to protect whitebait.

Pest butterfly eradication team winning but needs your help

Date:  13 August 2014
The Department of Conservation says it has driven Nelson Tasman’s pest great white butterfly population into a state of decline but it needs the public’s help to drive it to extinction.

Whitebaiters reminded to follow the rules as season begins

Date:  13 August 2014
The Department of Conservation is reminding the public to be aware of the whitebait regulations with the commencement of the 2014 season.

Whitebait season in the East Coast starts on 15 August

Date:  11 August 2014
The Department of Conservation is reminding the public that the whitebait season does not start until Friday 15 August.

Government expands national parks

Date:  12 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
The Mount Aspiring, Paparoa and Westland Tai Poutini National Parks have been expanded by 1250 hectares as a consequence of five blocks being added by Order in Council yesterday at Cabinet.

Decade of great white shark research nears end

Date:  11 August 2014
Source:  NIWA
A joint 10-year NIWA and Department of Conservation project to find out more about the great white sharks that inhabit New Zealand waters is coming to an end as scientists tackle the final phases of data analysis.

New Taupō DOC office opening

Date:  08 August 2014
Partnerships will be celebrated this weekend with the opening of the new Taupō community conservation complex.

$744,000 for Kiwis for Kiwi programme

Date:  07 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
The Government is to provide a $744,000 Community Conservation Partnership Fund grant to the Kiwis for kiwi™ to support 80 community-led kiwi recovery programmes around New Zealand.

New whale sanctuary, fur seal sanctuary and marine reserve opened

Date:  06 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
New marine protected areas to conserve Kaikoura's whales, dolphins, seals, albatrosses, rock lobster, shellfish and finfish were formally opened today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

Idyllic Otago high country protected

Date:  05 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
New Zealand’s largest-ever conservation covenant of 53,000 hectares between Arrowtown and Wanaka was announced today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

$700,000 grant for outdoor recreation

Date:  04 August 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
The Conservation Minister has announced a $700,000 grant from the Community Conservation Partnership Fund to tramping, hunting and mountain biking clubs for 107 back country projects.

Illegal kererū hunting suspected

Date:  01 August 2014
The Department of Conservation is concerned at recent evidence of illegal kererū /wood pigeon hunting on on Plains Road and Waimanoa Roadin Pureora Forest.

Track closures in the Far North

Date:  01 August 2014
Find out which tracks in the Far North remain closed to the public until further notice due to storm damage.

Reserves not for off road antics

Date:  31 July 2014
The Department of Conservation is disappointed to see the increase of irresponsible off road vehicle use at the Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve in Taupō.

Remaining DOC track closures in the Bay of Islands

Date:  28 July 2014
Find out which tracks in the Bay of Islands remain closed to the public until further notice due to storm damage.

DOC concern over kiwi death

Date:  28 July 2014
Goff, a male kiwi, was found dead last week in Tongariro Forest, within the core area of the Tongariro Forest Kiwi sanctuary.

Aerial pest control and ‘nest egg’ programme boost whio population

Date:  28 July 2014
A study of whio/blue duck in eastern Kahurangi National Park has shown the benefits of rearing ducklings in wildlife facilities. The study has also shown that aerial 1080 pest control has helped to increase whio numbers in the wild.

Fonterra-DOC Waituna wetlands work on show

Date:  25 July 2014
Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are a year into their 10 year partnership to improve the Waituna catchment and marked the moment with a Community Open Day today.

Pest control may be last chance for Waikaia mōhua

Date:  25 July 2014
The recent rediscovery of threatened mōhua/yellowhead in Waikaia Forest, northern Southland, means an upcoming pest control operation is essential.

Dead seal on Taipa Beach

Date:  24 July 2014
A New Zealand fur seal (kekeno) has been found dead on Taipa Beach.

Board appointed for new era for Te Urewera

Date:  24 July 2014
Source:  Joint media release from the office of the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and the office of the Minister for Conservation
The Crown and Ngāi Tuhoe have announced the appointment of the inaugural members of Te Urewera Board.

Tūhoe claims settlement and Te Urewera bills passed

Date:  24 July 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
The House sat under extended hours this morning to pass the third readings of the Tūhoe Claims Settlement Bill and the Te Urewera Bill.

