In the “General Policy for National Parks

General Policy for National Parks provides guidance for managing national parks – the jewels of New Zealand’s public conservation lands. They are places that have been set aside for their intrinsic worth and for the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public.

Each national park requires a management plan which is developed in consultation with the public. The New Zealand Conservation Authority’s role is to adopt statements of general policy to guide the preparation of such plans.

This General Policy replaces the 1983 policy which has served national parks well and the essence of the old policy has been retained. An important consideration in this 2005 General Policy was to provide for more appropriate recognition of the interests of tangata whenua in national parks.

The policies in this document ensure that consideration will always be given to the appropriate balance between the preservation of native plants and animals, the welfare in general of the parks, and the rights of the public to access and enjoy these special places. Each park has its own unique characteristics which affect where public use will be encouraged and where it will be controlled – amenities areas on the one hand and wilderness and specially protected areas on the other are the extreme ends of the spectrum.

The bottom line, of course, is that national parks are preserved and maintained in perpetuity. We must be ever vigilant to ensure that this basic tenet is not massaged or eroded.

The policies set out in this General Policy are directed to the attainment of that objective.

Kerry Marshall

CHAIRPERSON, NEW ZEALAND CONSERVATION AUTHORITY

4 May 2005

Introduction

He aha ai te whakangungu? He kura taiao i hokia

Na te Ariki ō Tuwharetoa i tōna wā arā nā Te Heuheu Tukino i tuku a Ruapehu me Tongariro hai tuatahi o ngā Tāpui Rohe whenua ā iwi mō Aotearoa, Āe rā mai i tērā wā ki tēnei, hihiko ana tē mīharo me te pārekereka mō enei tāonga tuku iho e manakotia nei e te maha tangata hai matanā mō te mātakitaki, me te hākinakina ā whatumanawa ā tapuwae.

Tāpiri atu ki te mīharo, arā e kore e tāea te karo i te mahara ki ngā tikanga mō te tiaki i enei tāonga i ahu mai i ō tāua tīpuna i whakapapatia e rātou ki roto i te ngākau tangata hai pupuri i te mana, te mauri, me te wairua ō ngā aitanga ā Te Ira Atua hai tū hāngāi atu ki te toi ō te whakaute, te manaaki me te tiaki i enei rawa mo inaianei ā mō ake tonu ake.

It was Te Heuheu Tukino, the paramount chief of Tuwharetoa during his time, who gifted Ruapehu and Tongariro to the nation, which were to become New Zealand's first national park.

To amplify the affection for and awareness of the intrinsic ecological values of these places it would be difficult to evade their cultural values, especially those god-given traditional practices, which have been handed down from the venerable ancestors and encapsulated in taha wairua or spiritual dimensions pertaining to mana and mauri which in turn provide the key elements for a generic conservation ethos (from now and into perpetuity).

The purpose of national parks

National Parks have existed in New Zealand since 1887, when Te Heuheu Tukino gifted to the nation the summits of Tongariro and Ruapehu as our first national park– Tongariro National Park –for the benefit of all. Since that time national parks have grown in number, area and status. As a people, New Zealanders look on these places as priceless areas representing their natural and historical and cultural heritage, and as part of the nation’s birthright which must be protected for future generations to treasure and enjoy. This expectation is expressed 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 Act 1980)

and

  • “Subject to the provisions of this Act and to the imposition of such conditions and restrictions as may be necessary for the preservation of the native plants and animals or the welfare in general of the parks, the public shall have freedom of entry and access to the parks, so that they may receive in full measure the inspiration, enjoyment, recreation, and other benefits that may be derived from mountains, forests, sounds, seacoasts, lakes, rivers, and other natural features.” (section 4(2)(e), National Parks Act 1980)

People respond to particular national parks and their features in different ways, at different times in their lives, and experience their benefits differently. For some, the parks are settings for adventure where the sheer joy of physical activity and the deep satisfaction of meeting the challenges of nature on nature’s terms can be experienced alone or in the company of friends. For others, they are places of natural quiet, and of spiritual significance invoking thoughts of forebears or life forces. To many, the opportunity to see, hear or feel natural New Zealand in a national park is a reinforcement of their identity as New Zealanders, an aesthetic or sensual pleasure and a release from the stresses of everyday life. The power of national park wilderness qualities, scenery, or flora and fauna can inspire creativity in numerous ways. For others, who may no longer be capable of visiting them, there is nevertheless a philosophical or moral satisfaction in knowing that such places exist and will continue to exist. All of these responses to national parks are aspects of “benefit, use and enjoyment”. (Section 4(1), National Parks Act 1980)

Many of New Zealand’s species of flora and fauna are unique and national parks are places where emphasis is given to their preservation. Ultimately, the act of preservation is a proclamation of how highly New Zealanders value the outstanding indigenous plants and animals of their country.

For tangata whenua, the relationship with land now in national parks was developed during centuries of close interaction with New Zealand’s natural resources. Those resources continue to sustain the integrity, knowledge and values of their culture. Māori, as kaitiaki of the indigenous plants and animals within their rohe, have a customary duty to protect and enhance that biodiversity. They are also holders of Mātauranga Māori.

National parks provide opportunities to learn about nature and about people’s associations with nature; they help to locate us in our country and connect us to a unique ecological past that pre-dates our time by tens of millions of years. Preserving and restoring such places and the species within them, help us to understand the transformation of New Zealand’s environment and ecology by our ancestors, and at the same time fulfil a commitment to our children and future generations.

National parks are held for their intrinsic worth – that is for the value that they have, just because they exist - quite separate from any value that humans may ascribe to them. They are places where human interference, modification and control should be minimal, and enjoyment of them should be on nature’s terms.

General Policy

Section 44 of the National Parks Act 1980 provides for the adoption by the New Zealand Conservation Authority (the Authority) of statements of general policy (General Policy) that give both direction and guidance to conservation managers and to communities on how to preserve and protect these special areas and the indigenous species in them. In particular, the purpose of this General Policy is to implement the National Parks Act 1980 and to provide consistent national direction for the administration of national parks through conservation management strategies and national park management plans. The three types of planning documents have a hierarchy that derives from linked requirements in the National Parks Act 1980 and the Conservation Act 1987. Specifically:

  • General Policy implements and cannot derogate (i.e. detract) from legislation;
  • conservation management strategies implement general policies approved under the National Parks Act 1980 and other Acts and cannot derogate from any general policy; and
  • a national park management plan cannot derogate from any relevant conservation management strategy.

The effect of these requirements is that the national park management plan for a national park has to be consistent with the General Policy for National Parks. If a course of action is proposed or an issue arises on which a national park management plan is silent, the General Policy (as well as the National Parks Act 1980 and the relevant conservation management strategy) will still need to be taken into account for any direction or guidance it gives on the issue. Specifically, the Department of Conservation (the Department) is required, subject to the National Parks Act 1980 and in accordance with this General Policy, and any conservation management strategy and national park management plan covering a national park, to “administer and manage all national parks in such manner as to secure to the public the fullest proper use and enjoyment of the parks consistent with the preservation of their natural and historic features and the protection and well-being of their native plants and animals.” (section 43, National Parks Act 1980)

The decision to revise the 1983 General Policy for National Parks was made by the Authority in December 2001.

This General Policy retains the essence of the 1983 General Policy for National Parks. It continues to provide a framework for the development of conservation management strategies and national park management plans and, through these documents, the identification of what conservation outcomes are to be sought at specific places. However, the General Policy avoids undue prescription in terms of how those outcomes will be achieved so that managers can adjust their operations in the light of new technology and resources.

Legislative and administrative context

National parks are administered by the Department, subject to the National Parks Act 1980, and in accordance with General Policy, conservation management strategies and national park management plans, as provided for in section 43 of the Act.

General Policy under the Conservation Act 1987, and most other conservation legislation, is approved by the Minister of Conservation (the Minister) but General Policy for National Parks is adopted by the Authority. A close relationship exists between general policies owing to the common administration by the Department of Conservation, shared boundaries between national parks and other public conservation lands and waters, and the passage of species freely between different places regardless of land status. Nevertheless, because the General Policy for National Parks derives from one Act only and because of the imperative to reflect the provisions of that Act, there are differences between the two policies. It is in conservation management strategies that the various general policies get addressed together, to establish objectives for integrated conservation management across the whole area covered by a conservation management strategy and at specific places.

The Authority and conservation boards are statutory bodies that provide advice to the Minister of Conservation and the Director-General on conservation policy, the management of national parks, and the other activities and responsibilities of the Department. Specific responsibilities of the Authority and conservation boards include the development, approval and implementation of conservation management strategies and national park management plans.

Other agencies have statutory management roles relating to national parks. Under the Resource Management Act 1991, territorial authorities have responsibilities for the management of air, fresh and coastal waters, soil and natural hazards. With the exception of the whitebait fishery, which is managed by the Department, freshwater fisheries with a significant commercial component (such as eels, black flounder and grey mullet) are managed by the Ministry of Fisheries. Fisheries regulations identify the customary use of fisheries by tangata whenua. These responsibilities are not covered by this General Policy. Fish and game councils and the New Zealand Fish and Game Council are established under Part VA of the Conservation Act. They are charged with the management, enhancement and maintenance of sports fish and game birds, and with representing regional and national interests of anglers and game bird hunters. These responsibilities extend to national parks and waters subject to legislation, General Policy, conservation management strategies and national park management plans.

The management of historical and cultural heritage under the National Parks Act 1980 should take account of advice provided by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as the Crown’s principal adviser for culture and heritage policy. The management of historical and cultural heritage under the National Parks Act 1980 is also subject to the statutory roles of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust/Pouhere Taonga under the Historic Places Act 1993. Approval from the Trust is required for any proposed destruction, damage, modification or investigation of archaeological sites.

The activities of the Authority, conservation boards and fish and game councils reflect a long New Zealand tradition of formalised public involvement in conservation, with appointments to the Authority and conservation boards being largely drawn from public nominations, and members of fish and game councils being elected by the holders of sports fish and game licences.

Integrated conservation management

The purpose of conservation management strategies is to implement general policies and establish objectives for the integrated management of natural and historic resources, including any species, managed by the Department under the Wildlife Act 1953, the Marine Reserves Act 1971, the Reserves Act 1977, the Wild Animal Control Act 1977, the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, the National Parks Act 1980, the New Zealand Walkways Act 1990, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000, or the Conservation Act 1987, or any of them, and for recreation, tourism and other conservation purposes (section 17D(1), Conservation Act 1987). The shorthand term used to describe this activity is “integrated conservation management”.

Integrated conservation management at a “place” or across a number of “places” occurs when all streams of conservation activity contribute towards objectives that are consistent with the relevant legislation and general policy, are not inconsistent with each other and resolve conflicts between potentially conflicting objectives and interests.

The starting point for determining the management objectives for a place is to identify the intrinsic worth and values of the place, consistent with the purposes for which it is held, which need to be preserved and protected. Management objectives can then be formulated to achieve planned outcomes that are consistent with the intrinsic worth and values. Potential recreation opportunities, concession applications and other activities are provided for, consistent with those outcomes.

A “place” in the sense used in this General Policy is an area identified in conservation management strategies and national park management plans for the purposes of integrated conservation management. It may include any combination of terrestrial, freshwater and marine areas and may be determined by a range of criteria, including, but not limited to: ecological districts, geological features, catchments, internal departmental, regional or district council or rohe/takiwā boundaries, land status, major recreation or tourism destinations, commonality of management considerations, or unique management needs.

1. Interpretation of policies

The policies recognise the need to:

  • ensure that decisions are not predetermined by restricting the possibilities provided for in the legislation; and
  • acknowledge the roles of the Minister of Conservation and other decision-makers.

The level of detail included in different chapters in this General Policy varies, depending on factors such as:

  • how much direction is already provided in the legislation;
  • whether the matter is best addressed at a national or another level (i.e. through the General Policy or through conservation management strategies or national park management plans);
  • whether the matter involves a statutory decision or is simply a management matter; and
  • the degree to which providing clear policy is necessary to ensure national consistency and to assist the development or review of conservation management strategies and national park management plans.

