Bettle on fern, Maud Island.
Image: Sabine Bernert | ©


Our statutory planning documents set out how the natural and cultural heritage of New Zealand is to be managed.

Types of statutory planning documents

Conservation management strategy (CMS)

A CMS is a regional document. It provides an overview of conservation issues in a region and gives direction for the management of public conservation lands and waters, and species for which DOC has responsibility.

A CMS is prepared under the Conservation Act 1987 and implements the Conservation General Policy. It sets the objectives for the integrated management of natural and cultural heritage and for recreation, tourism and other conservation purposes.

National park management plan (NPMP)

A NPMP sets out the management objectives for our national parks. It is the primary document for making decisions about a park.

A NPMP is prepared under the National Parks Act 1980 and implements the General Policy for National Parks.

Conservation management plan (CMP)

A CMP is for an area where there are significant issues that could not be satisfactorily addressed in a CMS. Like a NPMP, the CMP is the primary document for decision making in an area.

A CMP is prepared under the Conservation Act 1987 and implements the Conservation General Policy and the CMS that applies to an area.

What they do

Statutory planning documents identify the outcomes we want to achieve and why.

They do not identify exactly how we will achieve outcomes, and usually not when. This is decided during DOC’s annual and multi-year business planning processes.

While each document type has a different purpose, all three:

  • reflect DOC’s partnership with iwi/hapū/whānau and give effect to Treaty Settlements
  • are prepared in consultation with the public
  • stay in effect for 10 years or more
  • provide direction for DOC management activities
  • include criteria for making decisions on proposals from businesses and others who propose to carry out activities on public conservation lands and waters
  • provide a framework for conservation boards and the New Zealand Conservation Authority to monitor the performance of DOC.
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