Maud Island mice eradication begins

Date:  24 July 2014
The Department of Conservation carried out an operation yesterday to eradicate mice on Te Hoiere/Maud Island wildlife sanctuary in the Marlborough Sounds.

Remaining DOC track closures in the Far North and Bay of Islands

Date:  21 July 2014
All of the DOC huts and campgrounds in the Bay of Islands and Far North have been reopened to the public. However, some tracks are still closed.

New Aotea Conservation Park approved

Date:  20 July 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
12,109 hectares of Great Barrier Island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf is to be set aside in a new Aotea Conservation Park, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

Fur seals resting on Wellington beaches

Date:  17 July 2014
Over the winter months, seals spend much of their time resting on beaches and rocky shores around Wellington and Kapiti. Fur seals often need rest, not rescuing.

Work begins on making Great Mercury/Ahuahu a pest free sanctuary for native wildlife

Date:  17 July 2014
The Department of Conservation and the owners of Great Mercury Island are working together to remove rats and feral cats from the island.

Rock avalanche on Aoraki

Date:  16 July 2014
There has been a large rock avalanche from the South Face of Aoraki/Mount Cook altering the Hillary Ridge and damaging one of the Department of Conservation’s remote alpine huts.

$300,000 for community-led seabird conservation work

Date:  16 July 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
The Government is to provide $300,000 of funding to two community groups to support their work in protecting some of New Zealand’s special seabird species, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today from the Otago Peninsula.

Kahurangi pest control to protect native species

Date:  15 July 2014
The Department of Conservation is planning aerial pest control over a large area of Kahurangi National Park this spring to protect native species from predator plagues that could decimate their populations.

Six kākāpō chicks successfully fledged

Date:  15 July 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Kākāpō have had their most successful breeding season in three years with six chicks making it to the fledging stage this year, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

Reforesting Forest Pools

Date:  14 July 2014
Forest Pools Reserve on the edge of Puketi Forest is having a facelift with more than 250 eco-sourced plantsplanted by volunteers at the beginning of July.

'Battle for our Birds' gets go ahead

Date:  13 July 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
New Zealand's largest-ever pest control programme has been given the go ahead to protect native wildlife like kiwi from a confirmed plague of rats and stoats, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today in Maruia.

Many Northland tracks, campsites and huts closed due to recent storm event

Date:  11 July 2014
Due to recent storm events, a number of Department of Conservation tracks, huts, and campsites in Northland are temporarily closed. Tracks may be damaged or impassable due to fallen trees and/or slips.

Marine protection process begins in Otago

Date:  07 July 2014
The planning forum for marine protected areas on the south east coast of the South Island recently met for the first time.

Beach cast blue whale on the Taranaki Coast

Date:  04 July 2014
Recovery or burial of the carcass would likely be unsafe, impractical and expensive and at this stage the Department is considering leaving the carcass to decompose naturally.

Seal death angers DOC staff

Date:  04 July 2014
Local Department of Conservation staff were shocked and angered on finding the remains of a New Zealand fur seal/kekeno, that had been shot and skinned, washed up on a local beach over the weekend.

Dead whale washes up on Taranaki beach

Date:  04 July 2014
A large dead whale has washed up on the rocks at Tapuae Beach, just south of New Plymouth.

Kapiti Island visitor fees to be reduced

Date:  01 July 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced a reduction to Kapiti Island permit fees to come into effect from tomorrow.

Training in Australia important part of DOC’s fire fighting duties

Date:  30 June 2014
The Department of Conservation rejects claims that fire fighting training for its staff in Australia is a “junket” and involves skills not applicable in New Zealand.

Weedbusters community tool kit for Taupō Turangi

Date:  26 June 2014
Fighting weeds just got easier for the Taupō Turangi communities with a Weedbusters community tool kit available for loan.

Seal killed in dog attack on Brighton beach

Date:  25 June 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is asking the public for information about a dog attack on a protected NZ fur seal/kekeno found dead on Brighton beach near Dunedin.