Many policies in this General Policy reflect aspects of integrated conservation management; for example, by referring to outcomes at places, which may be a combination of different outcomes including those for management of natural resources, historical and cultural heritage, and recreational and tourism opportunities. Each policy also needs to be considered with all other policies. This ensures, among other things, that the policies for different types of conservation outcomes in Chapters 4 to 13, are considered with policies in Chapters 2 and 3, which cover how the Department will engage with tangata whenua and with the public in conservation management.

Many policies in this General Policy contain lists of criteria for decision-making. In such lists, where criteria are cumulative and all must be met, the word ‘and’ is used before the last criterion. Where criteria are alternative or one criterion (at least) must be met, the word ‘or’ is used between all criteria.

This General Policy replaces General Policy for National Parks approved in 1983. The existing conservation management strategies and national park management plans were developed under the 1983 General Policy. The adoption of this General Policy is not intended to render those statutory documents invalid and they will continue to have effect until they are reviewed and superseded by new strategies and plans approved during the life of this General Policy.

1(a) The policies in this General Policy will apply to all national parks.

1(b) Only the policies (identified by being placed in boxes) and the Glossary in this General Policy will have the effect of General Policy.

1(c) Each policy will be considered in conjunction with all other policies in this General Policy.

1(d) The words ‘will’, ‘should’ and ‘may’ have the following meanings:

  • i) policies where legislation provides no discretion for decision-making or a deliberate decision has been made by the Authority to direct decision-makers, state that a particular action or actions ‘will’ be undertaken;
  • ii) policies that carry with them a strong expectation of outcome, without diminishing the constitutional role of the Minister and other decision-makers, state that a particular action or actions ‘should’ be undertaken;
  • iii) policies intended to allow flexibility in decision-making, state that a particular action or actions ‘may’ be undertaken.

1(e) Planned outcomes at places should be consistent with the intrinsic worth and values of an area identified as a place in a conservation management strategy or national park management plan.

1(f) All policies in this General Policy will be applied consistently with the objectives of the National Parks Act 1980 and any statutory purposes for which a place within a national park is held.

1(g) Interpretation of the policies in this General Policy will not derogate from the provisions of the National Parks Act 1980 and other relevant legislation.

1(h) Approved conservation management strategies and national park management plans prepared under the 1983 General Policy for National Parks continue to have effect for national park management until they are amended or reviewed, except where they clearly derogate from this General Policy.

2. Treaty of Waitangi Responsibilities

The Conservation Act 1987 and all the Acts listed in its First Schedule must be so interpreted and administered as to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (section 4, Conservation Act 1987). Where, however, there is clearly an inconsistency between the provisions of any of these Acts and the principles of the Treaty, the provisions of the relevant Act will apply, e.g. the National Parks Act 1980. There has been considerable jurisprudence on the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, and the scope of the duties the Treaty imposes on the Crown. Interpretations continue to evolve.

Effective partnerships with tangata whenua can enhance the preservation of natural and historical and cultural heritage in national parks. Tangata whenua responsibilities to this heritage are embodied in the concept of kaitiakitanga. Kaitiakitanga is a spiritual and environmental ethos that governs tangata whenua responsibilities for the care and protection of mauri, the dynamic life principle that underpins all heritage. Kaitiakitanga includes components of protection, guardianship, stewardship and customary use. It is exercised by tangata whenua in relation to ancestral lands, water, sites, resources and other taonga. The focus of kaitiakitanga is manaaki (care) and rahui (protection).

In 1989 the Government published “Principles for Crown Action on the Treaty of Waitangi”. The principles are:

  • The Principle of Government
  • The Principle of Self Management
  • The Principle of Equality
  • The Principle of Reasonable Cooperation
  • The Principle of Redress.

The way these principles are applied will depend on the particular circumstances of each case, including the statutory conservation framework and the significance to tangata whenua of the land, resource or taonga in question. 

Customary use of traditional materials and indigenous species may be authorised either as a Ministerial consent under section 5 of the National Parks Act 1980 or as a concession under section 49, depending on the nature of the use. Other consents may be required.

2(a) Relationships will be sought and maintained with tangata whenua to maintain and support national parks. These relationships should be based on mutual good faith, cooperation and respect.

2(b) Partnerships, to recognise mana and to support national parks, should be encouraged and may be sought and maintained with tangata whenua whose rohe covers any national park or part of a national park. Such partnerships will be appropriate to local circumstances.

2(c) Protocols and agreements may be negotiated and implemented to support relationships and partnerships, by mutual consent between tangata whenua and the Department.

2(d) Tangata whenua will be consulted when statutory planning documents are being developed which cover national parks. Information will be made available to facilitate their contributions.

2(e) Tangata whenua will be consulted on specific proposals that involve places or resources within national parks of spiritual or historical and cultural significance to them.

2(f) Tangata whenua involvement and participation in conservation in national parks will be encouraged and may be supported with information and technical advice.

2(g) The customary use of traditional materials and indigenous species may be allowed on a case-by-case basis where:

i) there is an established tradition of such use;
ii) it is consistent with all relevant Acts, regulations, and the national park management plan;
iii) the preservation of the species involved is not adversely affected;
iv) the effects of use on national park values are not significant; and
v) tangata whenua support the application.

2(h) Public information and interpretation, where it refers to places or resources of spiritual or historical and cultural significance to tangata whenua, should be developed in consultation with them and should include Māori place and species names, make appropriate use of te reo Māori, and draw attention to tangata whenua values.

2(i) The Department will seek to avoid actions which would be a breach of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

2(j) The Department will implement relevant Treaty claims settlements consistent with its statutory functions.

Note: On 13 June 2007 the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) approved and adopted a minor change to the wording of the section of the General Policy for National Parks relating to the customary use of traditional materials and indigenous species. It deleted the word 'non-commercial' from policy 2(g). The Chairperson of the NZCA, Kerry Marshall, said that "Following representations from and consultation with Ngai Tahu, and having also received advice from the Department of Conservation and considered the views of the Minister, the Authority has decided that it is appropriate to include all customary use of traditional materials and indigenous species under one policy." Customary use is defined in the policy as “Gathering and use of natural resources by tangata whenua according to tikanga.” The Minister of Conservation, Hon Chris Carter, decided to make a similar change to the Conservation General Policy, sections 2(g) and 4.1(e).

3. Public Participation in National Parks

The Department manages places and species on behalf of the people of New Zealand. National parks hold a special place in the hearts of New Zealanders and they expect them to be managed to a high level of care, at the same time allowing for enjoyment and participation by the public.

The task of preserving national park values is a large one. Success is aided by the understanding, support and involvement of New Zealanders. The maintenance of good working relationships is important, even if specific interests cannot always be satisfied or all proposed projects supported. Effective partnerships between the Department, people and organisations can enhance the preservation of national parks.

A range of opportunities to engage in national park management is provided by the legislation and policies: people are nominated and appointed to bodies such as the conservation boards and the New Zealand Conservation Authority; people are invited to comment on draft general policies, conservation management strategies and national park management plans, and on specific proposals such as the establishment of national parks.

People also volunteer their time, skills and resources to undertake a variety of practical roles in national parks, ranging from hut warden duties, to restoration tasks, to fundraising. As well as the direct conservation benefits of such activities, these are very effective ways for people to gain a greater understanding of national park management.

General awareness and education activities provide information that increases the knowledge and interest of the public in national parks, and increases support for their management.

3(a) Relationships should be developed with people and organisations to maintain and support national parks. These relationships should be based on mutual good faith, cooperation and respect.

3(b) Partnerships may be developed with people and organisations to maintain and support national parks.

3(c) Agreements may be negotiated and implemented to support relationships and partnerships.

3(d) People and organisations interested in national parks will be consulted when statutory planning documents for national parks are developed, including outcomes sought for places within national parks.

3(e) People and organisations interested in national parks should be consulted on specific proposals that have significance for them.

3(f) People and organisations should be encouraged to participate in the preservation of national parks and they may be supported with information and technical advice where this increases their relevant skills and their understanding of national park values.

3(g) Education and information should be provided, and events arranged, to promote awareness and active support for the preservation of national parks.

4. Preservation of Indigenous Species, Habitats, Ecosystems and Natural Features

New Zealand’s indigenous species, habitats, ecosystems and natural features and their preservation are internationally important. Many of the country’s indigenous species are endemic (they are found nowhere else on Earth). The uniqueness of many of New Zealand’s indigenous plants and animals means that responsibility for their continued existence is entirely ours.

National parks are places where special emphasis is given by legislation to the preservation of indigenous species:

  • “Except where the Authority otherwise determines, the native plants and animals of the parks shall as far as possible be preserved and the introduced plants and animals shall as far as possible be exterminated:” (section 4(2)(b), National Parks Act 1980)

Because of their size and diversity, national parks will always be key places where much of New Zealand’s land and freshwater biodiversity is maintained.

Policies in this chapter apply principally to land and freshwater species, habitats and ecosystems. There is no provision in the National Parks Act 1980 for protection of marine ecosystems. However, where national parks are adjacent to protected marine areas, the principles of integrated conservation management would enable a ‘mountains to sea’ approach to be taken for the benefit of conservation.

For the great majority of species, it is not practicable to address their needs directly within individual species management programmes, particularly for the very large number of indigenous invertebrates and soil organisms. Consequently, the maintenance and restoration of the full range of indigenous habitats and ecosystems within national parks will be the prime means of preserving indigenous species.

Many introduced plants and animals pose serious threats to the survival of indigenous species and the functioning of indigenous ecosystems in national parks. Plant and animal pests are increasing in both number and distribution and have become a pervasive obstacle to the preservation of indigenous plants and animals and ecosystem functions in national parks.

The Authority affirms that the immediate objective is to reduce by all available means introduced species to a level where they do not impede the preservation of the indigenous species within a national park. To the extent identified elsewhere in this General Policy, this objective does not apply to the extermination of salmonids and introduced game birds. The extermination of other introduced animals in national parks, and in particular areas within national parks, should be undertaken if this is possible.

There should be a strong emphasis on comprehensive biosecurity and pest management planning and on timely and, where appropriate, rapid intervention to prevent the introduction or spread of introduced plant and animal pests that pose serious risks to national park values. This includes the evaluation of biosecurity risks from all national park operations (e.g. machinery brought into a national park), as well as the direct threats from existing introduced plants and animals. In addition to the provisions of the National Parks Act 1980 and other conservation legislation, the Biosecurity Act 1993 provides a variety of tools for use in the exclusion, eradication and control of pests and unwanted organisms.

No person is allowed to disturb, trap, take, hunt or kill any indigenous animal, including fish, within a national park without the prior consent of the Minister (section 5(2), National Parks Act 1980). Any consent must be consistent with the national park management plan. The collection and handling of species protected under the Wildlife Act 1977 also requires consent under that Act. The take of indigenous species is not generally consistent with the preservation ethic.

National parks have been set aside to preserve in perpetuity, areas of New Zealand that contain scenery of such distinctive quality, and natural features so beautiful, unique or scientifically important that their preservation is in the national interest. (section 4(1), National Parks Act 1980)

The National Parks Act 1980 also states that national parks shall be so administered and maintained that “their value as soil, water and forest conservation areas shall be maintained:” (section 4(2)(d), National Parks Act 1980). Healthy natural ecosystems provide benefits that are not well known and often undervalued. These benefits are sometimes referred to as ‘ecosystem services’ and include carbon absorption, clean water, landscape stability, soil conservation, reduced flooding and sediment generation, and amenity values.

Fire control is a legislative responsibility of the Department under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.

POLICIES 4.1 Indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems

4.1(a) The full range of indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems within a national park should be identified.

4.1(b) Indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems within a national park should be managed to:

  • i) prevent the loss of, or decline in, their full range;
  • ii preserve those with unique or distinctive values;
  • iii) maintain viable representative examples across their full range;
  • iv) maintain indigenous character and avoid adverse effects on habitats and ecosystems; and
  • v) restore indigenous species (including genetic integrity and diversity), habitats and ecosystems identified as priorities, using national criteria and methodologies, or where identified in national park management plans.

4.1(c) National park management plans should:

  • i) identify outcomes for the preservation of indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems at places in the national park;
  • ii) integrate, as far as possible, relevant national species recovery and management objectives with actions for the management of threats to habitats and ecosystems at places in the national park; and
  • iii) provide for advocacy and practical actions for the protection of indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems, and maintenance of national park values, in areas adjacent to, or impacting upon, the national park.

