In the “Paparoa National Park Management Plan”
1.1 Ngāi Tahu and the natural world
Ko Ngāi Tahu me te ao tūroa
The Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae world view and relationship with the environment is founded in whakapapa – genealogy. The influential Ngāi Tahu tohunga, Matiaha Tiramōrehu, recited the lineage of descent in the following way. He started with the vast ages of darkness – Te Pō. From this stage, came Te Ao (the day), followed by Te Ao Mārama (the bright day). In sequential order then followed the creation stages of Te Aotūroa (the long-standing day), Te Koretēwhiwhia (the unattainable void), Te Koretērawea (the intangible void), Te Koretētāmaua (the unstable void), and Te Korematua (the parentless). The last stage was Te Mākū (the emergence of moisture). In due course Te Mākū – a void with the potential for life – coupled with Mahoranui-a-Tea, from which came Ranginui (the Sky Father), who coupled with Pokoharua-Te-Pō.
Their first child was Aoraki, who stands as the supreme mountain of Ngāi Tahu. Ranginui had a number of wives, one of whom was his beloved Papatūānuku (The Earth Mother). From his unions came a host of atua (deities), one of which was Tāne (deity of forests and birds), who went on to create human kind. This whakapapa linking Ranginui, Aoraki, Papatūānuku, Tāne – earth, plants, mountains, animals, and people – illustrates the intimate connection between them.
Aoraki emerges again in Ngāi Tahu history through his visit with his brothers from the heavens to earth to visit Papatūānuku. Upon deciding to return home to Ranginui, Aoraki faltered in the recitation of the karakia that would lift his and his brothers' waka back toward the sky. This caused their waka to crash back toward the earth, the bow to shatter and the waka to capsize, forcing them to clamber to the high side of the waka where Aoraki and his brothers turned into stone. Aoraki can be seen today as the highest mountain in Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana, with his three brothers nearby.
Ngāi Tahu history continues with the arrival of Tūterakiwhānoa, who came in search of Aoraki. Upon finding the crashed waka with Aoraki and his brothers turned into stone, he decided to reshape the wreckage as a place for people to live. When he arrived at the area near what is now Paparoa National Park, he noticed the Paparoa Ranges blocking the flow of inland rivers to the sea. To remedy this, he sat upon the range and pushed them apart with his thighs to create a gorge for the water to flow through. This river was named Te Māwheratanga o ngā kūhā o Tū te rakiwhānoa, which means 'The extension made by the thighs of Tū-te-rakiwhānoa'. This river is more commonly known by its shortened Māori name of Māwheranui or its Pākehā name of the Grey River.
1.2 Te Tai Poutini Māori history
Te Tai Poutini me tōna mana whenua
Ngāi Tahu migrated to Te Waipounamu in a series of migrations from the Tairāwhiti region via Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), in the mid to late 17th century. Through conquest and intermarriage with iwi who were already residing throughout Te Waipounamu, Ngāi Tahu established mana whenua in Te Waipounamu.
When Ngāi Tahu and their forebears first settled in Te Waipounamu they regularly moved across the land, sustainably hunting and gathering the island's resources. They undertook seasonal migrations following the lifecycles of animals and plants to gather food resources such as weka, kākāpō, kiore and tuna (eel).
The Paparoa area was particularly abundant, providing people with many different resources and food through various flora and fauna. There are numerous publicly recorded Māori archaeological sites and place names located along the coastline, giving detailed evidence that this area was extensively used. The coastline had an abundance of mahinga kai and provided travellers heading up and down the coast with a source of fish, kūtai (mussels) and tuaki (cockles). The forests and plains teemed with bird, waterfowl and plant resources. The rivers were a source of fish, tuna (eel) and inanga (whitebait).
Te Tai Poutini (West Coast) was also important as it was one of only a few places where pounamu could be found. Pounamu is a taonga to generations of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae, and was traded with other iwi for goods, and manufactured to make tools such as adzes, chisels and knives, as well as treasured items of personal adornment such as hei tiki (pendant). The coastline of Te Tai Poutini adjacent to the Paparoa National Park was part of the ara tawhito (traditional travel route) that provided access along Te Tai Poutini and facilitated the trade of pounamu.
Through the leadership of Te Pare and Tūhuru, Ngāi Tahu defeated the resident iwi of Ngāti Wairangi in a series of conflicts from Kakara-Taramea (Karamea) in the north to Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) in the south with the final defeat occurring at Paparoa – thus earning themselves control over these lands.
