May 2005, amendments to Chapters 2 and 4, June 2007, technical amendment July 2019
Conservation General Policy provides guidance for managing natural and historic resources under conservation legislation. This policy does not cover national parks.

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Conservation General Policy (PDF, 601K)

What the policy covers

Conservation General Policy (CGP) is approved by the Minister of Conservation and contains unified policy to implement the following Acts:

  • Conservation Act 1987
  • Wildlife Act 1953
  • Marine Reserves Act 1971
  • Reserves Act 1977
  • Wild Animal Control Act 1977
  • Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978.

CGP guides the administration and management of all lands and waters, and all natural and historic resources managed under the above Acts. This policy does not apply to reserves administered by other agencies under the Reserves Act 1977.

CGP also guides integrated conservation management planning for the wide range of places and resources administered or managed by DOC.

Key examples are:

  • conservation management strategies
  • conservation management plans, and
  • sports fish management plans.

The policies are broad in scope, reflecting the wide spectrum of conservation areas administered under the legislation and the many conservation tasks to be performed.

Timeline of changes

This timeline goes from oldest to newest.

2007 amendment

The Minister of Conservation, Hon Chris Carter, decided to make a change to CGP, in line with changes to General Policy for National Parks, to include all customary use of traditional materials and indigenous species by deleting the word ‘non-commercial’ from policies 2(g) and 4.1(e).

2019 Technical amendment

The technical amendment addresses an error in CGP identified by the Supreme Court in Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki v Minister of Conservation [2018] NZSC 122. The Court took issue with a sentence in CGP, which effectively stated section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987 is trumped by other statutory provisions in the event of an inconsistency.

After receiving the Court’s guidance, the Minister approved a technical amendment in August 2019 to remove this error from text in Chapter 2 of CGP (see crossed out text below):

The Conservation Act 1987, and all the Acts listed in its First Schedule, must be so interpreted and administered as to give effect to the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (section 4, Conservation Act 1987). Where, however, there is clearly an inconsistency between the provisions of any of these Acts and the principles of the Treaty, the provisions of the relevant Act will apply.

This does not change the policies themselves, and they continue to apply in line with the Supreme Court’s decision.

Publication information

ISBN 978-0-478-14307-2 (Hardcopy)
ISBN 978-0-478-14308-9 (Web PDF)
ISBN 978-0-478-14309-6 (Web HTML)


Policy Group
Department of Conservation

Whare Kaupapa Atawhai / Conservation House Head Office
Phone:   0800 275 362
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   18 Manners Street
Wellington 6011
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
Wellington 6140
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