4.1(d) Care should be taken in restoration programmes to ensure that, whenever possible, the genetic integrity of local indigenous species and populations is maintained.

4.1(e) When preparing a sports fish and game management plan which covers any national park, the relevant fish and game council will identify the measures that will be taken to minimise any adverse effects on indigenous species within the national park.

POLICIES 4.2 Determinations

4.2(a) Any determination of the Authority under section 4(2)(b), of the National Parks Act 1980, providing for an exception to the requirements to preserve as far as possible indigenous species and exterminate as far as possible introduced species, should form part of the process of adopting or amending General Policy for national parks, or approving a conservation management strategy or a national park management plan.

4.2(b) Exceptions to policy 4.2(a) should be confined to proposals for determinations the Authority considers to have nationwide application or national significance and where, in its discretion, it decides it is necessary to consider making a determination outside statutory planning processes.

4.2(c) When considering whether to make a determination, the Authority should ensure that interested or affected people and organisations are given the opportunity to express their views on the proposal and the Authority will have regard to those views, where relevant.

4.2(d) To the extent identified elsewhere in this General Policy, the extermination of salmonids and introduced game birds is not required and fish and game councils may maintain and manage those resources in the recreational interests of anglers and game bird hunters in national parks in accordance with a sports fish and game management plan, where this does not derogate from:

  • i) the provisions of the National Parks Act 1980, the Conservation Act 1987 and any other Act;
  • ii) the purposes for which a place is held;
  • iii) this General Policy; and
  • iv) the relevant conservation management strategy, the national park management plan and any relevant freshwater management plan.

POLICIES 4.3 Biosecurity and management of threats to indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems

4.3(a) National park management plans should identify the threats and relative risks posed by introduced plants, animals, pathogens and diseases to indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems at places.

4.3(b) National biosecurity and pest management priorities to protect indigenous species should include populations within national parks.

4.3(c) National park biosecurity and pest management should:

  • i) seek to maximise outcomes for the benefit of indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems;
  • ii) provide for single and multiple species measures where identified in a national park management plan; and
  • iii) take into account statutory pest management strategies.

4.3(d) National park biosecurity and pest management should give priority to:

  • i) preventing introduced plants and animals becoming established, including illegal and inadvertent transfers;
  • ii) eradicating new incursions of introduced plants and animals, where practicable;
  • iii) eradicating, where practicable, and containing and reducing the range of established introduced plants and animals; and
  • iv) controlling widespread introduced species where necessary to maintain the general welfare of national park indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems or to maintain scenic and landform values.

4.3(e) Biosecurity and pest management may include control of indigenous species, sports fish, and game birds, where necessary to protect or restore threatened populations of indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems with unique or distinctive values.

4.3(f) The introduction of biological control organisms into national parks, pursuant to section 5A of the National Parks Act 1980, should be authorised only to control species that cannot be effectively controlled in other ways.

4.3(g) Biological control organisms (or their progeny), approved for introduction into a national park, which become a problem or adversely affect indigenous organisms or have a negative impact on any ecosystem subsequent to introduction, may be exterminated.

4.3(h) Cooperation and coordination will be sought with other agencies and land managers on the periphery of national parks, to achieve concerted action against introduced plants and animals which threaten national park values.

4.3(i) Commercial hunting of wild animals and animal pests should be encouraged to maximise the effective control of them, while minimising any adverse effects of hunting on planned outcomes at places.

4.3(j) Recreational hunting of wild animals and animal pests should be encouraged where this does not diminish the effectiveness of operations to control them and is consistent with planned outcomes at places.

4.3(k) The ecological effects of pest management within national parks should be monitored. In particular, monitoring should measure:

  • i) the effectiveness of control methods in meeting pest management, and indigenous habitat or ecosystem maintenance or restoration objectives;
  • ii) the impact on indigenous non-target species; and
  • iii) any other detrimental effects.

4.3(l) Education programmes should be developed and provided about the effects plant and animal pests and diseases have on national park values, and about ways that the public can avoid their introduction and spread.

POLICIES 4.4 Freshwater species, habitats and ecosystems

4.4(a) A national park management plan will identify indigenous freshwater fisheries, recreational freshwater fisheries and freshwater fish habitats at places within the national park.

4.4(b) Freshwater species, habitats and ecosystems within national parks should be managed to preserve as far as is practicable all indigenous freshwater fisheries and habitats and to protect recreational freshwater fish habitats including:

  • i) the maintenance and restoration of the natural geographic range of indigenous freshwater fisheries;
  • ii) the maintenance of fish passage and, where practicable, its restoration, except where this would result in the introduction of non-indigenous species into freshwater fisheries where only indigenous species are present or would pose a threat to the preservation of indigenous freshwater fisheries;
  • iii) the prevention, eradication, containment or exclusion of pest species, and non-approved transfers of freshwater fish or aquatic life, in collaboration with other management agencies; and
  • iv) the preservation or restoration of water bodies (including wetlands), riparian areas, groundwater, geothermal and estuarine ecosystems to a natural state.

4.4(c) A national park management plan may provide for the release of freshwater fish, including sports fish, or aquatic life, into specified waters in the national park where:

  • i) the same species is already legally present in those waters;
  • ii) the preservation of the indigenous freshwater fisheries and habitat of the national park is not adversely affected; and
  • iii) the protection of the recreational freshwater fisheries is not adversely affected.

4.4(d) A national park management plan should identify waters from which the eradication and control of introduced species, including sports fish, will be a priority for the preservation of populations of indigenous freshwater fish and aquatic life.

4.4(e) If an illegal introduction of a non-indigenous fish species into national park waters has been made, fishing for that species of fish may be prohibited or restricted where this would facilitate eradication and control, or would create an effective deterrent to future unlawful attempts to establish populations of aquatic life.

4.4(f) Non-commercial customary and recreational fishing for indigenous species in national parks require a written consent from the Minister and may be authorised on a case-by-case basis where:

  • i) it is consistent with all relevant Acts and regulations and the purposes of national parks;
  • ii) there is an established tradition of such fishing in those national park waters;
  • iii) the preservation of the indigenous freshwater fisheries and maintenance of stocks within those waters are not adversely affected;
  • iv) it is provided for in the national park management plan; and
  • v) in the case of non-commercial customary fishing, the application is supported by tangata whenua.

4.4(g) Commercial fishing in national park waters should not be permitted unless:

  • i) it is consistent with all relevant Acts and regulations and the purposes of national parks;
  • ii) commercial fishing for the species legally occurred in specific waters within the national park prior to the establishment of, or addition to, the national park;
  • iii) the preservation of the indigenous freshwater fisheries and maintenance of stocks within the waters where fishing is to occur is not adversely affected;
  • iv) any consent given is confined to a person who, or organisation which, was commercially fishing in the waters where fishing is to occur prior to the establishment of, or addition to, the national park; is non-transferable; has a limited term; and is not renewable; and
  • v) it is provided for in the national park management plan.

POLICIES 4.5 Geological, landform and soil features

4.5(a) A national park management plan will identify scenic, geological (including geothermal), soil and landform features and other abiotic diversity that are considered to be of international, national or regional significance.

4.5(b) Activities which diminish the quality of scenic, geological (including geothermal), soil and landform features and other abiotic diversity within national parks should be avoided.

POLICIES 4.6 Ecosystem services

4.6(a) Activities in national parks should be planned and managed in ways which avoid adverse effects on the quality of ecosystem services provided by national parks.

POLICIES 4.7 Fire management

4.7(a) A national park management plan may provide for prescribed burning where necessary to:

  • i) manage fuel loadings where this addresses a significant risk and is ecologically justified; or
  • ii) preserve specified indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems.

4.7(b) Fires may be allowed to burn where the Principal Rural Fire Officer considers the risks to people, places and property to be manageable in accordance with predetermined fire plans that should take into account national park values.

5. Historical and Cultural Heritage

National parks contain a rich historical and cultural heritage for all New Zealanders – places of exploration, settlement, natural resource use and protection, warfare, communication, and ongoing spiritual and cultural associations. Such places provide us with a link between the present and the past and between ourselves and those who came before us.

The National Parks Act 1980 provides that sites and objects of archaeological and historical interest shall as far as possible be preserved (section 4(2)(c), National Parks Act 1980). It is an offence to interfere with or damage the historic features of any national park (section 60(1)(k), National Parks Acts 1980).

As part of its duty to actively protect the interests of tangata whenua, the Crown has responsibilities for preservation of sites of significance to them. Some sites of significance are known only to tangata whenua and are not identified publicly, in order to protect them.

5(a) National park management plans should identify historical and cultural heritage in national parks and required outcomes for that heritage.

5(b) Historical and cultural heritage in national parks assessed as having high significance in accordance with the Historic Places Act 1993, should be actively managed (including restoration where this is necessary) within the context of integrated conservation management.

5(c) Tangata whenua, as kaitiaki of their historical and cultural heritage, should be invited to participate in the identification, preservation and management of that heritage in national parks.

5(d) Information should be recorded where historical and cultural heritage in national parks is threatened by unavoidable damage or destruction.

5(e) Historic buildings and structures in national parks should be used in ways that:

  • i) enable their preservation;
  • ii) are in keeping with their assessed significance; and
  • iii) provide opportunities for the public to derive benefit, use or enjoyment from them.

5(f) Collections of antiquities and artefacts may be held in national parks where it is important to preserve their association with places, consistent with the provisions of the Antiquities Act 1975.

5(g) Monuments, pou whenua, plaques or other memorials may be sited in places within a national park where they are:

  • i) associated with people, traditions or events of exceptional importance in the history of the national park;
  • ii) consistent with national park values and the planned outcomes at a place;
  • iii) consistent with the character of the site;
  • iv) not attached to, or engraved into, natural features; and
  • v) provided for in the national park management plan.

5(h) Non-invasive introduced trees or other plants of historic or scientific significance should be identified in the national park management plan and may be retained where determined by the Authority as having no significant adverse effects on natural or historical and cultural heritage.

6. New National Parks, Additions to National Parks, Boundaries and Special Areas within National Parks

New national parks, and additions and changes to the boundaries of existing national parks, are made by the Governor-General by Order-in-Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Conservation. The Minister must receive a recommendation from the Authority made after consultation with the appropriate conservation board.

Section 8 of the National Parks Act 1980 provides a mechanism for the Authority to investigate the creation of new national parks. The Authority’s vision for national parks and other protected places is for them to stretch as a continuum from the mountains to the sea, and cover a comprehensive and representative range across New Zealand of ecosystems, natural features and scenery.

The National Parks Act 1980 provides for three types of areas which, because of their particular qualities or functions, require special management. These are specially protected areas, wilderness areas and amenities areas.

6(a) Lands recommended for national park status will contain, for their intrinsic worth and for the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public, the following:

  • i) scenery of such distinctive quality that its preservation in perpetuity is in the national interest; or
  • ii) ecosystems or natural features so beautiful, unique or scientifically important that their preservation in perpetuity is in the national interest.

6(b) Lands recommended for new national park status should be relatively large, preferably in terms of thousands of hectares, and preferably comprise contiguous areas or related areas; and should be natural areas.

6(c) Predominantly natural areas may be considered for national park status if they:

  • i) contain modified areas which can be restored or are capable of natural regeneration, particularly if representative of ecosystems not adequately included elsewhere in a national park; or
  • ii) contain features which have no equivalent in a national park and which are so beautiful, unique or scientifically important that they should be protected in a national park.

6(d) Before requesting an investigation and report on any proposal that land should be declared to be a national park or part of a national park, the Authority:

  • i) will advise the Minister of Conservation of the proposal;
  • ii) will seek the views of the conservation board within whose area of jurisdiction the land is located;
  • iii) will seek the views of tangata whenua within whose rohe the land is located; and
  • iv) should seek the views of the any territorial authority and any fish and game council within whose area of jurisdiction the land is located.

6(e) Investigation reports on any proposal that land should be declared to be a national park or part of a national park should include an assessment of the likely social, recreational, cultural and economic implications for tangata whenua and local and regional communities, as well as the nation generally.