Following the final defeat, Ngāi Tahu held a meeting near the Grey River/Māwheranui to decide whether to return to the East Coast of Te Waipounamu/South Island or stay on Te Tai Poutini to consolidate their conquest by occupation. This place would later be known as Rūnanga – a word that means to discuss or hold council. A decision could not be reached, and the next morning they crossed the Māwheranui where the decision was made to occupy the lands of Te Tai Poutini. This place became known as Kaiata to acknowledge that this decision was made the following morning.
The party then returned to the Māwhera pā on the south bank of the river where they settled. Tūhuru, the younger brother of Te Pare, was left in charge of Te Tai Poutini and Te Pare returned to the Canterbury region. There are accounts of Tūhuru and his war party taking refuge in the caves around Tiropahi, an activity that is well-known to this day. Tūhuru became a founding ancestor of Ngāti Waewae, who are the mana whenua of the Paparoa region.
1.3 Modern history
Ngā kōrero o nāianei
As European settlers began to arrive on the West Coast they began to interact with the local Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae – especially along the comprehensive network of ara tawhito Ngāi Tahu had been using for generations to ensure safe passage throughout Te Waipounamu. In 1846 Pākehā explorers Charles Heaphy and Thomas Brunner undertook an expedition, guided by local Māori guide Kehu south from Massacre Bay (Golden Bay) to the pounamu country at the Arahura River.
The trail led them past today's Paparoa National Park. The expedition was recorded by Heaphy who details Māori settlements, encounters with other Māori using the trail, and the abundance of food able to be gathered along the way. As with generations of Māori before them, this ability to live off the land ensured the expedition's success.
In 1857 the Crown began negotiations for the purchase of Te Tai Poutini with the leading Poutini Ngāi Tahu chiefs. On 21st May 1860 the Arahura Deed of Purchase was signed between the leading Poutini Ngāi Tahu chiefs and the Crown. It excluded the Arahura riverbed and reserves that were set aside from the purchase.
The gold rush of 1864 brought a large number of Pākehā to the West Coast and by 1866 a sizeable shantytown had been built at Brighton at the Potikohua/Fox River mouth. The present Park frontage once supported a port entry used for servicing gold diggings on sea beaches and raised terraces. Access up and down the coast was vital and the Inland Pack Track was formed in early 1867 to provide access along the difficult parts of the coastline for horses and drays transporting much needed supplies to the goldminers and other early settlers.
Farming also started during the gold rush. Stock were brought in at first by boat, and then along the Inland Pack Track. They were grazed along coastal strips, on the flats up the Potikohua/Fox River and on the way through the Inland Pack Track at Punungairo/Bullock Creek.
By 1869 large portions of both areas were under cultivation and produce was being sold outside the district. Goldminers who remained after the rushes gradually turned to agriculture, and early in the twentieth century the government offered most of the unoccupied land on the coastal strip for farming leases in perpetuity. Only a small portion of the area was taken up and many would-be farmers abandoned what proved to be unmanageable land. However, some farms remain in the area today.
Much of the easily accessible timber on the coast was quickly used for buildings and mining equipment, forcing the sawyers to travel several kilometres up the main rivers to fell trees and float sawn timber downstream to the diggings. Sawmilling for general purposes began early in the twentieth century in the Tiropahi River basin, and mills around Punakaiki drew timber from the karst area between Punungairo/Bullock Creek and Punakaiki River and Te Miko. The last mill closed in 1969.
Milling of flax was another industry undertaken in the area, and continued until the 1950s. The commercial cutting of flax occurred at all accessible sites along the coastal strip to supply the Barrytown mill and the linen industry.
When the various human activities ended, vigorous natural regeneration occurred and added variation to the forest, such as expanses of tree ferns on formerly cleared hillsides.
Tourism took a long time to develop, as it was directly linked to improved access and better transport. Punakaiki was often used as a holiday destination for West Coast locals in the late 1800s and earlier 1900s. Tourism began in the early 1900s with conducted tours of the Potikohua/Fox River caves. When the road was completed through to Westport in 1929, many more people could access the area and appreciate the scenery and natural features. Tourism is still increasing today.
In 1974, a proposal for a large scale timber industry based on the West Coast beech forest led to the creation of the Maruia Society, who pressed for places of outstanding ecological value to be reserved. In 1979, a large national park was proposed, extending to the north and east of the Paparoa Range. The initial proposal for this large national park was rejected. However, after many years of hard work, public submissions and support from many other environmental groups and individuals, the Paparoa National Park was formed. On 23 November 1987, an area of 30,327 hectares was gazetted as Paparoa National Park and the Park was declared open on 5 December 1987. The Park's total area is now 42,971 hectares due to land additions, such as the approximately 7,450 hectares in 2002 from the Forest (West Coast Accord) Act 2000 and 3,971 hectares added in 2015. Other lands, including Bullock Creek Farm Conservation Area, Tiropahi Ecological Area and Charleston Conservation Area potentially contain national park values and consideration could be given to assessing them for addition to the national park.