Blessing opens new hut

Date:  25 June 2014
A brand new hut at Maropea Forks in the Ruahine Ranges is now available for use following a blessing by by Ngati Hinemanu me Ngati Paki recently.

Government to allow recovery of West Coast windfall timber

Date:  20 June 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Special legislation is to be passed by Parliament to enable the recovery of high value native timber blown over in Cyclone Ita on West Coast public conservation land.

New Guardians of Lake Wanaka

Date:  19 June 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the appointment of three new Guardians of Lake Wanaka and the reappointment of three other members.

Work to begin on Denniston coal mine

Date:  18 June 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Approval has been given for Bathurst Resources to commence work on its Escarpment Mining Project on the Denniston Plateau near Westport, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

Storm closes DOC huts, tracks and campsites on Great Barrier Island

Date:  18 June 2014
Most Department of Conservation walking tracks, campsites and huts are closed on Great Barrier Island until further notice as a result of the storm that struck the Auckland region last week.

Living with the inquisitive kea

Date:  18 June 2014
An opportunity to learn all about the inquisitive kea and how to live together without conflict is coming to Motueka on Tuesday 24 June.

DOC praises award-winning partnerships

Date:  17 June 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) welcomes the recognition of two of its partnership projects, the Nina Valley Ecoblitz and Genesis Energy National Whio Recovery Programme, at the Ministry for the Environment's (MFE) 2014 Green Ribbon Awards last night.

Possum leghold trap catches Waipapa kiwi

Date:  13 June 2014
An adult female Northland brown kiwi was caught in a leghold trap near Waipapa township four weeks ago. The bird was taken to Whangarei Bird Recovery and was successfully released last week.

More people volunteering for conservation

Date:  16 June 2014
Source:  Associate Minister of Conservation
Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today paid tribute to the thousands of volunteers in the conservation sector who are playing a vital part to protect our special plants, animals and places.

Otago’s native fish more threatened

Date:  11 June 2014
Otago’s native freshwater fish are facing a crisis as numbers fall steadily largely due to pressure from introduced fish such as trout.

Whale research in Cook Strait

Date:  10 June 2014
An 11th annual Cook Strait Whale Survey will get underway on Saturday (14 June 2014) that aims to determine how humpback whales are recovering since whaling ended and furthers efforts to protect the whales.

New Akaroa marine reserve opened

Date:  08 June 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
New Zealand’s newest marine reserve in Akaroa Harbour was formally opened today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith, and local MP and Environment Minister Amy Adams to coincide with World Oceans Day.

Wellington waterfront ‘walks the talk’ for World Oceans Day

Date:  05 June 2014
Wellington’s waterfront will feature fishy facts on its footpath this weekend to mark World Oceans Day on Sunday 8 June.

Landslide kills female kākāpō

Date:  04 June 2014
A landslide on Whenua Hou/Codfish has claimed the life of an adult female kākāpō named Maggie.

DOC to strengthen pest control procedures

Date:  04 June 2014
The Department of Conservation says it will put in more rigorous processes for aerial 1080 pest control operations following an internal review of a Marlborough Sounds’ operation last November.

Kaimanawa horse muster completed for 2014

Date:  30 May 2014
The biannual Kaimanawa horse muster has been successfully completed, with the operation coming to a close on Thursday 29 May with the muster of 172 horses.

Changes in conservation status of New Zealand freshwater fish

Date:  30 May 2014
The New Zealand freshwater fish threat classification panel led by DOC has made changes to the classification of freshwater fish, giving several species a higher conservation status.

Napier man charged with illegally importing elephant ivory

Date:  29 May 2014
A 61 year old Napier man has been charged with illegally importing elephant ivory. The charges have been filed in the Napier District Court by the Department of Conservation.

Fiordland Link monorail declined

Date:  29 May 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
The application by Riverstone Holdings Limited to build and operate a $240 million monorail in Fiordland has been declined by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

Northland Conservation Board welcomes its new Board members

Date:  29 May 2014
The Northland Conservation Board briefed its new appointees on the Board's key projects and relationships in an induction day held at Mokonuiarangi Marae, Utakura, Hokianga on 23 May 2014.