6(f) The investigation process should include consultation with tangata whenua and seek written comments from, and have regard to the views of, interested people and organisations.

6(g) Before making a recommendation to the Minister on the creation of a new national park, the Authority will consult with the conservation board within whose area the national park will lie and should have regard to public submissions and the views of tangata whenua.

6(h) The Authority may recommend additions or boundary adjustments to a national park without requesting a formal investigation, when the land to be added has been specifically acquired for national park purposes, and in other circumstances, including one or more of the following:

  • i) the addition or adjustment would create a boundary that more closely follows natural features;
  • ii) the land to be added is contiguous with the national park or largely surrounded by the national park, with the same, or complementary, natural values;
  • iii) the national park values have already been investigated or are already well documented;
  • iv) there are no significant adverse effects on tangata whenua values;
  • v) the land does not contain significant known mineral deposits with commercial potential which are economically viable for extraction;
  • vi) the addition is considered unlikely to have significant adverse effects on communities beyond the boundaries of the national park.

6(i) The following matters should be considered by the Authority before recommending, and by the Minister before approving, the boundaries of new parks, additions to existing national parks and changes to existing boundaries:

  • i) the need to protect natural, historical and cultural heritage in national parks from adverse effects of activities outside national park boundaries, and avoid any potential adverse effects of national park status on adjoining land;
  • ii) the goal of a representative range of ecosystems, natural features and scenery types being included in national parks;
  • iii) landscape units;
  • iv) readily identifiable natural features;
  • v) convenience for the efficient management of the national park; and
  • vi) access options, consistent with the need to preserve national park values.

6(j) The inclusion in national parks of the beds of lakes and rivers vested in the Crown, within the boundaries of the national park, and of any foreshore adjoining the national park, should be sought wherever possible, as they are ecologically continuous with the national park and their inclusion would allow for better integrated management of the national park.

6(k) The Authority may consider recommending exclusion of land from an existing national park if:

  • i) the land to be excluded does not have national park values; or
  • ii) a boundary more consistent with policy 6(i) is created; or
  • iii) the land is required for an upgrade to an existing legal road or railway route to improve safety.

6(l) National park management plans should identify any proposals to exclude land from a national park. Where any proposed exclusion has not been identified in a national park management plan and the Authority considers the proposed exclusion may be controversial, public comment should be sought before the Authority makes any recommendation to the Minister.

6(m) Specially protected areas should be established to preserve indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems, natural features, or sites and objects of archaeological or historical and cultural interest of such significance that public access should be controlled.

6(n) Wilderness areas should be large enough and sufficiently remote and buffered to be unaffected by human influences, except in minor ways, consistent with section 14(2) of the National Parks Act 1980.

6(o) National park management plans should identify new, modified, or expanded amenities areas in national parks only where:

  • i) the development and operation of recreational and public amenities appropriate for public use and enjoyment of the national park cannot practicably be located outside the national park; and
  • ii) where adverse effects on the rest of the national park can be minimised.

7. Natural Hazards

Natural hazards, including earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, lahar, geothermal sites, tsunamis, floods, storms, rock falls and fires are part of the natural state of New Zealand’s national parks. Human ability to restrain such natural forces is limited and, even when there is the technical ability to do so, natural processes in national parks should, where practicable, continue to function unhampered.

Understanding the risks from natural hazards and employing appropriate management tools to mitigate risks where necessary, are the keys to the effective management of risks from natural hazards.

7(a) National parks will, as far as possible, be preserved in their natural state.

7(b) Management for risks from natural hazards in national parks:

  • i) should be undertaken with minimal interference to natural processes, and national park values; and
  • ii) will include an assessment of the hazards and the associated risks to people, places, taonga and property.

7(c) When a high level of risk to people, places, taonga or property from a natural hazard in a national park has been identified, a hazard and risk management plan should be developed by the Department.

7(d) The Department, when developing a hazard and risk management plan, will:

  • i) consult with tangata whenua and other interested people and organisations on the identification of options to address risks; and
  • ii) inform tangata whenua and other interested people and organisations of any proposed actions.

7(e) Natural hazard risk assessment will be a key component of national park planning, including the location and construction of all facilities in national parks.

7(f) Preference will be given to hazard mitigation that does not require structures to be built inside the national park.

7(g) The Department should provide information to enable people to assess the risks from natural hazards that may occur or arise in national parks.

7(h) The Department may notify the closure of a national park or any part of a national park to public entry when it considers there to be imminent danger to people and property that cannot be reasonably avoided by other means.

7(i) People will be responsible for their own decisions on the risks that they are prepared to take arising from natural hazards in national parks.

8. Benefit, Use and Enjoyment of the Public

New Zealand’s national parks have unique natural and historical and cultural characteristics which are cherished by New Zealanders and contribute to their sense of home and what it means to be a New Zealander. They are areas preserved in perpetuity for their intrinsic worth and for the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public.

People of all ages, cultures and backgrounds go to national parks for a variety of reasons: to be inspired by the scenery, unique features, sights and sounds of wild nature, to experience solitude, remoteness, peace and natural quiet, to experience nature on nature’s terms, to experience the challenge of being self-reliant and adventurous, to explore, enjoy and learn about new and natural places, to share experiences, to maintain active, healthy lifestyles, and “to get away from it all”.

People can also have an adverse impact on the very qualities which attract them to national parks in the first place. In addition, the enjoyment of some can be at the expense of the enjoyment of others. A range of activities and behaviours, facilities and services, and large groups, can erode enjoyment of national parks in their natural state and as places of refuge from commercialism and urbanisation.

The traditional New Zealand back country experience has a distinctive character based on basic facilities. This requires self-reliance and its focus is on nature being met on nature’s terms.

Some places within national parks have attracted people as tourists for over a century and businesses have been established to cater to their needs and enhance their experiences. This activity has become part of the experience of people at those places.

The General Policy recognises the different, and sometimes potentially conflicting, aspirations of people to enjoy national parks and seeks to find a balance which facilitates benefit, use and enjoyment while respecting the rights of others to do the same, maintaining what is distinctive about recreation in the backcountry of New Zealand national parks, and preserving them in their natural state for future generations.

POLICIES 8.1 Planning and management in general

8.1(a) Each national park management plan will identify the outcomes planned for places within the national park consistent with the values of those places identified in the planning process set out in Chapter 12.

8.1(b) Opportunities for the benefit, use and enjoyment of each national park will be provided. Where they are provided they should be consistent with the outcomes planned for places.

8.1(c) Planning and management for recreation and other opportunities for the benefit, use and enjoyment of each national park should:

  • i) preserve national park values, including natural quiet, as far as possible;
  • ii) minimise adverse effects, including cumulative effects, on national park values;
  • iii) provide for a range of experiences to enable people with different capabilities, skills and interests to have the opportunity to benefit, use, enjoy, and gain inspiration from national parks; and
  • iv) maintain the distinctive character of recreation in New Zealand national parks, including the traditional New Zealand backcountry experience with its ethos of self-reliance.

8.1(d) Each national park management plan should identify:

  • i) current recreational opportunities available;
  • ii) characteristics of the experience to be preserved;
  • iii) current and projected levels of use;
  • iv) potential conflicts between different recreational activities; and
  • v) contribution to, and compatibility with, the wider network of recreational opportunities in other places.

8.1(e) Recreational opportunities, should be managed using a variety of tools to support the outcomes planned for places, including, but not limited to, zoning and limitations on the number of people or activities, including concessionaires.

8.1(f) The Department should undertake advocacy and work cooperatively with other people and organisations to secure legal and practical access to national parks.

8.1(g) Public access to national parks will be free of charge. Charges may be made for the use of accommodation, facilities and services.

8.1(h) Facilities donated by people and organisations may be sited in a national park consistent with the national park management plan and should:

  • i) be for the benefit and use of the public;
  • ii) be constructed, maintained and managed to the same standards as similar facilities constructed and maintained by the Department;
  • iii) meet the criteria set out in chapter 9 of this General Policy if the facilities are accommodation;
  • iv) be consistent with outcomes planned for the place where they are sited; and
  • v) minimise adverse impacts on the natural state of the national park; and may contain a discreet plaque identifying the benefactor.

8.1(i) Unformed legal roads within national parks should be closed and the land incorporated into the national park except where they are essential as legal access to other lands.

POLICIES 8.2 Information including interpretation

8.2(a) A range of information should be provided to:

  • i) encourage and assist people in understanding, appreciating, enjoying and preserving national parks; and
  • ii) enable people to assess the risks from hazards that may occur in a national park.

8.2(b) Boundaries, entrances, tracks and features of particular interest may be signposted or interpreted.

8.2(c) Signs should be confined to those necessary for safety, information and interpretation and should be located, and be of such a scale, design and colour, as to harmonise with the landscape and seascape, except where for safety reasons they should be clearly visible.

POLICIES 8.3 Hazards to people

8.3(a) People are responsible for their own decisions on risks they are prepared to take in national parks and for ensuring that they and, generally, those in their care, have the level of skills, competence, and the equipment required to cope with those risks.

8.3(b) Recreational activities that create hazards for other people should be managed to reduce the risk of harm.

POLICIES 8.4 Sports fishing and game bird hunting

8.4(a) Fishing for sports fish legally present in the waters of national parks will be allowed, except in specially protected areas, in which case a valid authorisation will be required.

8.4(b) Hunting of introduced game birds in national parks should, consistent with outcomes at places, be allowed where:

  • i) it does not have an adverse effect on populations of indigenous species;
  • ii) the safety of people would not be at risk;
  • iii) a valid licence is held; and
  • iv) it is provided for in a national park management plan.

POLICIES 8.5 Animals

8.5(a) Animals (including pets) will not be permitted to be taken into a national park unless they have been specifically authorised by the National Parks Act 1980, a national park bylaw or national park management plan.

POLICIES 8.6 Vehicles and other forms of transport

8.6(a) A national park management plan should specify where the use of vehicles and any other forms of transport may be allowed:

  • i) consistent with the outcomes planned for places; and
  • ii) where adverse effects on national park values, including natural quiet, can be minimised.

8.6(b) Policies 8.6(c) to 8.6(m), below, will need to be considered in conjunction with policy 8.6(a), above.

Powered aircraft (including, but not limited to, fixed-wing, ultra-light and model airplanes, helicopters and gyrocopters):

8.6(c) The landing, hovering and take-off of aircraft may be authorised where this is consistent with the outcomes planned for a place, is provided for in the relevant national park management plan and is consistent with policies 10.6(a) to 10.6(h).

Powered watercraft (including, but not limited to, runabouts, launches, hovercraft, cruisers, personal watercraft (e.g. jet skis), and powered sailing craft):

8.6(d) Jet skis and other powered personal watercraft should not be used in national parks.

8.6(e) A national park management plan may provide for other powered watercraft, where this is consistent with the outcomes planned for places.

Powered vehicles (including, but not limited to, automobiles, motorcycles, motorised bicycles and trail bikes, snow-mobiles, beach vehicles, and hovercraft):

8.6(f) Powered vehicles should not be taken into or used in national parks except on roads formed and maintained for vehicle use, and on routes specifically approved for use by a specified type of powered vehicle in a national park management plan.

Non-powered vehicles (including, but not limited to, all non-motorised cycles and mountain bikes):

8.6(g) Non-powered vehicles should not be ridden or otherwise used in national parks except on roads formed and maintained for vehicle use, and on routes specifically approved for use by specified types of non-powered vehicle in a national park management plan.

8.6(h) Roads and routes may be approved for the use of a specified type of non-powered vehicle only where:

  • i) adverse effects on national park values can be minimised;
  • ii) the track standard is suitable; and
  • iii) the benefit, use and enjoyment of other people can be protected.

8.6(i) A national park management plan will identify measures to manage the approved use of specified types of non-powered vehicles that should be taken to:

  • i) minimise any adverse effects (including cumulative effects) on national park values; and
  • ii) protect the experiences of, and avoid creating hazards for, others.

8.6(j) Measures to manage the use of a specified type of non-powered vehicle approved for use in a national park may include, but are not limited to:

  • i) trial periods;
  • ii) restricted seasons;
  • iii) limits on numbers;
  • iv) one-way flow; and
  • v) adherence to a nationally recognised user code.