Sadly, the Paparoa area has seen tragedies that have had a momentous impact on the country. On 28 April 1995, 13 students from the Outdoor Recreation course at Tai Poutini Polytechnic in Greymouth and the Department of Conservation's Punakaiki Field Centre Manager were killed and four others seriously injured when the Department's viewing platform high above Kotihotiho/Cave Creek, within the Bullock Creek Farm Conservation Area, collapsed.
Not only have the family members and relatives suffered from this devastating loss of life, the event had a profound effect on all those involved, particularly the Punakaiki and West Coast communities and right across New Zealand.
Many changes were made within the Department of Conservation as a result. It reshaped the organisation and changed how visitor structures and the visitor experience are managed in and around Paparoa National Park and throughout New Zealand. Further information on the Kotihotiho/Cave Creek tragedy, including the Commission of Inquiry Report and its findings can be found on the Department's website www.doc.govt.nz.
On the afternoon of 19 November 2010, an explosion ripped through the remote Pike River mine, resulting in the tragic loss of 29 men. Their bodies have not been recovered and remain in the sealed mine. At the families' wishes the Pike River mine site and surrounding area became a part of Paparoa National Park, protecting the area into the future.
Approximately 65 kilometres of new tracks, made up of the Pike29 Memorial Track and the Paparoa Track, are to be constructed through the Tī Kōuka and Nīkau Places (see map 3). This proposal has come through family representation and their determination that something good might come from the terrible tragedy. They wish to give something back to the West Coast communities through increased access to Paparoa National Park for locals, and international and domestic visitors.
Family groups from both tragedies have worked and continue to work tirelessly for significant changes to the health and safety and other legislations to ensure such events never happen again.
1.4 Paparoa National Park natural features
Te Pāka ā-iwi o Paparoa me tōna taiao
Paparoa National Park lies in the northern West Coast region of Te Waipounamu/South Island between Kawatiri/Buller River and Grey River/Māwheranui and covers the western side of the Paparoa Range as well as some eastern outlying sections along the Inangahua River. It encompasses the catchments of Punakaiki, Pororari and Potikohua/Fox rivers and Punungairo/Bullock Creek, as well as Te Ananui/Metro cave system and the southern side of the Tiropahi River catchment. Limestone underlies most of the Paparoa National Park and forms towering coastal cliffs, deep river canyons, caves and stacked coastal rocks. Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point, near Punakaiki, are the best known feature – a spectacular sight when the sea surges through blowholes at high tide.
Ngāti Waewae has a special relationship with the land, water and resources of Paparoa National Park. As described above, this relationship is based on whakapapa, with Ngāti Waewae connecting through whakapapa to the natural features of the Park.
Flowing from the mountains to sea – ki uta ki tai – Paparoa National Park is a showpiece for nature's intriguing diversity. From the ancient weathered peaks of the Paparoa Range to the finely sculptured rocks of the coastline, it is a powerful landscape, which demands respect and preservation. The key processes that have shaped, and continue to shape, the modern Paparoa landscape are the climate and geology.
The climate in Paparoa National Park is strongly influenced by its exposure to weather systems from Te Tai o Rehua/the Tasman Sea. It is mild and humid along the coastal sections and wet along the spine of the Paparoa Range, which is often covered in misty cloud. This produces a relatively warm coastal climate between Greymouth and Westport with minimal annual variation. Temperatures are also influenced by the effects of katabatic winds. These downslope winds flow from the tops of the Paparoa Range to the valleys of the Henniker Creek, Pororari River and Punungairo/Bullock Creek, cooling the air so they are closer in temperature to the higher altitude areas.
The effects of climate change are already being felt in the coastal parts of Paparoa National Park and adjoining areas, and will continue into the future. Climate change projections depend on future greenhouse gas emissions. While there is uncertainty as to the effects, the projected changes to weather in this area include increased temperatures and rainfall. This increases the risk of flooding, erosion and landslides, and potentially increases pest plants and animals due to the warmer temperatures. The continued sea level rise and number of storms crossing Te Tai o Rehua/the Tasman Sea is expected to increase during the summer months and decrease during winter, increasing the risk to coastal roads and infrastructure from coastal erosion and inundation.
