The Minister of Conservation opened the new Aotea Conservation Park on 10 April 2015. Consultation on the park began in 2013.


17 December 2015: The Minister of Conservation made appointments to the Aotea Conservation Park Advisory Committee.

10 April 2015: The Minister of Conservation opened the new Aotea Conservation Park. The Park was gazetted on 9 April 2015. Aotea Conservation Park opened media release 10 April 2015.

Nominations were invited for the Aotea Conservation Park advisory committee.

20 July 2014: The Minister of Conservation approved the proposal to create a conservation park on Aotea / Great Barrier Island. It will be called Aotea Conservation Park. Work is underway to survey the Park so it can be gazetted and officially opened.


View from Mt Hobson/Hirakimata. Photo copyright: Adris Apse.
View from Mt Hobson/Hirakimata

Submissions closed: Friday 28 February 2014

Aotea / Great Barrier Island is a unique and diverse environment and is one of the Auckland region's last great wild areas. DOC manages approximately 60% of the land on Aotea. A large part of the conservation land on the island is managed as stewardship areas.

Enjoying a soak in the Kaitake hot springs.
Enjoying a soak in the Kaitake hot springs

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment recently released a report on stewardship areas in New Zealand. It identified areas within the conservation estate that have significant conservation value, yet have the relatively low legal protection status of stewardship areas. In response to this report, the Minister of Conservation directed DOC to investigate changing the status of the stewardship areas on Aotea.

DOC has carefully considered possible options for changing the status of stewardship areas on the island. The most appropriate option identified is the amalgamation of all stewardship areas on Aotea into a conservation park.

Conservation parks are managed to protect their natural and historic resources, and to facilitate public recreation and enjoyment. A conservation park could have many benefits for Aotea, and could be a significant opportunity to secure its future as a local and national treasure.

Only land held under the Conservation Act will be included in the conservation park. This includes all stewardship areas, and the existing Hirakimata-Kaitoke Swamp Ecological Area and Wairahi Forest Sanctuary, which will retain their special status.

No private land or any other publicly owned land (e.g Auckland Council reserves) is involved. Changing the status of stewardship areas on Aotea will not preclude the use of the land for future Treaty of Waitangi settlements.



For more information on the Great Barrier Island / Aotea conservation park proposal, or to request a hard copy of the discussion document, please contact:

Rebecca Gibson, Ranger Partnerships
Phone: +64 9 429 0238

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