8.6(k) A national park management plan should identify monitoring requirements for the use of specified types of non-powered vehicles and specify what actions should be taken if adverse effects arise, including the possibility of use no longer being allowed.

Non-powered aircraft (including, but not limited to, gliding, hang-gliding, parapenting, hot-air ballooning, model gliders and kites):

8.6(l) A national park management plan may provide for use of non-powered aircraft, where this is consistent with the outcomes planned for a place.

Non-powered watercraft (including, but not limited to, sailing boats of all types and sizes, windsurfers or sailboards, waka, rowboats, canoes, kayaks (including sea-kayaks), and rafts):

8.6(m) A national park management plan may provide for use of non-powered watercraft, where this is consistent with the outcomes planned for a place.

9. Accommodation and Related Facilities

Accommodation and related facilities in national parks, including additions and extensions and temporary shelters, for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, are provided primarily by the Department of Conservation. They may also be provided by other people and organisations.

A range of legislative provisions enables a person or body to establish buildings and facilities in a national park.

If the buildings are for accommodation purposes, they, together with any related facilities, require authorisation from the Minister under section 50 of the National Parks Act 1980. This includes dwellings for departmental officers and employees covered by section 50(1)(c) of the National Parks Act 1980. Such authorisations are not concessions under section 49 of the National Parks Act 1980.

If the building is a dwelling for persons or bodies carrying on any activity in a national park, a concession is required.

Buildings and facilities other than accommodation need to be authorised by way of a concession under section 49 of the National Parks Act 1980. These are covered in Chapter 10 of this General Policy.

The construction of tracks, public shelters, visitor centres, and other buildings necessary or desirable for carrying out the Department’s functions must be in accordance with section 43 of the National Parks Act 1980.

Sections 117 to 120 of the Building Act 2004 set out the requirements for access for people with disabilities.

9(a) Accommodation and related facilities in national parks may be allowed for public use, including accommodation provided by recreation clubs with open membership, and educational services that relate to national parks, consistent with outcomes planned for places.

9(b) Accommodation and related facilities in national parks, other than public accommodation provided by the Department, will require the authorisation of the Minister of Conservation, except for accommodation for the staff of a concessionaire, which will require a concession.

9(c) Any application for a concession or an authorisation to establish accommodation and related facilities will be consistent with the purposes of the National Parks Act 1980, any statutory purposes for which the place is held, and the national park management plan.

9(d) Any application for a concession or an authorisation to establish accommodation and related facilities in a place, or to extend or add to an existing structure or facility, should meet the following criteria:

  • i) the accommodation or related facility cannot reasonably be located outside the national park; and
  • ii) it cannot reasonably be built elsewhere in the national park where the potential adverse effects would be significantly less; and
  • iii) the applicant cannot reasonably use or share an existing structure or facility.

9(e) All accommodation and related facilities, including replacements, additions and extensions and signage, in national parks should (unless otherwise provided for in an existing lease):

  • i) be consistent with the outcomes planned for places;
  • ii) minimise adverse effects on national park values and on the existing benefit, use and enjoyment of the public, including public access;
  • iii) avoid proliferation of the built environment;
  • iv) complement existing accommodation and related facilities;
  • v) be located, designed, constructed and maintained to:

 

a) preserve a sense of naturalness;

b) where possible, be close to other buildings;

c) meet all legal requirements and standards;

d) minimise risks from natural hazards; and

e) avoid adverse effects on natural surface and underground waters and all water bodies;

  • vi) be of such a scale, design and colour as to harmonise with the landscape and seascape;
  • vii) provide for disabled people in places to the extent required by law; and
  • viii) be available for use by the public.

9(f) The Department and all concessionaires should monitor the effects of the use of accommodation and related facilities on national park values and on the benefit and enjoyment of the public, including public access, to inform future management decisions.

9(g) New accommodation and related facilities, including encampments, for exclusive private use should not be permitted in national parks.

9(h) Existing private accommodation and related facilities, that are not authorised in accordance with section 50 of the National Parks Act 1980, should be phased out from national parks, in accordance with the conditions and timeframes set out in the conservation management strategy or national park management plan. They should be removed at the end of the phase-out period, unless retained by the Department for public use.

9(i) The Department should consult the relevant conservation board on all proposals for accommodation and related facilities provided by the Department for public and departmental use in national parks, including replacements, additions and extensions.

10. Activities Requiring Specific Authorisation

Some uses of national parks require specific authorisation. Most frequently, authorisation is given as a concession under section 49 of the National Parks Act 1980. Accommodation is separately covered by the policies in chapter 9.

An individual or organised group undertaking any recreational activity, whether for the benefit of the individual or the members of the group, needs a concession if the individual or group is undertaking the activity for specific gain or reward for that activity, whether financial or otherwise.

Other uses are subject to other forms of authorisation such as consents and permits and may be subject to the provisions of other Acts, such as the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978.

POLICIES 10.1 All activities

10.1(a) Policies 10.2 to 10.9 are to be considered subject to policies 10.1(b) to 10.1(f).

10.1(b) Any application for a concession or other authorisation will comply with, or be consistent with, the purposes of the National Parks Act 1980, the statutory purposes of the place where the activity is located, the conservation management strategy and the national park management plan.

10.1(c) Conservation management strategies and national park management plans should, subject to policy 10.1(b), require that all activities in national parks which require a concession or other authorisation:

  • i) be consistent with the outcomes planned for places;
  • ii) be consistent with the preservation as far as possible of the national park in its natural state;
  • iii) minimise adverse effects, including cumulative effects, on other national park values;
  • iv) not have any adverse effects on the existing recreational opportunities in the area;
  • v) be restricted to the use of existing access; and
  • vi) minimise adverse effects on the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public, including public access.

10.1(d) The Department, and concession and other authorisation holders, should monitor the effects of their activities on national park values, and on the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public, including public access, so as to inform future management decisions.

10.1(e) Concessionaires will be responsible for the safe conduct of their operations, including the safety of staff, clients, contractors, and the general public, and for compliance with relevant safety standards and legal obligations.

10.1(f) Concessionaires may be encouraged to work with the Department to provide interpretation.

POLICIES 10.2 Grazing and farming

Section 51 of the National Parks Act 1980 provides for grazing or farming on land in national parks that, in the public interest, should continue to be farmed or grazed. Grazing and farming are not generally consistent with the requirement of the National Parks Act 1980 to preserve national parks as far as possible in their natural state. Nevertheless, there are areas within national parks which have been farmed or grazed for many years, some traditionally and others for management purposes.

10.2(a) A national park management plan may make provision for grazing or farming only on land which is already farmed or grazed, and only where the balance of evidence demonstrates that it is in the public interest that farming or grazing on that land should continue.

10.2(b) An application for a grazing or farming concession for a national park may, subject to policy 10.2(a), be granted where:

  • i) there is no risk of erosion caused by grazing or farming;
  • ii) national park values will not be detrimentally affected;
  • iii) grazing animals can be effectively controlled;
  • iv) the number and type of stock are suitable for the location and land type;
  • v) adverse effects of stock on waterways, wetlands and riparian zones can be avoided;
  • vi) freedom of entry and access for the public can be maintained; and
  • vii) the potential of sites for restoration will not be compromised.

10.2(c) Any grazing concession issued should, where possible, be for a term not exceeding five years, and market rentals should be paid.

10.2(d) National park management plans may make provision for continuation of grazing in the public interest as a management tool where the balance of evidence has shown this is appropriate to preserve particular indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems and other national park values.

10.2(e) National park management plans should identify monitoring requirements and specify what actions should be taken if there are adverse effects.

POLICIES 10.3 Utilities and roading

The presence of utilities and development of new roads is generally inconsistent with the preservation of national parks in a natural state. It is considered that there is sufficient roading in existing national parks and that further roads are not desirable. The need for ongoing maintenance and potential upgrading of existing roading infrastructure is recognised. There may be circumstances when location of utilities within a national park will be unavoidable; but the adverse effects of any such utilities and access to them should be minor. No roads, tracks, or routes can be constructed and no building or machinery can be erected in a wilderness area within a national park.

10.3(a) Utilities may be provided for in a national park where:

  • i) they cannot be reasonably be established in a location outside the national park or elsewhere in the national park where the potential adverse effects would be significantly less;
  • ii) they cannot reasonably use an existing structure or facility;
  • iii) their provision, uses and the means of access to them is not inconsistent with the recreational uses and opportunities of the site; and
  • iv) they have minimal impact on ecological values, scenery and natural features and on the qualities of solitude, remoteness, wilderness, peace and natural quiet.

10.3(b) Conservation management strategies and national park management plans should require that utilities be of a scale, design and colour that harmonises with the landscape and any seascape, and not have an adverse effect on the natural state of the national park.

10.3(c) The construction or extension of utilities should take into account cultural values and avoid detrimental effects on wāhi tapu.

10.3(d) A lease granting an interest in land with exclusive possession for a utility should be considered only when exclusive possession is necessary for the protection of public safety or the physical security of the activity or for its competent operation.

10.3(e) Co-siting of telecommunications and associated facilities should be required, to reduce the adverse effects of the facilities and the access to them, unless applicants can demonstrate that this would be impracticable.

10.3(f) Utilities that are redundant should be removed from the national park for the purpose of minimising adverse effects on the landscape, and the site restored as far as possible to a natural state.

10.3(g) When new facilities are installed or existing facilities upgraded, equipment and technology that reduces visual and other environmental effects should be required.

10.3(h) No new roads will be made over or through a national park except with the consent of the Minister given in accordance with the national park management plan.

10.3(i) New or upgraded roads provided for in a national park management plan should have minimal effect on natural features and those undertaking the construction should take measures to mitigate any adverse effects, including:

  • i) avoidance of fragmentation of habitats and ecosystems;
  • ii) rehabilitation of surfaces of earthworks;
  • iii) weed control; and
  • iv) collection and treatment of storm water run-off. 

POLICIES 10.4 Skifield facilities

10.4(a) A national park management plan will identify the conditions under which applications for the establishment, modification or extension of any skifield and its associated facilities may be considered.

POLICIES 10.5 Aerial cableways

Aerial cableways (including, but not limited to, gondolas) and associated infrastructure could be of a scale that is inconsistent with the maintenance of a national park in its natural state and the preservation of other national park values.

An amenity area is an area within a national park where the development and operation of recreational and public amenities and related services for public use and enjoyment of the national park may be authorised in accordance with the National Parks Act 1980 and any relevant national park management plan. National park values only apply in an amenity area in so far as they are compatible with the development and operation of such amenities and services.

10.5(a) The erection and operation of aerial cableways should be confined to defined amenities areas and existing ski fields except where required as part of the core track network maintained by the Department or for necessary natural hazards monitoring.

POLICIES 10.6 Powered aircraft

Powered aircraft are used extensively in and over national parks for a wide range of purposes. Measures need to be taken to avoid the adverse impact of aircraft on the natural state of a national park, and on the enjoyment by people of natural quiet.

Section 17ZF of the Conservation Act 1987 governs the landing (including hovering) and taking off of aircraft in national parks.

10.6(a) A national park management plan should specify sites where the landing, hovering and take-off of aircraft may be authorised and the extent to which the activity may be undertaken at any site. This may include the number, frequency and purpose of permitted landings.

10.6(b) The landing, hovering and taking off of aircraft should be authorised only where:

  • i) it is consistent with the outcomes planned for a place; and
  • ii) adverse effects on national park values, including natural quiet, can be minimised.

10.6(c) The Department should work with aviation controlling authorities, aircraft operators and other interested parties to prevent the adverse effects of over-flights on national park values, including the enjoyment of people on the ground.

10.6(d) Aircraft may land anywhere in a national park where essential for national park management purposes, subject to active consideration of ways to avoid adverse effects on national park values and the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public.

10.6(e) The use of aircraft for commercial wild animal control may be authorised where necessary to maximise the effectiveness of actions planned and undertaken to control such animals, while having regard to, and minimising the adverse effects on, outcomes planned for places.

10.6(f) A national park management plan should identify monitoring requirements for the use of aircraft and specify what actions should be taken to mitigate adverse effects arising, including, but not limited to, a reduction in landing sites, the imposition of “no fly” zones or periods, and use of quieter aircraft.