Te tātai aro Whenua
Paparoa National Park has three main types of rock. The base comprises Devonian and Cretaceous granites, and a small amount of Ordovician greywacke. Some of the granites have since been metamorphosed to gneiss. This is overlain by Cretaceous sediments (mudstone, sandstone and breccia) followed by Cretaceous and Eocene coal measures. These are topped with layers of Oligocene limestone and later Miocene mudstones.
The relatively flat landscape formed by these main rock types, which appeared when sea level began to drop around 25 million years ago, has since been shaped by long-term erosion and relatively recent earth folding (compressional shortening of the land west of and parallel to the Alpine Fault), which is continuous today.
The main folds defining the Paparoa landscape are:
- Uplift (along the Brunner anticline and faults further north) of the main divide of the Paparoa Range.
- Downfolding (along the Barrytown syncline) to form a belt of low-lying land west and parallel to the mountain divide and east of the coast.
- Uplift (along the Punakaiki anticline) of the limestone and sandstone below, forming steep coastal ramparts. These drop away abruptly to shore-level rocks, which are further eroded and sculpted by coastal processes (e.g. Pancake Rocks and Lion Rock).
This dramatic uplifted and downfolded landscape is made more unusual because all the major rivers flowing from the main Paparoa Range divide have retained their original seaward draining courses by cutting down through the uplifted limestone to form the many gorges in the Paparoa National Park.
In addition, the high grade limestone between the Barrytown syncline and Punakaiki anticline is highly soluble, where dissolution has formed caves and other karst features such as grikes and karren.
Over half of Paparoa National Park is mountainous, from the eastern edge of the Barrytown syncline to the crest of the main range. On the eastern side, an assortment of hanging valleys, truncated spurs, towering bluffs and cirques overlook deep glaciated valleys running north and south.
The predominant ancient granite and meta-sedimentary gneiss rocks of the Paparoa Range bear a closer geological resemblance to those in distant Fiordland than to the main range of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana. This is due to the alpine fault separating them from their original neighbours over the last 10 million years. The rocks of Mount Lodge are the highest in Paparoa National Park.
The jumble of craggy peaks and pinnacles in the central and northern sectors of the range form a distinctive natural border and present a formidable challenge to any who try to traverse the tops. Adding to navigation hazards are the masses of cloud which often drape the peaks, even when it is spectacularly sunny on the coast. For those who know their way in the high country however these veils of mist create a special aura.
Paparoa is a park of many hidden treasures amongst its wild interior, including the limestone which forms the coastal cliffs, impressive river canyons and delicate cave formations.
Paparoa National Park provides the best example of forested lowland karst in the country and although nationally renowned among cavers and trampers, the lowland forested karst remains its least known asset. Intricate systems of shafts, passages and caverns have been slowly formed by the continual effects of water through the soluble limestone. The forest ensures this process continues by supplying decaying vegetation to add to the acidity in the flowing water.
Most of the known cave systems are in the western side of the limestone syncline where underground drainage patterns are concentrated mainly along horizontal lines of weakness in the bedding planes. Limestone is exposed on both flanks of the Barrytown syncline with more recent gravels and mudstone occupying the low-lying area in between. The more easily erodible rocks overlie interstratal karst.
Many of the caves are storehouses for important fossil and sub-fossil material of birds, reptiles and even mammals. Te Ananui/Metro cave once held nationally significant bird bone deposits, while areas adjoining Paparoa National Park – Tiropahi Ecological Area and Charleston Conservation Area – contain significant Oligocene fossil whale deposits. Caves within and adjoining the Park are important to Ngāti Waewae history.
Permanent cave dwellers such as the eyeless, flightless, unpigmented ground beetle, Erebotrechus infernus, millipedes, harvestmen and newly discovered species of weta have adapted to the stable environment of caves. However, the numbers of species are usually very low, and vulnerable to changes in their environment and food chain.
The essence of the Park's karst country is its largely unmodified character. The quality of the water flowing through this area can be adversely affected by logging, mining and agriculture which could stress the underground system and cause irreversible damage. Speleothems (cave formations or decorations) vary according to vegetation cover, rainfall, solubility of the limestone and frequency of flooding. They are always fragile, and once damaged or destroyed have little or no ability to regenerate to their original state. The unusual low-light tolerant plants, growing in typically shallow, moist karst soils around cave entrances and in dolines, are extremely vulnerable to disturbance.
The coastline is a visual feast for the traveller. Whether in storm, shrouded in drizzle or seen under clear skies with a still sea, the coast presents a dramatic spectacle. The entire coastline is a distinctive feature, with striking contrasts between the wild rocky splendour of its bluffs, steep plunging spurs and rocky headlands.
