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


A national park management plan sets out management objectives for a national park.

National parks have existed in New Zealand since 1887 when our first national park, Tongariro National Park, was created. National parks are highly valued by New Zealanders who also seek for them to be protected for future generations to use and enjoy. This expectation is expressed in the principles contained in the National Parks Act 1980:

“the provisions of this Act shall have effect for the purpose of preserving in perpetuity as national parks, for their intrinsic worth and for the benefit, use, and enjoyment of the public, 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” (Section 4(1))

National Parks management plans (NPMP) set out how national parks will be managed over the next 10 years or more so as to give effect to these principles.

Find a NPMP for a national park

Relationship with other statutory documents

A NPMP is developed under the National Parks Act 1980 and gives effect to the General Policy for National Parks.

A NPMP cannot be inconsistent with a CMS. CMS apply across all public conservation lands and waters within a region, including national parks. But CMS usually rely on the NPMP to set detailed management 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.

As a NPMP contains more detailed management direction, they are generally the primary documents for decision making in relation to national parks.

How a NPMP is developed and reviewed

A NPMP is developed and reviewed in partnership with iwi, hapū and whanau and through consultation with key stakeholder organisations and the public.

The development and review of a NPMP usually has 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

The development or review of a CMS provides you with an opportunity to have your say on how a national park is managed.

The development and review process provided a number of points where you can get involved: You can:

  • make suggestions regarding issues to address before we start writing the draft plan
  • make a formal submission on the draft NPMP, and
  • attend a hearing to speak to your submission.

Check the status of the NPMP in your region

Current consultations on statutory plans including NPMP

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