10.6(g) Aircraft may land anywhere in a national park for the purposes of search and rescue.

10.6(h) National park management plans should provide direction on how the Department will advocate the protection of national park values from the adverse effects of aircraft landings on land and waters adjoining the national park.

POLICIES 10.7 Commercial filming and photography

Spectacular scenery and distinctive natural features have made some national parks popular locations for commercial filming and photography. Alternative sites outside national parks may meet the needs of commercial filming, although they may not be so well known to the industry.

10.7(a) Commercial filming and photography within a national park should be:

  • i) consistent with the recreation opportunities present in the place in which it takes place;
  • ii) subject to the same conditions as other uses (such as the landing and hovering of aircraft, the use of off-road vehicles and animals, and the construction of facilities); and
  • iii) restricted to the use of existing means of access.

POLICIES 10.8 Crown minerals and pounamu

The Crown Minerals Act 1991 and the Resource Management Act 1991 control mining. Mining permits are not concessions under the Conservation Act 1987.

Section 61(2) of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 sets out the matters the Minister must take into account when considering an application for an access arrangement for prospecting, exploring and mining in national parks. In addition, in relation to Crown-owned minerals in national parks which are listed on the Fourth Schedule, there is only a limited range of activities for which an access arrangement may be accepted, as set out in section 61(1A) of the Crown Minerals Act 1991.

The Ngāi Tahu (Pounamu Vesting) Act 1997 vested in Ngāi Tahu ownership of all pounamu occurring in its natural condition found in the takiwā of Ngāi Tahu Whānui and in adjacent parts of the territorial sea and its seabed and subsoil. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has issued a Pounamu Resource Management Plan that sets out its policies for the protection, collection and extraction of pounamu.

Section 8(2) of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 provides for the use of Crown-owned minerals that exist in a natural state, by the Department, and any other occupier of the land in which those minerals occur, for the purposes of reasonable domestic, road making or building purposes on that land. Sections 12 and 13 of the Resource Management Act 1991 make provision for the removal of sand, shingle, or other natural material from the bed of a lake or river and the foreshore, subject to a resource consent from the relevant territorial authority. A concession is also required.

10.8(a) The preservation of national park values and the benefit, use and enjoyment of the national park by the public, including public access, will be primary considerations in assessing prospecting, exploration and mining activities.

10.8(b) Proposed access arrangements to prospect, explore or mine in national parks will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will take into account the objectives of the National Parks Act 1980, the purpose for which the land is held, this General Policy, the relevant conservation management strategy, the national park management plan, the safeguards against any potential adverse effects of carrying out the proposed work, and such other matters as the Minister considers relevant.

10.8(c) Proposed access arrangements in relation to Crown-owned minerals in national parks or parts of national parks listed on the Fourth Schedule of the Crown Minerals Act 1991, will be considered only for those activities set out in section 61(1A) of the Act.

10.8(d) Access arrangements for the removal of pounamu from national parks within the takiwā of Ngāi Tahu whānui will be considered only where the applicant has authorisation for collection from the kaitiaki rūnanga of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

10.8(e) A national park management plan will identify if and where sand, shingle or other natural mineral material can be removed, consistent with the preservation of national park values.

POLICIES 10.9 Military training exercises

The Department and the New Zealand Defence Force are parties to a Defence Training Agreement signed in March 1990. Military training exercises are generally considered to be inconsistent with the natural values of national parks. Military training exercises can also be inconsistent with the recreational experiences available in a national park. Nevertheless, occasions may arise where it is important for the wider national interest that areas within national parks are available for specialised training.

10.9(a) Military training exercises in national parks will be allowed where they comply with the 1990 Defence Training Agreement or any successor to it.

11. Research and Information Needs

Successful management of national parks is underpinned by a sound understanding of natural processes, of the effects of use, and of the broader contribution national parks make to New Zealand.

Research carried out within national parks will usually have direct relevance to the successful interpretation and management of them but will sometimes span other areas for comparative purposes or to better understand species, habitats and ecological processes which cross boundaries.

In no case should the research have significant adverse effects on national park values, particularly research involving any habitat modification or collection of specimens.

Research or collection in a wilderness area may be authorised by the Minister but must be necessary or desirable for the preservation of indigenous natural resources (section 14(5), National Parks Act 1980).

Research relevant to the management or interpretation of national parks may be conducted by the Department of Conservation, tangata whenua, and a wide range of other people and organisations.

Monitoring is a key type of information-gathering necessary for the long-term effective management of national parks. Systematic monitoring undertaken at appropriate intervals provides information on specific sites, specific activities, specific national parks and the whole national park network. This enables management to identify desirable changes to management and research requirements.

11(a) Research and monitoring in national parks should be allowed where it:

  • i) informs national park and conservation management, contributes to interpretation and education, or improves knowledge of natural processes;
  • ii) does not pose unacceptable risks to, and has little adverse impact on, national park values; and
  • iii) does not significantly affect the benefit, use and enjoyment of the public.

11(b) Cooperative research relationships should be fostered where outcomes are likely to inform national park or conservation management.

11(c) Mātauranga Māori and tangata whenua interests in research and monitoring relating to national parks should be recognised.

11(d) Applications for collection of material from national parks for research purposes, whether for commercial or non-commercial use, (excluding prospecting and mining covered by the Crown Minerals Act 1991), including indigenous species (or parts of them), fossilised plant or animal material, soils, rocks and any other geological materials, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Matters to be taken into account include whether:

  • i) collection is consistent with legislation, the conservation management strategy, the national park management plan and the Department’s Treaty responsibilities;
  • ii) collection is essential for management, research, interpretation or educational purposes;
  • iii) the amounts to be collected are minor in relation to the abundance of the material;
  • iv) collection could occur outside, or elsewhere within, the national park where the potential adverse effects could be significantly less; and
  • v) the adverse effects on national park values of collection are minimal.

11(e) Any property rights, including intellectual property rights, in the material collected should be safeguarded for the benefit of the Crown on behalf of the people of New Zealand.

11(f) Recovery of authorisation-processing costs for research, collection or educational activities in national parks may be waived or reduced where:

  • i) research or collection makes a direct contribution to the management of a national park; or
  • ii research or collection contributes to departmental priority outcomes; or
  • iii) research or collection is for Māori non-commercial customary purposes; or
  • iv) educational activities are non-commercial.

11(g) Results of research and monitoring in national parks should be made publicly available unless withheld for a valid reason under the Official Information Act 1982.

12. National Park Management Plans

Each national park is required to have a management plan prepared within two years of the national park’s constitution and reviewed as a whole at not more than ten year intervals. (section 45, National Parks Act 1980)

Statutory public participation processes are followed when national park management plans are being developed or reviewed. These plans provide an opportunity to canvass a wide range of public opinion and strengthen cooperative relationships with the objective of supporting the purposes of national parks.

12(a) When developing or reviewing a national park management plan, the Department will consult the relevant conservation board and tangata whenua and seek written comments from, and have regard to the views of, interested people and organisations, including fish and game councils.

12(b) A national park management plan will:

  • i) identify national park values at places within the national park;
  • ii) identify the range of planned outcomes for places within the national park consistent with the identified values;
  • iii) identify the effects, including cumulative effects, of different uses and explain how these effects will be minimised;
  • iv) explain how potential conflicts between desired outcomes will be resolved;
  • v) identify objectives and policies for the integrated management of the national park so that the unique qualities of the national park and indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems are preserved, and provision is made for public enjoyment;
  • vi) take into account the values and objectives for management of other national parks, so that across all national parks a range of opportunities for benefit, use and enjoyment is provided;
  • vii) identify the need and justification for creating any new wilderness, specially protected or amenities areas and any proposals for excluding significant areas from the national park; and
  • viii) identify matters proposed to be regulated by bylaws.

12(c) A proposed amendment to a national park management plan will be publicly notified except where it does not materially affect the objectives or policies expressed in the plan, or the public interest in the area concerned; examples being where it:

  • i) corrects a factual error; or
  • ii) reflects changes in legislation; or
  • iii) provides clarification of a policy without altering its intent.

12(d) A national park management plan should identify what regular monitoring and evaluation should be undertaken to assess the effects of activities on national park values and specify what actions should be taken if there are any adverse effects on those values.

12(e) The Department will consult the relevant conservation board on matters pertinent to the implementation of a national park management plan, including applications for a concession or authorisation requiring an interest in land.

12(f) The Department should provide the conservation board with a report (at least annually) on the implementation of a national park management plan.

13. International Agreements

New Zealand has a history of involvement in international conservation as part of a global community with an interest in the conservation of the Earth’s natural resources. New Zealand experts have been closely involved in the programmes of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) for many years. New Zealand’s commitment to the international effort to conserve global biodiversity was confirmed by the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1993. New Zealand also participates in other international fora relevant to the management of national parks. These include the Convention on Wetlands (the Ramsar Convention) and the World Heritage Convention.

International agreements serve to raise the profile of New Zealand’s national parks. For example Te Wähipounamu/South-West New Zealand (which incorporates parts of several national parks), and the Tongariro National Park, are listed as World Heritage Sites under the World Heritage Convention.

13(a) A national park management plan will identify places that have been given international recognition in agreements that have been ratified or given legal standing in New Zealand. It should provide for the management of those places for the values for which they have received international recognition, where this is consistent with the purposes for which national parks are held in New Zealand.

Glossary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Abiotic

Relating to physical resources that do not include plants, animals or micro-organisms.

Aircraft

Any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air otherwise than by the reactions of the air against the surface of the earth (section 2, Civil Aviation Act 1990).

Amenities area

Any area of a national park set aside for the development and operation of recreational and public amenities and related services appropriate for the public use and enjoyment of the national park (section 15, National Parks Act 1980).

Animal

Any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish (including shellfish) or related organism, insect, crustacean, or organism of every kind; but does not include a human being (section 2, National Parks Act 1980).

Aquatic Life

Any species of plant or animal life (except birds) that must, at any time of the life history of the species, inhabit freshwater; and includes any part of any such plant or animal (section 2, Conservation Act 1987).

Archaeological site

A site that was associated with human activity that occurred before 1900; or is the site of a wreck of any vessel where that wreck occurred before 1900; and is or may be able through investigation by archaeological means to provide evidence relating to the history of New Zealand (section 2, Historic Places Act 1993).

Authorisation

Collective term for all types of approvals by the Minister and the Director-General of Conservation provided for in a statutory process.

Authority

See New Zealand Conservation Authority.

Biodiversity

The variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are part. This includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 1992).

Biosecurity

The exclusion, eradication or effective management of risks posed by pests and diseases to the economy, environment and human health (NZ Biosecurity Strategy 2003).

Biota

All plants, animals and micro-organisms at a place.

Building

Has the same meaning as given to it by sections 8 and 9 of the Building Act 2004.

Burning, prescribed

The controlled application of fire, under specified conditions, to achieve a fire of required intensity and rate of spread to attain planned management objectives.

Bylaw

A bylaw made by the Minister of Conservation, by notice in the New Zealand Gazette, under section 56 of the National Parks Act 1980.

Commercial hunting

Means hunting undertaken by professional hunters for their livelihood and intended to maximise the take or kill of animals. It does not include guided recreational hunting, transportation of recreational hunters, or other means of assistance for recreational hunting for which a consideration is paid.

Concession

A lease, licence, permit or easement, granted under Part IIIB of the Conservation Act 1987 with reference to section 49 of the National Parks Act 1980, to enable the carrying out of a trade, occupation or business.

Companion dog

A dog certified by the Top Dog Companion Trust as being a companion dog or a dog under training as a companion dog (section 56E(3), National Parks Act 1980).

Conservation

The preservation and protection of natural and historic resources for the purpose of maintaining their intrinsic values, providing for their appreciation and recreational enjoyment by the public, and safeguarding the options of future generations (section 2, Conservation Act 1987).

Conservation boards

Conservation boards are established under section 6L of the Conservation Act 1987. The primary functions and powers of conservation boards are set out in the Conservation Act 1987 and the National Parks Act 1980 (sections 6M and 6N, Conservation Act 1987 and section 30, National Parks Act 1980).

Conservation management plan

A plan for the management of natural and historic resources and for recreation, tourism and other conservation purposes which implements a conservation management strategy and establishes detailed objectives for integrated management within a place or places specified in a conservation management strategy (section 17E, Conservation Act 1987).