High cliffs cut away by heavy seas are indented with coves and sandy beaches. Above the shoreline the seafront is dominated by the great cliff of the coastal escarpment sweeping upwards in smooth curves.
A significant feature of the coast is the tāiko/Westland petrel colony site on terraces just south of Punakaiki River. These terraces were once islands, which became part of the mainland when New Zealand was uplifted quite recently in its geological history.
The most distinctive feature, however, is undoubtedly the "pancake rocks" at Dolomite Point, where evenly layered stacks of stylolitic limestone have been eroded in places to form surge pools and blowholes. This stylolitic limestone has formed through preferential erosion of sandstone by the sea; however, the reverse occurs inland where the limestone is eroded to leave layers of sandstone.
1.5 A living Treaty partnership
Te hononga ā-Tiriti
Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles provide the foundation for the relationship between the Department and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. A meaningful Treaty partnership respects the Department's conservation responsibilities, while protecting the authority of
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae in relation to ancestral lands and taonga.
The Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 (the Settlement, see Appendix 1) established the framework and platform upon which the Crown and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu would develop a living Treaty partnership and fully realise the Department's section 4 (Conservation Act 1987) responsibilities. Recognition of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae rangatiratanga and enabling the ability of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae to give practical effect to kaitiakitanga in Paparoa National Park, consistent with legislation, includes:
- active and shared management and decision-making with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, in the management of Paparoa National Park and resources of importance to Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae;
- recognition of the kaitiaki rights and responsibility and associated mātauranga of Ngāti Waewae;
- enabling Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae to undertake customary practices, including access to and use of cultural materials and mahinga kai;
- protection of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values and enhancing Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae connection with Paparoa National Park;
- enabling Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae to explore and develop opportunities to support intergenerational wellbeing; and
- implementing the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998.
The above actions require a partnership framework to detail how the Treaty partnership will be implemented over the life of the Plan and beyond. Policies 1.5.1 and 1.5.2 signal the commitment of the Department, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae to work together to establish the necessary mechanisms and processes for active and shared management of Paparoa National Park, in a manner consistent with kaitiakitanga and legislation.
The mechanisms and processes, once developed, will provide detail on how active and shared management can occur that is consistent with the Minister's and the Department's statutory responsibilities. It will identify opportunities for shared decision-making on Park management and increased involvement in the shared considerations of authorisations.
Achieving a sustainable, living Treaty partnership underpins this Plan. The objectives and policies that follow apply to all of the Department's activities throughout Paparoa
Table 2: Treaty partnership
The Treaty partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae is strengthened and maintained in a manner consistent with legislation to:
Map 2: Ecosystems and recreation priorities
Note: High resolution maps are available at www.doc.govt.nz/paparoa.
2. Paparoa National Park – values
Te Pāka ā-iwi o Paparoa me ōna tikanga
This section outlines the values of Paparoa National Park. The national objectives and policies provide for integrated conservation management across the country. The regional policies focus on Paparoa National Park, and address issues and opportunities for the whole Park. Sections 2.1–2.4 link to the Department's intermediate outcomes (see Vision for Paparoa National Park, above).
The land and resources of Paparoa National Park are highly valued by Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae. The Department recognises Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga through policies in this section. A meaningful and effective relationship with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae helps achieve conservation of natural resources and historic and cultural values.
The following provisions are in addition to, and do not repeat, the requirements set out in relevant conservation legislation, general policy and other statutory instruments (such as bylaws). If a provision in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne is more specific, it has primacy.
2.1 Natural values
Ngā tikanga ake
The mauri (essential life force) of Paparoa National Park and the wellbeing of the community are enhanced by the Park's healthy ecosystems which can be defined as the interacting components of air, land, water and living organisms in the Park. Maintenance of the life-supporting capacity and intrinsic values of the Park requires conservation of the physical and biological processes as well as all the component parts of the Park.
Paparoa National Park is recognised nationally as a biodiversity hotspot with a great diversity of ecosystems. The variety of flora expected in a region extending from the mountains to the sea is accentuated by marked differences in climate. Proximity to Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana has a cooling effect on the tops of the Paparoa Range, while Te Tai o Rehua/the Tasman Sea convergence brings warmed water to the coast near Punakaiki, all contributing to a moist temperate coastal climate. This results in lush subtropical lowland rainforest, transitioning into alpine scrub and grassland at higher altitudes.
Ngāti Waewae are kaitiaki of the species and ecosystems of Paparoa National Park. This kaitiaki responsibility for native taonga, derived from whakapapa, is passed through the generations and relies on mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) to guide the care and use of native species.