Endangered southern Tokoeka kiwi found dead in Otaki

Date:  27 May 2014
Department of Conservation staff are puzzled as to how a nationally endangered kiwi of South Island origin came to be found dead in the North Island town of Otaki.

Appointments to Conservation Boards made

Date:  22 May 2014
Source:  Associate Minister of Conservation
Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today announced 124 appointments to the 14 Conservation Boards around the country.

Endangered sea lion shot on Stewart Island

Date:  16 May 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is asking the public for help following the recent shooting of an endangered New Zealand sea lion/rāpoka/whakahao on Stewart Island.

$26.5m over four years to protect kauri

Date:  15 May 2014
Source:  Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith
The Government is investing $15.8 million of operating funding and $10.7 million of capital funding over the next four years to ramp up measures to protect New Zealand’s magnificent kauri forests from the dieback disease.

Rotorua resident charged with theft of native wood

Date:  15 May 2014
The Department of Conservation are encouraging the public to check the source of their native firewood as a Rotorua resident was recently charged with theft of timber from a scenic reserve.

Imagine app brings city to nature

Date:  13 May 2014
Locally extinct in Christchurch, tūī, jewelled gecko and tree wētā are sneaking back into the city thanks to a new Department of Conservation (DOC) interactive app launched today.

Giant rat caught on pest-free Motuarohia/Roberton Island

Date:  12 May 2014
A very large male Norway rat was caught and killed on Thursday 30 April 2014 on private land at the western end of pest-free Motuarohia / Roberton Island, in the eastern Bay of Islands.

First kākāriki released into Abel Tasman National Park

Date:  07 May 2014
Twelve kākāriki or yellow-crowned parakeet released into the Abel Tasman National Park today are the first captive raised kākāriki to ever be released onto the New Zealand mainland.

Six more takahē to call Cape Sanctuary home

Date:  07 May 2014
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The Department of Conservation (DOC) are to increase takahē numbers in Cape Sanctuary, Hawke’s Bay, four-fold due to a transfer of six birds this Thursday 8 May.

Heaphy Track to fully reopen on Monday

Date:  02 May 2014
Mountain bikers can start riding the Heaphy Track from Monday 5 May when the track will reopen following the clearance of fallen trees and other storm damage.

Kākāpō Recovery and Auckland Zoo team up to save kākāpō chick

Date:  01 May 2014
A critically ill 10-day old kākāpō chick flown from Hauturu o Toi (Little Barrier Island) to Auckland in late March is now thriving at Auckland Zoo following an intensive team effort by Zoo and DOC staff.

DOC's new Taupō Office

Date:  30 April 2014
The Department of Conservation's new regional office and community house complex is due to be completed sometime in late July.

Sampling shows beech seeding widespread

Date:  30 April 2014
Results from beech forest sampling across the South Island confirm a widespread seeding event is underway, Department of Conservation scientists say.

Damage to Heaphy and Copland Tracks - Update

Date:  30 April 2014
Department of Conservation (DOC) staff are working to clear trees and slips on storm-damaged tracks including the Heaphy and Copland.

DOC deals to weeds

Date:  29 April 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) has just completed its annual weed control of invasive exotic trees in the Hunter Valley within the Hawea Conservation Park.

Take care outdoors after storm damage

Date:  23 April 2014
The Department of Conservation is asking the public to be extra careful when heading outdoors, with widespread storm damage affecting many tracks and facilities in particular in the west and north of the South Island.

A splash of colour for Huka Falls kiosk

Date:  17 April 2014
A fresh colour and fresh coat of paint for the volunteer kiosk at the Huka Falls car park came about thanks to Dulux donated paint and painters, and locals volunteering their time.

Kākāpō nestcam streams live to the world

Date:  17 April 2014
Source:  Kākāpō Recovery
For the first time ever, the global public will be able to watch kakapo nesting activity live, thanks to a special partnership between Telecom NZ and Kākāpō Recovery.

Community contributes towards good news for Mokoia Island

Date:  17 April 2014
The Department of Conservation and Mokoia Islannd Board of Trustees thank the community for their contribution towards the recent pest incursion response.