Conservation management strategy

A strategy which implements general policies and establishes objectives for the integrated management of natural and historic resources, and for recreation, tourism and other conservation purposes. A strategy is reviewed every ten years (section 17D, Conservation Act 1987).

Consultation

An invitation to give advice and consideration of that advice. To achieve consultation, sufficient information must be supplied and sufficient time allowed by the consulting party to those consulted to enable them to tender helpful advice. It involves an ongoing dialogue. It does not necessarily mean acceptance of the other party’s view, but enables informed decision-making by having regard to those views.

Cultural

Societal values with an emphasis on New Zealand/European history and Māori tikanga that are handed down through the generations.

Cumulative effects

An effect which arises over time or in combination with other effects (section 3, Resource Management Act 1991).

Customary use

Gathering and use of natural resources by tangata whenua according to tikanga.

Data

Facts or things used as a basis for decision-making.

Department

Department of Conservation.

Ecological values

Values related to living organisms, their interrelationships with each other and their environments.

Ecosystem

A biological system comprising a community of living organisms and its associated non-living environment, interacting as an ecological unit.

Ecosystem services

A wide range of conditions and processes through which natural ecosystems, and the species that are part of them, help sustain and fulfil life.

Effect

Any positive or adverse effect; and any temporary or permanent effect; and any past, present or future effect; and any cumulative effect which arises over time or in combination with other effects regardless of the scale, intensity, duration, or frequency of the effect and also includes any potential effect of high probability; and any potential effect of low probability which has high potential impact (section 3, Resource Management Act 1991).

Encampment

Non-designated sites used regularly by private individuals for camping.

Endemic

A species which is native to, as well as restricted to, a particular natural area.

Eradicate

To remove completely.

Facilities

Facilities that enable people to enjoy a range of recreational opportunities including (but not limited to): visitor and information centres, camping areas, tracks and walkways, bridges, huts, roads, car-parking areas, toilets, picnic areas, signs and interpretation panels, viewing platforms, wharves, and boat ramps.

Fire Officer

Person appointed as a Rural Fire Officer pursuant to the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.

Fish and Game Council

Statutory body with functions pertaining to the management, maintenance and enhancement of the sports fish and game resource of a region in the recreational interests of anglers and hunters (section 26P, Conservation Act 1987). See also definition of game.

Fishery

One or more stocks or parts of stocks or one or more species of freshwater fish or aquatic life that can be treated as a unit for the purposes of conservation or management (section 2, Conservation Act 1987).

Foreshore

Any land covered and uncovered by the flow and ebb of the tide at mean spring tides and, in relation to any such land that forms part of the bed of a river, does not include any area that is not part of the coastal marine area (section 2, Resource Management Act 1991 to which section 2, National Parks Act 1980 refers as successor to the Harbours Act 1950).

Freshwater fish

Includes finfish and shellfish which must at any time in the life history of the species inhabit freshwater, and includes finfish and shellfish that seasonally migrate into and out of freshwater.

Game

Means the wildlife declared to be game specified in the First Schedule to the Wildlife Act 1953. As at the date of the adoption of this General Policy they are all birds viz: black swan, Canada goose, chukar, grey duck, mallard duck, paradise duck, spoonbill duck, partridge, red-legged partridge, pheasant, pukeko, Australian quail, Californian quail and Virginian quail.

Genetic diversity

Variation in the genetic makeup of populations or species.

Habitat

The environment within which a particular species or group of species lives. It includes the physical and biotic characteristics that are relevant to the species concerned.

Historical and cultural heritage

Any building or other structure, archaeological site, natural feature, wāhi tapu, or object, associated with people, traditions, events or ideas, which contributes to an understanding of New Zealand’s history and cultures.

Historic place

(a) Means

  • i) any land (including an archaeological site); or
  • ii) any building or structure (including part of a building or structure); or
  • iii) any combination of (i) and (ii) - that forms part of the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand and lies within the territorial limits of New Zealand; and

(b) includes anything that is in or fixed to such land (section 2, Historic Places Act 1993).

Historic resource

Means an historic place within the meaning of the Historic Places Act 1993, and includes any interest in a historic resource (section 2, Conservation Act 1987).

Indigenous species

Refers to plants and animals that have established in New Zealand without the assistance of human beings and without the assistance of vehicles or aircraft. This includes species that are unique to New Zealand as well as those that may be found elsewhere in the world. Use of the words ‘indigenous’ and ‘native’ have the same meaning in this General Policy.

Information

Includes interpretation.

Integrated conservation management

The management of natural resources, and historical and cultural heritage, and existing or potential activities in a manner which ensures that priorities are clear and that the effects of each activity on others are considered and managed accordingly.

Intellectual property rights

Ownership of knowledge or vested interest in the ownership of knowledge.

Intrinsic value

This is a concept which regards the subject under consideration as having value or worth in its own right independent of any value placed on it by humans.

Introduced species

Species other than indigenous species.

Kaitiakitanga

The exercise of customary practices of guardianship, protection, stewardship and sustainable use by the tangata whenua in relation to ancestral lands, waters, sites, wāhi tapu and other taonga.

Kaitiaki

Guardian.

Mana

Prestige; authority.

Mana whenua

Customary authority exercised by an iwi or hapū or individual in an identified area.

Mātauranga Māori

Māori traditional knowledge.

Mauri

Essential life force, the spiritual power and distinctiveness that enables each thing to exist as itself.

Mining

Means to take, win or extract by whatever means, a mineral existing in its natural state in land, or a chemical substance from that mineral, for the purpose of obtaining the mineral or chemical substance; but does not include prospecting or exploration; and “to mine” has a corresponding meaning (section 2, Crown Minerals Act 1991).

Minister

Minister of Conservation.

National park lands and waters

All land included in a national park where land may include the foreshore, and the bed of a stream, river, tarn or lake and other permanent water bodies, such as peat bogs, wetlands and tidal waters that flow through that area of a national park within the coastal marine area.

It is a matter of legal fact in the case of each national park whether or not ‘park lands’ include foreshore and seabed areas; not all foreshores and seabeds surrounded by or adjoining a national park will have the status of national park.

National park management plan

A national park management plan provides for the management of a national park in accordance with the National Parks Act 1980 (section 45(2), National Parks Act 1980).

National park values

The values outlined in section 4 of the National Parks Act 1980.

Native

Indigenous.

Natural

Existing in or produced by nature.

Natural character

The qualities of an area which are the product of natural processes and, taken together, give it a particular recognisable character. These qualities may be ecological, physical, spiritual or aesthetic in nature.

Natural quiet

Natural ambient conditions in a natural area; the sounds of nature.

Natural state

Unmodified by human activity or introduced fauna or flora.

New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy

A government-approved national strategy (2000) providing an integrated response to New Zealand’s declining indigenous biodiversity, prepared in part to meet a commitment under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

New Zealand Conservation Authority

A national body of 13 appointed members established under section 6A of the Conservation Act 1987. Amongst other functions, it has the statutory responsibility for adopting General Policy for national parks, and approving conservation management strategies and plans and national park management plans (section 6B, Conservation Act 1987 and section 18, National Parks Act 1980).

Order-in-Council

An order made by the Governor-General in Council.

Outcome

A goal or end result of a conservation action or series of actions.

Participation

Contribution of effort, information, and ideas towards the discharge and attainment of the Department’s work.

Partnerships

The relationship between individuals or groups that is characterised by mutual cooperation and responsibility for the achievement of a specific goal.

People and organisations

An inclusive phrase used to refer to all individuals, clubs, companies, councils and other organisations and groups, both public and private, with an interest in the policies of, and actions undertaken by, the Department of Conservation in relation to species and public conservation land and waters.

Personal mobility device

A device designed to transport one person; is propelled by hand or a propulsion system at a maximum speed of 15 km/hour; and is ridden by a disabled person.

Personal water craft (including, but not limited to, jet skis)

Power-driven vessel that has a fully enclosed hull, does not retain water on board if it capsizes, and is designed to be operated by a person standing, sitting or kneeling on the vessel, but not seated within the vessel; and may include space for one or more passengers.

Pest

Any organism, including an animal, plant, pathogen and disease, capable or potentially capable of causing unwanted harm or posing significant risks to indigenous species, habitats and ecosystems.

Place

An area identified in a conservation management strategy or national park management plan for the purposes of integrated management. It may include any combination of terrestrial, freshwater and marine areas and may be determined by a range of criteria including, but not limited to: ecological districts, geological features, catchments, internal departmental, regional or district council or rohe/takiwā boundaries, land status, major recreation or tourism destinations, commonality of management considerations and unique management needs.

Plant

Any angiosperm, gymnosperm, fern or fern ally; and includes any moss, liverwort, alga, fungus, or related organism (section 2, National Parks Act 1980).

Pounamu

New Zealand greenstone as defined in the Ngāi Tahu (Pounamu Vesting) Act 1997.

Pou whenua

Marker pole or post.

Prescribed burning

See Burning.

Preservation

In relation to a resource, means the maintenance, so far as is practicable, of its intrinsic values (section 2, Conservation Act 1987).

Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi

The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi identified from time to time by the Government of New Zealand.

Private accommodation

Place to live or lodge which is not available to the general public on an open basis.

Protection

In relation to a resource, means its maintenance, so far as is practicable, in its current state; but includes:

  • (a) its restoration to some former state; and
  • (b) its augmentation, enhancement, or expansion. (section 2, Conservation Act 1987).

Public accommodation

Place to live or lodge in that is open to or shared by all people.

Public interest

Interest that is open to or shared by all people.

Rahui

A restriction or control of specified activities put in place by the tangata whenua as kaitiaki to manage an area in accordance with tikanga.

Ramsar Convention

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources (www.ramsar.org). It was signed by New Zealand in 1976.

Representative

Examples typical of a given indigenous species, habitat or ecosystem that currently occur or once occurred in a place.

Restoration

The active intervention and management of modified or degraded habitats, ecosystems, landforms and landscapes in order to restore indigenous natural character, ecological and physical processes and their cultural and visual qualities. For historic heritage: to return a place as nearly as possible to a known earlier state.

Road

Means:

  • (a) a road that is formed and maintained for vehicle use by the public;
  • (b) a route that is marked by the Department for vehicle use by the public or identified in a conservation management strategy or national park management plan for use by vehicles generally or for a particular type of vehicle (for example a bicycle) or as a vehicle parking area.

Rohe

Geographical territory of an iwi or hapū.

Salmonids

Means:

  • (a) Brown trout (Salmo trutta):
  • (b) Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss):
  • (c) (American) Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis):
  • (d) Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush):
  • (e) Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar):
  • (f) Quinnat or Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha):
  • (g) Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka):

The above sports fish includes any hybrid and the young, fry, ova, and spawn, and any part of any such fish; but does not include salmon preserved in cans and imported into New Zealand.

Site

A defined area within a wider place.

Specially protected area

Any part of a national park set apart as a specially protected area under section 12 of the National Parks Act 1980.

Species

A group of organisms which has evolved distinct common inheritable features and occupies a particular geographic range, and which is capable of interbreeding freely but not with members of other species.

Sports fish

Every species of freshwater fish that the Governor-General may declare, by Order-in-Council, to be sports fish for the purposes of the Conservation Act 1987; examples are trout and salmon.

Sports fish and game management plans

Plans approved by the Minister of Conservation under section 17M of the Conservation Act 1987.

Tangata whenua

Iwi or hapū that has customary authority in a place.

Taonga

Valued resources or prized possessions held by Māori, both material and non-material. It is a broad concept that includes tangible and intangible aspects of natural and historic resources of significance to Māori, including wāhi tapu and intellectual property.

Tapu

Sacred.

The Crown

Her Majesty the Queen acting through ministers and departments of state.

Tikanga

Customary values and practices related to specific iwi and hapū.

Track

A formed but unsealed way for foot traffic.

Utilities

Includes, but is not limited to, structures and infrastructure for telecommunications, energy generation and transmission, oil and gas production and distribution, sewerage provision, water supply and flood control, roads and airstrips, hydrological and weather stations.