Native species and their associated ecosystems are particularly valued as mahinga kai. Mahinga kai is defined in the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 as "the customary gathering of food and natural materials, and the places where those resources are gathered". Traditionally mahinga kai was a fundamental part of survival, both as a food source but also as a commercial activity. Resources were exchanged, and everything had its place in the trading world. Not only was pounamu used as a source of trade but plant and animal species were used in barter to obtain other valued resources from travelling or neighbouring communities.
Today the practice of mahinga kai enables Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae to reconnect with the land and their tūpuna (ancestors), who traversed those lands in search of food and resources. It enables Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae to continue a fundamental aspect of their identity and culture, and enables the knowledge and practice to be passed on to the next generations. As kaitiaki of native species in Paparoa National Park, Ngāti Waewae have a right and responsibility to manage natural resources and practise mahinga kai as their ancestors once did. Enhancement and rejuvenation of priority species and improved access will enable future generations to continue the traditional practice of mahinga kai.
Priority ecosystem units have been identified through the application of the Department's natural heritage prioritising processes (as outlined in the Management framework). Research, monitoring and increased knowledge will result in adaptations to management approaches.
As at 2016, there are seven ecosystem units in or adjoining Paparoa National Park as follows, which are detailed in Appendix 4 and as shown on Map 2. Of these, the first four listed are within the top 500 priority ecosystem units nationally and the remaining three are within the top 600 nationally:
- Dolomite Point
- Pakiroa Flats
- Tiropahi pakihi
- Saxton/Otututu Ecological Area
- Fletcher Creek/Te Wharau
The vegetation pattern found in the Park is a result of the varied geology, soils and topography. Climate, micro-climates and altitude also contribute to the diverse range of species found in the area.
Although none of the major vegetation types is unique, the occurrence of so much variety within a relatively small area, combined with intact coastal to alpine sequences, gives uniqueness to the Park as a whole.
A number of indigenous plant species thriving within Paparoa National Park are highly valued by Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae as food sources, for medicinal purposes and for traditional activities such as carving, weaving and making dyes. Examples of plants in the Park valued as rongoā (traditional medicine) include mānuka/tea-tree, which has multiple internal and external medicinal uses such as soothing itches and colds, and treating scalds and burns. Mamaku/tree fern is used for rheumatism, soothing swollen feet or eyes and soothing stomach ache. Mataī/black pine is used as an antiseptic and for swollen glands, while karaeopirita/supplejack is used for rheumatism, fever, disability and skin problems. Kawakawa, which is prolific at Dolomite Point, has many uses including pain relief.
Nīkau palms and northern rātā are close to the southern limits of their distribution, and the warm climate also favours masses of gigi/kiekie and tree ferns. Nīkau, which rival the famous pancake rocks as a symbol of Punakaiki, occur in small groves and are a delightful part of the forest mosaic.
The sea also exerts its influence on the vegetation, which spreads inland from the very edge of the coast. At first there is just a low, protective mat where only the hardiest of lichens and creeping plants survive against salt-laden wind and waves. This coastal turf merges into a low, dense shrub land of harakeke/flax and tī kōuka/cabbage trees. Further back from the sea edge but still within its warming influence, the lush, subtropical vegetation features nīkau palms amid entanglements of gigi/kiekie and karaeopirita/supplejack, which thrive in the mild and humid climate. Common forest trees such as rata and rimu grow close to the sea, but only attain great size in sheltered situations.
The maritime microclimate is most likely the major reason why one of New Zealand's bird species nests exclusively near Punakaiki. The tāiko/Westland petrel, the largest of all burrow-nesting seabirds, visits land only to breed in winter/spring, spending the rest of the year at sea. Pairs raise their chicks in burrows high on mudstone terraces, taking off for their feeding flights from exposed rocks or trees, and crash land through dense undergrowth when returning in the evenings. Seeing thousands fly in at dusk is a memorable experience that Paparoa National Park offers.
The population of roroa/great spotted kiwi found in the Park is important as the numbers of this taonga species are relatively high and can be found from the top of the ranges to sea level, although numbers are less, nearer to the sea. For more information on taonga species, see Appendix 3.
Other notable species inhabiting Paparoa National Park include the large land snails, the largest and most spectacular of them living in the limestone of the mid-Pororari gorge. The diversity of the plant life also contributes to a diverse and interesting insect fauna. The rivers contain several species of freshwater fish which are at risk, including torrentfish, dwarf galaxias, koaro and the redfin bully. Many plants, birds and populations of tuna/eel, inanga/whitebait, waikōura/freshwater crayfish and other small fish species are of high importance to Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae as taonga species and mahinga kai. Traditionally these species were valued as food sources and used for medicinal purposes, weaving clothing, trade and other customary activities. Their practices remain important to Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae today.
