Here's what you need to know about complying with your concession, making changes to it and managing it over time.

In this section

You will also need to pay ongoing concession fees.

Complying with your concession

Complying with the terms and conditions of your concession helps to ensure the ongoing protection of New Zealand’s natural and historic resources.

If you do not comply with the conditions of your concession it can be suspended or cancelled and you could face legal action.

Once you begin your activity, if you find that certain conditions mean you cannot operate your business or activity effectively or you want to change something about the way you operate your activity you can apply for a change to your concession.

If you do breach the conditions of your concession it is better to let us know immediately rather than wait for someone to report you and face the legal consequences.

You should also let us know if you notice illegal commercial activity on public conservation land. These illegal operators take legitimate business away from you and may affect the reputation of your industry. Contact your local DOC office

Changes to your concession

During the life of your concession you can make changes to what you do or alter some of the conditions of your activity. There are two ways to do this:

  1. You can apply for a ‘variation’ if the change is only minor. A variation can’t be used if you want to extend the term, substantially change the location or increase the environmental effects of your concession activity. You will need to follow the process in number 2 below to do any of these things.
  2. To apply for a more substantial change such as adding a new activity or location all you need to do is fill in the activity form that corresponds to the activity you want to undertake. It will be assessed in the same way your original application was, the time it will take will depend on the content of the change.

If you want to vary your concession in either of these two ways, contact your DOC advisor. The fee and time it will take to process your request depends on the amount of staff time and effort involved.

Note you can’t extend the term of a concession unless it is allowed by law eg, you can’t extend a concession past 10 years from the original start date.

Selling or closing your business

You can't sell your concession, but if you sell your business you can apply to DOC to transfer it to the new owner. The standard fee for assignment of a concession to another party is $500 plus GST ($575 including GST). Contact your DOC advisor to apply.

If you close your business or no longer require your concession, you can surrender it for a fee of $230 plus GST ($264.50 including GST). You must write to DOC to request the surrender of your concession. The surrender will take effect from the date your written notice is received. All concession fees up to the date of the surrender must be paid.

Concession contract reviews

Your concession contract will be reviewed every 3 years and amendments may need to be made to ensure the environmental effects of your activity are well managed.

Rent/activity/management fee reviews

Your rental, activity and management fees will be reviewed at least every 3 years.

Expiry of your concession

You must stop running your activity at the end of the day on which your concession expires. If you keep operating you are breaking the law.

A concession can't be renewed. If you want to continue your concession activity you must apply for a new concession at least 3 months before your current concession expires. We will remind you 12 months before the expiry of your concession so you can arrange a meeting with your DOC advisor to discuss the best way to continue your activity.

Concession ‘reissue’

If you have operated well during the term of your concession you may be offered the opportunity to apply for a ‘reissue’ of your concession.  

This is a shortened process which can only be used for:

  • concessions up to 10 years
  • non-notified licences of up to 10 years, or
  • easements which do not need to be publicly notified.

It only takes 20 working days to process a reissue.

If you want to change your activity or its scope you will need to apply for a new concession.

Comply with the relevant legislation

Where concession activities are undertaken on public conservation land the Occupiers’ Liability Act and the Health and Safety in Employment Act are likely to apply.

The Occupiers’ Liability Act imposes a duty on occupiers of land or building to take care to ensure that visitors are reasonably safe in using the land or building for the purpose for which they are invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.

The Health and Safety in Employment Act places obligations on persons who control workplaces to take all practicable steps to ensure that people in the workplace as well as other people in the vicinity of the workplace are not harmed by any hazards in or arising from the workplace.

The Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations require adventure activity operators to have a safety audit certificate and to be registered with WorkSafe New Zealand. For more information see safety plans.

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