Better survival chances for Wanaka skinks

Date:  11 April 2014
Eighty five endangered grand and Otago skinks have been collected near Wanaka in an operation led by the Department of Conservation (DOC) aimed at increasing their numbers.

Kiwi release on farm a major step towards 10,000 hectare kiwi sanctuary

Date:  11 April 2014
The Prime Minister John Key today joined Kaipara farmers Gill and Kevin Adshead in welcoming eight more Northland brown kiwi to the Gardner family farm, 65 km north of Auckland.

Funding available for Northland community conservation projects

Date:  09 April 2014
The Northland Conservation Board welcomes the new Community Conservation Partnership Fund announced by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on 30 March 2014.

A new reserve in the Long Gully Terraces

Date:  08 April 2014
Mata-au Scientific Reserve was part of Bendigo Station, but has been retired from farming after recent tenure review, and now is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as a scientific reserve.

New conservation fund to boost local projects

Date:  04 April 2014
The new Community Conservation Partnership Fund is a much needed boost to on-the-ground projects. DOC is holding a funding workshop in Gisborne on Tuesday 15 April to assist community groups complete their applications.

Call to plant cover crops that don't attract pest butterflies

Date:  03 April 2014
The Department of Conservation is asking Nelson gardeners to consider planting cover crops that don’t attract the great white butterfly to their garden.

Motutapu Island provides a second home for Coromandel brown kiwi

Date:  02 April 2014
Eleven Coromandel brown kiwi have this week been relocated from the Moehau Kiwi Sanctuary on the Coromandel Peninsula to predator free Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

DOC appoints services managers in South

Date:  04 April 2014
Three Conservation Services Managers have been appointed by the Department of Conservation in the southern South Island.

Rat caught on pest-free Urupukapuka Island

Date:  03 April 2014
A large male Norway rat was caught and killed in a DOC 200 trap on Urupukapuka, one of the Project Island Song islands in the Bay of Islands, on 31 March 2014.

DOC thanks quick fire respondents

Date:  03 April 2014
Early detection and rapid response to fires on Central North Island DOC land by adjoining rural fire authorities, has prevented large fires in the current extreme fire conditions.

Rifleman birds heard again at A’Deane’s Bush

Date:  31 March 2014
A’Deane’s Bush in the Central Hawkes Bay is now home to a population of the threatened native species titipounamu (rifleman).

Departments work together for nature and nurture

Date:  31 March 2014
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Conservation which will see increased work by offenders to improve and maintain the Central Region’s natural environment.

New conservation fund announced

Date:  30 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
A Community Conservation Partnership Fund to support the work of voluntary organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects was launched today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith at the opening of the new Hoddy Estuary Park in Nelson.

Kauri dieback detected in Coromandel

Date:  25 March 2014
Source:  Joint release from the Minister for Primary Industries and the Minister of Conservation
Test results showing the presence of Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA) or Kauri dieback disease in the Whangapoua Forest just north of Whitianga is a major concern, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy say.

Threatened geckos to find sanctuary on Motuihe Island

Date:  25 March 2014
On Sunday 30 March 2014 one hundred Duvaucel's geckos were released on Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

‘Encouraging’ blue duck numbers in inland Hawke’s Bay

Date:  23 March 2014
Endangered whio, or blue duck, continue to thrive in the mountainous rivers and streams of inland Hawke’s Bay, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Conservation.

Minister signs new conservation accord

Date:  22 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
An accord between the newly established $100 million NEXT Foundation and the Government was signed in Nelson today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

Rare duck numbers on the rise

Date:  21 March 2014
It's good news for New Zealand's rarest duck, the pāteke, or brown teal, with recent flock counts in Northland showing the biggest population since surveys began in 1988.

DOC urges hunters to think safety this ‘roar’ season

Date:  19 March 2014
As the days become shorter and morning and evenings cooler, hunters throughout New Zealand will be looking forward to the annual deer ‘roar’ or ‘rut’.

Rare parakeets flown to safe island home

Date:  19 March 2014
Eighteen rare native parakeets are today winging their way from Christchurch to a Bay of Plenty island sanctuary to build a self-supporting population there as this species faces the ongoing threat of predators in Canterbury.

