Tramper on Maori Beach, Rakiura National Park
Image: Baptiste Maryns | ©


A national park management plan is a 10-year plan that provide management objectives for a national park.

A national park management plan (NPMP) is a 10-year plan that provides management objectives for a national park.

National parks are preserved in perpetuity for their intrinsic worth and for the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public. They are areas of New Zealand that contain scenery of such distinctive quality, ecological systems, or natural features so beautiful, unique or scientifically important that their preservation is in the national interest.

A NPMP is a 10-year plan that provides integrated management objectives for natural and historic resources, including species management for recreation, tourism and conservation purposes.

Relationship with other plans

A NPMP is developed under the National Parks Act 1980. Like conservation management strategies they give effect to General Policy.

Within the area covered by a conservation management strategy, there may be one or more national parks. Alternatively, one national park may fall under more than one conservation management strategy. Objectives for the management of those national parks may be included in the conservation management strategy.

The conservation management strategy sets the regional framework and national policy approaches for national park management. It relies on the NPMP to set detailed objectives, recognising that each national park embodies a unique combination of inherent values, history and cultural and other associations which can only be fully and appropriately addressed at the plan level.

The conservation management strategy and the NPMP integrate our national priorities with local priorities that have been identified through consultation with tangata whenua and others associated with public conservation land and resources.

Main uses

The plans are the primary document used in making management decisions for national parks. They have six main uses:

  • for the management and protection of the flora, fauna, natural and cultural features of the national park
  • as an information source for commitments around the management of the national park
  • as direction for the managers of the national park
  • as direction to decision makers considering proposals from businesses and others who require authorisation to undertake activities within the national park
  • for monitoring our performance in implementing the plan
  • for the purposes of section 4(3) of the Resource Management act 1991.

The principles for national park management are set out in the National Parks Act 1980 Act and section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987.

How a NPMP is developed

The development of a NPMP is a consultative process that is progressed through five phases:

  • Phase 1: Project planning
  • Phase 2: Plan preparation and drafting
  • Phase 3: Public notification and hearing
  • Phase 4: Revision and approval
  • Phase 5: Implementing the plan

Detailed breakdown of the NPMP phases.

Get involved

A NPMP gives New Zealanders a chance to have their say on places and species they value. 

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

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

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

More information on national park management plans in your region:

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