Pest plants and animals
Ngā tarutaru me ngā kīrearea
Introduced plants may threaten indigenous species through competition for light and nutrients, and if invasive, may affect characteristics of entire ecosystems. Pest plants are not generally a threat to the intact forest of the Park, but can be a problem where a break in canopy vegetation occurs, such as along some rivers, old road lines and tracks, or disturbance from slips and erosion. Weed control programmes are undertaken as required, particularly along the Park boundary, coastal edges and rivers to control pest plants such as selaginella, wild ginger and Cape honeysuckle.
Introduced animals, particularly feral goats, have spread widely throughout Paparoa National Park and their effect on the Park's vegetation is substantial, except in a few inaccessible areas. Red and fallow deer numbers are low, and they actively avoid the broken terrain of the karst area. Chamois can occur in the Park but their densities are very low. They appear to be confined to high altitude forest and mountain tops. Pigs occur in the eastern parts of the Park however are largely absent from the larger western side. Possums, rats and stoats are widely distributed and along with feral cats and uncontrolled dogs pose a serious threat to native bird populations in the Park, particularly to the tāiko/Westland petrel, kororā/little penguins and kiwi.
Table 3: Natural values
As far as possible, the natural values in Paparoa National Park are preserved, including:
2.2 Historic values
Ngā tikanga tīpuna
Historic buildings or structures, archaeological sites, traditional or sacred places and historic or cultural landscapes can all be seen as taonga or national treasures. Preservation, protection and interpretation of such historic treasure maintain an important link with the past, which in turn contributes to community identity and wellbeing.
The information resources associated with historic places can enhance understanding and enjoyment of these sites. Information resources such as oral histories, photographs or drawings, and written records are essential for preserving stories of time and place.
While there are a number of historic places recorded along the coastline of Paparoa National Park, only a few of them are inside Park boundaries. There are currently no historic icon sites in Paparoa National Park. The historic places inside the Park are:
- Bessons Dam – Limestone Creek, includes water races, dam and wing dam.
- Lonely Grave, Fossil Creel confluence.
- Rock shelter and midden Punungairo/Bullock Creek.
- Two rock shelters and small sea caves at Te Miko.
- Rock shelter, cave and quarry, Meybille Bay.
- Inland Pack Track cobblestones.
Historic heritage resources are by their very nature non-renewable; many are fragile and vulnerable to development pressures and natural processes. Despite being legally protected by virtue of their location, all historic places in Paparoa National Park are threatened in some way, by things such as natural processes and loss of information. The Department focuses on protecting and conserving historic and cultural heritage values and increasing public appreciation of them.
Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae whakapapa, wāhi tapu, wāhi taonga, wāhi ingoa, mahinga kai, taonga species (see Appendix 3), natural features, resting places and ancient trails weave together to tell us great stories that demonstrate the significance of Paparoa National Park and the West Coast to Ngāi Tahu Whānui, and form a significant part of New Zealand's history. It is important that Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae heritage values are preserved for future generations, and that Park visitors understand and respect its cultural significance.
Table 4: Historic values
Paparoa National Park's history is brought to life, protected and conserved for future generations, with a focus on:
Map 3: Paparoa National Park features
Note: High resolution maps are available at www.doc.govt.nz/paparoa.
2.3 Recreation values
Paparoa National Park provides a variety of recreational experiences for the local community and visitors, from day visits to the iconic Pancake Rocks or enjoying a local walk to walking the historic Inland Pack Track or climbing Mount Bovis. There are also opportunities for those wanting a more adventurous experience in unmarked bush, such as tramping, climbing, caving, hunting and fly-fishing.
The coast is a narrow zone between the forest and the sea, which attracts the majority of visitors to Paparoa National Park. The communities surrounding Paparoa National Park are proud to welcome people to the area's icon destination site of the Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point. An average of 1200 visitors each day come to see the evenly layered stacks of limestone, which has been eroded in places to form surge pools and blowholes.
The initial contact for most visitors is confined to the coast, and the travellers' view is usually bounded by the crest of the coastal scarp. Tantalising glimpses of the mountains beyond are provided by the major river valleys, but most people pass through without venturing into the land between.
As a form of recreation, caving is specialised. Organised caving groups, normally belonging to the New Zealand Speleological Society, perform valuable functions within Paparoa National Park. These include involvement in search and rescue and in exploring, mapping and documenting caves and other karst features. This information is essential for management. The level of experience and exploration required is more than most visitors to the caves can easily undertake in the karst lowlands. Those who do so are invariably highly rewarded.