Zero tolerance to dumping in public reserves

Date:  18 March 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is right behind the crackdown on rubbish dumping in the East Coast region and strongly supports plans to catch or trace offenders.

DOC vaccinates West Coast kiwi chicks

Date:  18 March 2014
DOC has begun a precautionary programme of vaccinating West Coast kiwi chicks in response to the death of seven young birds on Rona Island crèche in Lake Manapouri.

Final kākāpō eggs hatch

Date:  17 March 2014
Source:   Kākāpō Recovery
A kākāpō chick has hatched in the wild on Hauturu o Toi/Little Barrier Island, less than two years after a small adult population was re-introduced to the island.

New marine protected areas for Kaikoura

Date:  16 March 2014
Source:  Joint release from the Minister for Primary Industries and the Minister of Conservation
The Government today announced a new marine reserve, whale and fur seal sanctuary, five customary fishing areas and amateur fishing regulations to improve the management of Kaikoura’s coast and ocean.

Membership of Otago Marine Protection Planning Forum announced

Date:  15 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the appointment of a 14-member community-led forum to consider marine protection for the Otago coastline.

Ministers welcome DOC’s health and safety pledge

Date:  13 March 2014
Source:  Joint release from the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Conservation
DOC today became the first Government department to formally join the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Labour Minister Simon Bridges announced.

Arthur’s Pass Walking Track opens as part of 150th celebrations

Date:  13 March 2014
The new Arthur’s Pass Walking Track will be officially opened this Saturday (15 March 2014) as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the first European discovery of Arthur’s Pass.

Captive bred whio to be released back into wild

Date:  12 March 2014
The Battle for our Birds continues with the release of more than 40 captive bred whio back into the wild over the next week.

Fourth World Wetlands Day celebrated at Lake Ngatu

Date:  10 March 2014
Six local primary schools joined a group of homeschool pupils to celebrate World Wetlands Day for the fourth year in a row at Lake Ngatu on 27 and 28 February 2014.

Catlins mōhua increase after pest control

Date:  07 March 2014
An important mōhua or yellowhead population in the Catlins is on the increase after a successful joint agency pest control programme last spring.

New Zealand Army and the Department of Conservation join forces

Date:  07 March 2014
Building work began yesterday in an exciting partnership between the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Defence Force. New Zealand Army engineers and builders are constructing a new hut at Maropea Forks in the Western Ruahine Forest Park.

Low count triggers new plan for endangered New Zealand sea lion

Date:  06 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
A Threat Management Plan for the New Zealand sea lion is to be developed in response to this season’s low pup count on the Auckland Islands, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today from the HMNZS Wellington at Port Ross in conjunction with Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

New subantarctic research station proposed

Date:  05 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Nick Smith today inspected the site of a proposed new research station to be named after the late Sir Peter Blake on the east coast of the main Auckland Island in the subantarctic.

Northland Conservation Board wants better planning for future power boat races in the Bay of Islands

Date:  05 March 2014
Following the Bay of Islands Power Boat Race held in Paihia on 1 March 2014, the Northland Conservation Board is seeking improvements to planning for next year's race to ensure better measures to protect marine mammals in the Bay area.

Red vented bulbul $1,000 reward ends

Date:  04 March 2014
The reward period for sighting information leading to the capture of an invasive pest bird – the red-vented bulbul – has ended without anyone qualifying for the payout.

First kākāpō chick hatches

Date:  03 March 2014
Painstaking repairs to a crushed kakapo egg have paid dividends with the arrival of the first kakapo chick since 2011.

Pureora hunting competition roars to life again

Date:  03 March 2014
The 26th annual Pureora Hunting Competition for red deer is due to begin from 17 March to prizegiving day on 27 April.

New subantarctic marine reserves established

Date:  02 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today formally established three new marine reserves covering 435,000 hectares of ocean surrounding the Antipodes, Bounty and Campbell Islands from Perseverance Harbour, Campbell Island.

Sea what a difference you can make!

Date:  28 February 2014
The Dunedin Coastal Clean-up and Seashore Survey this Sunday 2 March will get Seaweek off to a great start.

