Image: Anne Thornley | DOC


Conservation management strategies are 10-year regional strategies that are a handshake with the community.


They provide an overview of conservation issues and give direction for the management of public conservation land and waters, and species for which DOC has responsibility.

Their purpose is to implement general policies and establish objectives for the integrated management of natural and historic resources, and for recreation, tourism, and any other conservation purposes.


Conservation management strategies (also known as CMS) will focus on outcomes for places that are special to communities and tangata whenua. Conversations will identify what these places will look like over the next 10 years and how DOC integrates its various functions at specific places.

They are required under the Conservation Act 1987 and are developed in accordance with the legislation under which DOC operates. Conservation management strategies are also recognised under the Resource Management Act 1991.

The Conservation Act creates a hierarchy of documents that guide how to manage New Zealand’s natural and physical resources:

  1. The Conservation Act 1987 itself
  2. General Policy
  3. Conservation management strategies, conservation management plans and national park plans. 

Conservation management strategies are a guide for both managers and the public about what DOC intends to do, how it will set priorities about what has to be done and how it can respond to requests to use the natural and historic resources it manages.

Get more information about the formal process for developing conservation management strategies.

Get involved

Conservation management strategies are a chance for New Zealanders to have your say on places and species you value. 

DOC engages in varying ways with the public in developing the strategies, including:

  • before the formal statutory process begins
  • inviting submissions on the draft strategy
  • holding public hearings where submitters can speak.

You and your community can contribute to the development of the draft strategy for your region.

More information on statutory plans in your region:

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