Find out about and view the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan 2004.

Download the publication

Contents (PDF, 59K)

  • Preface
  • How to use this plan

1. Introduction (PDF, 1,077K)

1.1 Management planning
1.2 Legislative context
1.3 Background

2. Park management (PDF, 29K)

2.1 Management issues
2.2 Management objectives

3. The Treaty of Waitangi (PDF, 12K)

3.1 Introduction

4. The Park polices (PDF, 1,741K)

4.1 Heritage protection
4.2 Visitors
4.3 Concessions and other uses
4.4 Working with others

5. The Aoraki/Mount Cook Village management (PDF, 25K)

5.1 Background
5.2 Village management objectives

6. The Aoraki/Mount Cook Village policies (PDF, 221K)

6.1 Preservation oriented policies
6.2 Village design and use

The Appendices (PDF, 972K)

The Glossary (PDF, 78K)

Amendment to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan, June 2012 (PDF, 373K)
Note: This needs to be read in conjunction with the original document above.


The purpose of this plan is to express the overall management intentions for Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

The plan provides a legislative context and background section for the Park from which objectives, policies and methods were developed.

Among other things, the plan provides guidance to assist park managers in the day-to-day management of the Park.

The plan acknowledges mana whenua and tāngata whenua status of Ngāi Tahu over their ancestral lands and waters within the Park. It acknowledges the Crown’s relationship with and obligations to Ngāi Tahu under section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987, provisions of the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 and the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement 1997. Section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987 requires the Department to so interpret and administer the National Parks Act 1980 as to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi..

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home to New Zealand's highest mountain, which is also highly significant to Ngāi Tahu as their most sacred mountain. It is a Park of dramatic landscapes, harsh alpine conditions and changeable weather, a magnet to recreationalists and tourists alike for a century in the past and is likely to attract visitors well into the future. The challenge for management, addressed in this Plan, is to achieve a balance between preserving the values of this Park for their intrinsic worth and for the benefit, use and enjoyment of future generations while enabling those living now to experience its natural character and raw magnificence to the fullest.

This plan was approved by the New Zealand Conservation Authority on the 12 August 2004 and remains operative unless formally reviewed in full or in part or amended.

Timeline of changes

2012 amendment

The NPMP was amended to address visitor activity in the Lower Tasman Valley and in particular the use of aircraft, vehicles, watercraft and bikes. The changes were approved by the New Zealand Conservation Authority on 13 June 2012.

A review of the NPMP is underway

 DOC and Kāi Tahu are undertaking a new review of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan.

DOC, along with the three kaitiaki rūnaka –Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, Te Rūnanga o Waihao and Te Rūnanga o Moeraki, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu are working in consultation with the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board.

A previous review was paused in February 2019 to consider the effects of the Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Supreme Court decision.

The current review has not started from scratch. It builds on this previous review undertaken between 2016 and 2019, drawing on issues raised in consultation and submissions.

Once a new draft Plan has been developed, it will be publicly notified, and opened for submissions. Discussion papers explaining the proposed changes will be made available to the public with the new draft Plan.

Regular updates on this webpage will keep people informed of progress and of any opportunities for involvement in the review process.

Individuals and groups who made submission on the previous review will be informed directly when the new draft is available for submissions.

Further information about the previous 2016 – 2019 review 


Bylaws are in place for Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park to control activities within the Park. These bylaws implement the NPMP. View the bylaws.

Additional information

Aoraki/Mount Cook Long Term Community Plan 2009-2019

This document describes the local body services provided by DOC in Aoraki/ Mount Cook Village. The costs of providing these services are recovered from all village stakeholders, including concessionaires and lease holders. This document forecasts the likely costs to stakeholders.

Aoraki/Mount Cook Long Term Community Plan 2009-2019 (PDF, 8612K)

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