Permits to be required for shark cage tourism

Date:  28 February 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Tourism businesses viewing great white sharks will be required to have a permit in the same way as for whale, dolphin and seal watching, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

Green Flag awards for Timber Trail and Waitomo Ruakuri walk

Date:  28 February 2014
The Pureora Timber Trail and Ruakuri Walk at Waitomo were celebrated recently for receiving the internationally-recognised Green Flag award, which marks good quality public parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways.

National battle to protect whio ramps up

Date:  28 February 2014
The Whio Forever partnership is adding another tool to its arsenal of protection this year with funding to build a new whio rearing facility at the Tongariro National Trout Centre near Turangi.

First New Zealand storm petrel egg found by scientists

Date:  28 February 2014
Researchers studying the New Zealand storm petrel on Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park are the first scientists to find a New Zealand storm petrel egg.

Restoring the Skippers landscape

Date:  26 February 2014
The Department of Conservation in conjunction with the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group, is undertaking the spraying and removal of all remaining douglas fir and larch trees on public conservation land around the Skippers township.

Community snorkelling days on again at Tasman Bay marine reserves

Date:  26 February 2014
The opportunity to put on a snorkel and find out what’s under the water near the Tasman Bay marine reserves is happening again this year as part of Seaweek.

A dog’s breakfast in Motueka

Date:  25 February 2014
Motueka dog owners are being invited to a free breakfast while taking their dogs for a walk on the Motueka foreshore, at the first ‘Dog’s Breakfast’ to be held in New Zealand.

East Coast kiwi returns home

Date:  24 February 2014
The kiwi injured in a possum trap a month ago was released at Opato in the Waioeka Gorge near Gisborne last week. The kiwi was released in a Punga forested gully and hung around for a few minutes sniffing the ground and ignoring staff then disappeared into nearby punga fronds.

Historic Southland viaducts saved in funding deal

Date:  22 February 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Four giant timber viaducts built nearly a century ago in the rugged Waitutu Forest on the south coast of the Fiordland National Park are to be restored in an agreement between the DOC, the Southland District Council and the Port Craig Viaduct Trust.

Conservation Minister visits subantarctic islands

Date:  21 February 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith departs Bluff tomorrow afternoon on the HMNZS Wellington on its annual service trip to the Bounty, Antipodes, Campbell, Auckland and Snares Islands.

Historic Ruapekapeka Pā gets digital makeover

Date:  21 February 2014
Historic Ruapekapeka Pā, located outside of Whangarei, will receive a digital makeover with the launch of the Ruapekapeka website.

Kākāpō successfully breed on Hauturu/Little Barrier Island

Date:  20 February 2014
Source:  Kākāpō Recovery
One of three female kākāpō released onto Hauturu o Toi/Little Barrier Island in 2012 has been discovered nesting with three fertile eggs, bringing unexpected joy to the Kākāpō Recovery programme team.

DOC celebrates 25 years of conservation volunteer programme

Date:  20 February 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is celebrating 25 years of its Southland and Otago Conservation Volunteer Programme.

Fish needed for starving penguin chicks

Date:  18 February 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC), Penguin Place, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and volunteers are supplementary feeding starving yellow-eyed penguin chicks during one of the most disastrous breeding seasons in recent years.

DOC rejects claims anglers at risk from 1080

Date:  18 February 2014
The Department of Conservation says it is concerned by unsubstantiated claims from a freshwater fishing lobby group that anglers are at risk from 1080 poisoning.

Deadline approaches for submissions on Aotea/Great Barrier Island Conservation Park

Date:  17 February 2014
Submissions on the proposed Aotea/Great Barrier Island conservation park close on 28 February 2014.

Celebrate Children's Day in nature

Date:  14 February 2014
Visit Ivon Wilson Park in Te Anau on Sunday 2 March and celebrate national Children's Day with the biggest ever 'Play Date with Nature' and fun for the whole family.

Multiple killer whale stranding at Blue Cliffs Beach, Southland

Date:  12 February 2014
The Department of Conservation responded to the killer whale stranding at Blue Cliffs beach near Tuatapere in Southland in the early hours of this morning.