Vehicle

Vehicle means any device that is powered by any propulsion system and moves on rollers, skids, tracks, wheels, or other means; and includes any device referred to previously from which the propulsion system has been removed; or the rollers, skids, tracks, wheels, or other means of movement have been removed; and does not include:

  • (a) a pushchair or pram;
  • (b) a child’s toy;
  • (c) a personal mobility device used by a disabled person.

Viability

The ability of a species or a community to persist over time.

Wāhi tapu

Place sacred to Māori in a traditional, spiritual, religious, ritual or mythological sense (section 2, Historic Places Trust Act 1993).

Wairua

Life principle, spirit.

Wetlands

Permanent or intermittently wet areas, shallow water or land-water margins. They include swamps, bogs, estuaries, braided rivers, and lake margins.

Whakapapa

Recounting of genealogical lineage; genealogy.

Wilderness Area

Any part of a national park set apart as a wilderness area under section 14 of the National Parks Act 1980.

Wild animal

Wild animal has the meaning set out in the Wild Animal Control Act 1977 and includes: possums; deer, wallabies, thar, wild goats, wild pigs, and chamois (section 2, Wild Animal Control Act 1977).

Wildlife

Any animal (as defined in the Wildlife Act 1953) that is living in a wild state; and includes any such animal or egg or offspring of any such animal held or hatched or born in captivity, whether pursuant to an authority granted under the Wildlife Act 1953 or otherwise; but does not include wild animals subject to the Wild Animal Control Act 1977 (section 2, Wildlife Act 1953).

World Heritage Site

A site designated under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Convention as being of outstanding universal value as a site of cultural or natural heritage.  

Index

References are to policies only. References in bold type refer to whole sections.

Access

  • for mineral exploration 10.8
  • public 6(i), 6(m), 7(h), 8.1(f), 8.1(g), 8.1(i), 9(e), 9(f), 10.1(c), 10.1(d), 10.2(b), 10.3(a), 10.3(e), 10.5(a)

Accommodation 8.1(g), 8.1(h), 9

Adverse effects 4.1(b), 4.1(e), 4.3(i), 4.6(a), 5(h), 6(h), 6(i)¸ 6(o)¸ 8.1(c), 8.6(a), 8.6(h), 8.6(i), 8.6(k), 9(d), 9(e), 10.1(c), 10.2(b), 10.2(e), 10.3(a), 10.3(e), 10.3(f), 10.3(i), 10.5(b), 10.6, 11(d), 12(d)

Aerial cableways 10.5

Advocacy 4.1(c), 8.1(f), 10.6(h)

Aircraft 8.6(c), 8.6(l), 10.6, 10.7(a)

Amenities areas 6(o), 10.5(a), 12(b)

Animal pests 4.3(i). 4.3(j), 4.3(l)

Animals 8.5, 10.2(b), 10.7(a)

Antiquities and artefacts 5(f)

Authorisations 8.4(a), 9(b), 9(c), 9(d), 10.1(b), 10.1(c), 10.1(d), 10.8(d), 11(f), 12(e)

Bicycles see mountain bikes

Biological control 4.3(f), 4.3(g)

Biosecurity 4.3

Boundaries 6(h), 6(i), 6(j), 6(k), 8.2(b)

Boats see Watercraft

Buildings 5(e), 9, 10.1, 10.3, 10.5

Camping 9(g)

Club huts see accommodation

Collection 5(f), 10.8(d), 11(d), 11(e), 11(f)

Commercial event see Commercial use

Commercial filming 10.7

Commercial fishing see Fishing

Commercial hunting see Hunting

Commercial use 4.4(g), 6(h), 10, 11(d)

Communication facilities see Facilities

Compliance 10.1(e), see outcomes at places

Concessionaire See Concessions

Concessions 8.1(e), 9, 10, 12(e)

Conservation boards 6(d), 6(g), 9(i), 12(a), 12(e), 12(f)

Conservation management strategy  1(e), 1(h), 4.2(a), 4.2(d), 9(h), 10.1(b), 10.1(c), 10.3(b), 10.8(b), 11(d)

Consultation 2(d), 2(e), 2(h), 3(d), 3(e), 6(f), 6(g), 6(l), 7(d), 9(i), 12(a), 12(e)

Crown minerals 10.8

Cultural heritage see Historical and cultural heritage

Cultural significance 2(e), 2(h), 6(e), 6(m), 10.3(c)

Cumulative effects 8.1(c), 8.6(i), 10.1(c), 12(b)

Customary use 2(g), 4.4(f), 11(f)

Determinations 4.2

Dogs See Animals

Domestic animals See Animals

Easement See Concessions

Ecosystem services 4.6(a)

Ecosystems See Habitats and ecosystems

Education 3(g), 4.3(l), 9(a), 11(a), 11(d), 11(f),

Eel fishing See Fishing

Encampment see Camping

Energy generation and transmission

Eradication/extermination 4.2, 4.3(d), 4.3(g), 4.4(b), 4.4(d)

Facilities 7(e), 8.1(g), 8.1(h), 10.3(a), 10.3(e), 10.3(g), 10.4(a), 10.7(a) and see also Accommodation

  • donated 8.1(h)

Farming see Grazing

Filming, commercial 10.7

Fire management 4.7, 7

Fish and Game councils 4.1(e), 4.2(d), 6(d), 12(a)

Fishing 4.4(a), 4.4(b), 4.4(c), 4.4(e), 4.4(f), 4.4(g), 8.4

Foreshore 6(j), 10.8(e)

Freshwater fisheries see Fishing

Game birds 4.2(d), 4.3(e), 8.4(b)

Genetic diversity 4.1(b), 4.1(d)

Geological features 4.5

Geological materials 11(d)

Geothermal features 4.5

Gondolas see Aerial cableways

Grazing 10.2

Habitats and ecosystems 4.1, 4.3(a), 4.3(c), 4.3(d), 4.3(e), 4.4(a), 4.4(b), 4.7(a), 6(m), 10.2(d), 10.3(i), 12(b)

Hazards 7, 8.2(a), 8.3, 8.6(j), 9(e), 10.5(a)

Historic resources see Historical and cultural heritage

Historical and cultural heritage 2(e), 2(h), 5, 6(i), 6(m) and see national park values

Horses See Animals

Hunting 4.3(i), 4.3(j), 8.4(b)

Huts See Accommodation

Indigenous species 4.1, 4.3

Integrated conservation management See Outcomes at place

Intellectual property rights 11(e)

Interpretation

  • of heritage 2(h), 8.2, 10.1(f), 11(a), 11(d)
  • of policies 1

Intrinsic worth 1(e), 6(a)

Introduced species 4.2(a), 4.2(d), 4.3, 4.4(d), 5(h), 8.4(b)

Kaitiaki 5(c), 10.8(d)

Landforms 4.3(d), 4.5

Landscape 6(i), 8.2(c), 9(e), 10.3(b), 10.3(f)

Mana 2(b)

Memorials 5(g)

Military training 10.9(a)

Minerals see Crown minerals

Mining 10.8, 11(d)

Monitoring 4.3(k), 8.6(k), 10.2(e), 10.5(a), 10.6(f), 11(a), 11(c), 11(g), 12(d)

Monuments see Memorials

Mountain bikes 8.6(g), 8.6(h), 8.6(i), 8.6(j), 8.6(k)

National parks

  • management plans 1(e), 1(h), 2(g), 4.1(b), 4.1(c), 4.1(e), 4.2(a), 4.2(d), 4.3(a), 4.3(c), 4.4(a), 4.4(c), 4.4(d), 4.4(f), 4.4(g), 4.5(a), 4.7(a), 5(a), 5(g), 5(h), 6(l), 6(o), 8.1(a), 8.1(d), 8.1(h), 8.4(b), 8.5(a), 8.6(a), 8.6(c), 8.6(e), 8.6(f), 8.6(g), 8.6(i), 8.6(k), 8.6(l), 8.6(m), 9(c), 9(h), 10.1(b), 10.1(c), 10.2(a), 10.2(d), 10.2(e), 10.3(b), 10.3(h), 10.3(i), 10.4(a), 10.8(b), 10.8(e), 10.6(a), 10.6(f), 10.6(h), 11(d), 12, 13.1(a)
  • new 6(a), 6(b), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6(f), 6(g), 6(i)
  • values 2(g), 3(f), 4.1(c), 4.3(h), 4.3(l), 4.7(b), 5(g), 6(h), 6(i), 6(k), 7(b), 8.1(c), 8.6(a), 8.6(h), 8.6(i), 9(e), 9(f), 10.1(c), 10.1(d), 10.2(b), 10.2(d), 10.5, 10.8(a), 10.8(e), 10.6(b), 10.6(c), 10.6(d), 11(a), 11(d), 12(b), 12(d)

Natural

  • areas 6(b), 6(c)
  • features 5(g), 6(a), 6(h), 6(i), 6(m), 10.3(a), 10.3(i),
  • hazard See Hazard
  • heritage 5(h) , 6(i)
  • quiet 8.1(c), 10.3(a), 10.6(b)
  • processes 7(b), 11(a)
  • state 4.4(b), 8.1(h), 8.6(a), 10.1(c), 10.3(b), 10.3(f)
  • values 6(h), 9(e)

Outcomes at places 1(e), 3(d), 4.3(i), 4.3(j), 5(g), 8.1(a), 8.1(b), 8.1(e), 8.1(h), 8.4(b), 8.6(a), 8.6(c), 8.6(e), 8.6(l), 8.6(m), 9(a), 9(e), 10.1(c), 10.6(b), 10.6(e), 12(b)

Partnerships 2(b), 2(c), 3(b), 3(c)

Pest management 4.3, 4.4(b)

Pets 8.5(a)

People and organisations 3, 4.2(c), 6(f), 7(d), 8.1(f), 8.1(h), 12(a)

Photography, commercial 10.7(a)

Places 1(e), 1(f), 2(e), 2(h), 3(d), 4.1(c), 4.2(d), 4.3(a), 4.3(i), 4.3(j), 4.4(a), 4.7(b), 4.7(b), 5(g), 4.7(b), 7(c), 8.1(a), 8.1(b), 8.1(d), 8.1(e), 8.1(h), 8.4(b), 8.6(a), 8.6(c), 8.6(e), 8.6(l), 8.6(m), 9(a), 9(c), 9(d), 9(e), 10.1(b), 10.1(c), 10.6(b), 10.6(e), 10.7(a), 12(b), 13.1(a)

Pou whenua 5(g)

Pounamu 10.8(d)

Private accommodation see Accommodation

Prescribed burning 4.7(a)

Public see People and organisations

  • access see Access
  • awareness and education 2(h), 3(f), 3(g), 4.3(l)
  • consultation see Consultation
  • enjoyment and appreciation 5(e), 6(g), 12(b)
  • information 2(h), 3(f), 3(g), 7(g), 8.2
  • participation 3

Recreational fishing see Fishing

Recreational hunting see Hunting

Recreational opportunities 8.1(d), 8.1(e), 10.1(c)

Regulations 2(g), 4.4(f), 4.4(g)

Research 11

Restoration 4.1(d), 4.3(k), 4.4(b), 5(b), 10.2(b)

Risk management 4.7(a), 7(c), 7(d), 7(e)

Roads 6(k), 8.1(i), 8.6(f), 8.6(g), 8.6(i), 10.3

Rohe 2(b), 6(d)

Sand and shingle 10.8(e)

Signs 8.2(c), 9(e)

Skifields 10.4(a)

Specially Protected Areas 6(m), 8.4(a)

Sports fish 4.1(e), 4.2(d), 4.3(e), 4.4(c), 4.4(d), 8.4(a)

Structures 5(e), 7(f), 9(d), 10.3(a)

Tangata whenua 2, 4.4(f), 5(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6(f), 6(g), 6(h), 7(d), 11(c), 12(a)

Taonga 7(b), 7(c)

Treaty of Waitangi 2, 11(d)

Utilities 10.3

Vehicles 8.6, 10.7(a)

Visitor see Public

Wahi tapu See Historical and cultural heritage

Watercraft 8.6(d), 8.6(e), 8.6(m)

Wetlands 4.4, 10.2(b)

Whitebait fishing See Fishing

Wild animals 4.3(i), 4.3(j), 10.6(e)

Wilderness area 6(n), 10.3(a), 12(b)(vii)

Zoning 8.1(e)

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