Northland Conservation Board welcomes extension of Kauri Dieback Management Programme

Date:  09 February 2014
Enjoy Northland's stunning natural areas, but please do your bit to protect our great kauri from the deadly kauri dieback disease and devastation by wildfires is a message from the Northland Conservation Board.

Brown is the new green

Date:  11 February 2014
Brown foliage marks the success of the recent round of poisoning of juvenile wilding pines on the Tongariro River.

Four wheelers trim track back

Date:  04 February 2014
Trimming three kilometres of the 42 Traverse track of weeds and bush clears the way for multi-users of the popular recreation track in the Tongariro Forest.

First kākāpō eggs in three years

Date:  03 February 2014
Source:  Kākāpō Recovery
Kakapo Recovery has discovered two kakapo mums nesting on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island – the first time in three years - but it will be another week before it’s known whether their eggs are fertile.

Waipoua Forest fire

Date:  03 February 2014
A fire began in the early hours of this morning (Monday 3 February 2014) near Lookout Road, Waipoua Forest, Northland. At this stage, the fire is under control.

DOC marks World Wetlands Day

Date:  31 January 2014
World Wetlands Day (Sunday February 2) provides an opportunity to highlight the important role wetlands play in our environment and to spotlight work being done to protect them.

Reflection on the Mahi Aroha summer programme

Date:  31 January 2014
The 50th anniversary of the Tongariro summer programme, rebranded as Mahi Aroha: Doing it for Conservation, has now come to a close, leaving great memories and inspiring people to get back out and continue to enjoy the natural treasures of the Central North Island.

‘Battle for Our Birds’ launched to save native species

Date:  29 January 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith tonight launched DOC’s largest-ever species protection programme called ‘Battle for Our Birds’ at his annual speech to the Rotary Club of Nelson.

DOC to protect species at risk from predator plague

Date:  29 January 2014
The Department of Conservation is preparing a major new pest control campaign to protect vulnerable native species from an expected surge in rat and stoat numbers later this year.

Dart Valley re-opened for tramping

Date:  27 January 2014
Tramping access through the Dart Valley has now been restored with the completion of a new walking route that detours around the massive landslide and newly formed lake.

Injured East Coast kiwi being treated at Massey University

Date:  22 January 2014
An injured kiwi, handed in to the Department of Conservation (DOC) in Gisborne by a member of the public, has been transferred to Wildbase at Massey University for treatment.

Hope lost for stranded whales on Farewell Spit

Date:  16 January 2014
The Department of Conservation says eight pilot whales it has spent two days trying to get safely back out to sea have been found stranded again on Farewell Spit this morning, a ninth whale with them and all in poor condition.

Largest private stoat trapping network nears completion

Date:  15 January 2014
Source:  Project Janszoon
The largest stoat trapping network undertaken by a private trust in New Zealand is about to be completed, enabling the reintroduction of birds like pateke and kakariki back to the Abel Tasman National Park.

Whales stranded in Golden Bay

Date:  14 January 2014
Media releases and updates about the whale stranding in Golden Bay.

Shark fin ban confirmed and timetable tightened

Date:  09 January 2014
Source:  Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today confirmed the Government’s decision to ban shark finning.

First Project Island Song Urupukapuka Island Fun Day

Date:  09 January 2014
Bay of Islands' Urupukapuka Island campers and visiting boaties enjoyed the world's first Project Island Song Fun Day on 4 January 2014.

New research confirms benefits of marine reserves

Date:  08 January 2014
Significant increases in the abundance and size of marine species in Tasman Bay marine reserves confirm their conservation benefits, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith said today while publicly releasing a new research report at the Horoirangi Marine Reserve.

Winter mountain biking on Heaphy Track permanently approved

Date:  07 January 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced at Karamea on the West Coast the permanent approval of mountain biking on the Heaphy Track from 1 May to 30 September each year.

Five DOC sites receive renowned ‘Green Flags’

Date:  06 January 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed the awarding of the international Green Flag to five DOC sites around New Zealand from the Lake Matheson Walk in South Westland.

Stranded whales on Farewell Spit unable to be saved

Date:  06 January 2014
Thirty-nine pilot whales are unable to saved after stranding on Farewell Spit overnight.