Visitor pressure on the mountainous area of Paparoa National Park is currently not as great as on the other landscapes. In many respects the rugged, remote qualities of the Paparoa Range mean it takes care of itself. The Range forms a distinctive natural border and presents a formidable challenge to any who try to traverse the tops.
The Department uses a combination of approaches to manage recreation, including destination management, visitor management zones and visitor groups. The intent of destination management is to increase recreational use in Paparoa National Park. It is a holistic approach, including marketing and the contribution of community and business to the visitor experience. It focuses on the predominant visitor groups accessing different destinations, which are:
Icon destinations – people travelling on holiday:
- Pancake rocks (Dolomite Point)
Gateway destinations – new participants:
- Pororari River Track
Local Treasure destinations – the recreation needs of the local community
- Truman Track
- The Punakaiki Cavern
- Fox River Tourist Caves
Backcountry – the recreational needs of the backcountry community
- Ballroom overhang
- Inland Pack Track
- Mt Bovis Route
- Pike29 Memorial Track
- Paparoa Track
Historically, Paparoa National Park has only had a limited number of day walks and marked routes. The Pike29 Memorial Track and the Paparoa Track provide opportunities for new recreation activities to be undertaken in the Park, and form New Zealand's 10th Great Walk. The ~65km journey can be done on foot or mountain bike and traverses spectacular limestone landscapes and the forest valleys. It was chosen as a memorial by the families of the 29 men who died in the Pike River mine disaster.
Table 5: Recreation values
A range of quality recreational and visitor opportunities in Paparoa National Park enrich visitor experiences, with an emphasis on:
2.4 Engagement values
For conservation management to continue to progress in Paparoa National Park, the Department working with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board are focused on building positive and constructive relationships with the community. Working with others provides opportunities for people to enjoy, learn and help look after places and indigenous species they value.
While the local community surrounding Paparoa National Park is relatively small, volunteer projects can offer a range of different opportunities at different times to locals and visitors alike. Including options for ongoing contributions, and opportunities for participants to up-skill and increase their knowledge and capability to do more or different work with or without departmental support.
The Department recognises the importance of engaging with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae when developing relationships with others in conservation management, to ensure Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities are upheld.
Another goal of the Department is to raise awareness of Paparoa National Park, the value of conservation and its importance in the everyday lives of all New Zealanders. This includes encouraging people to take advantage of the recreation opportunities provided within the Park, which will contribute to health and wellbeing, as well as developing an awareness of the intrinsic values of nature conservation.
There are many community groups, charitable organisations and individuals who are interested in the general wellbeing and protection of Paparoa National Park, such as the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, Paparoa Wildlife Trust, Buller Tramping Club, Buller Conservation Volunteers, the New Zealand Speleological Society, Federated Mountain Clubs, New Zealand Alpine Club, West Coast Alpine Club, Buller Caving Group and many other groups and clubs. The number of community groups continues to grow, with the assistance and support of other agencies, including West Coast Regional Council and Buller and Grey District Councils.
Some of the issues the Department is focusing on to raise awareness in Paparoa National Park include the impact of uncontrolled dogs on wildlife, bio-security, pest animal and plant control and increasing tourism. This involves working with specific groups within the community to identify shared values and develop solutions.
The Department continues to work with a wide range of other statutory agencies to achieve common objectives and mutually agreed priorities.
The Department seeks to identify and promote new business opportunities and partnerships to deliver greater conservation gains while enhancing prosperity in the West Coast region.
The Department works with a wide range of other statutory agencies to achieve common objectives and mutually agreed priorities. Examples include: the New Zealand Transport Agency on roading; TBfree New Zealand on possum control; West Coast Regional Council on biodiversity and pest management; Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga on historic places; the West Coast Fish and Game Council on sports fish related issues; and the Police and Search and Rescue on emergency responses.
With the growth in tourism, businesses are increasingly seeking to demonstrate how they can contribute to sustaining a healthy environment. There is potential for commercial businesses to engage in conservation partnerships. Such partnerships can significantly improve a business' worth, value and reputation while helping to conserve natural, historic and cultural values, including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values.
Recreation and tourism concessions make an important contribution to the regional economy by offering activities such as guided opportunities walking, mountain biking, caving and climbing, and providing transport to and from sites of visitor interest managed by the Department.
Table 6: Engagement values
New Zealanders and businesses connect and contribute to conservation within Paparoa National Park by:
3. General Policy for National Parks and policy requirements for authorisations and activities in Paparoa National Park
Te kaupapa mō ngā Pāka ā-iwi me te whakamana mahi i Te Pāka ā-iwi o Paparoa
This section implements the General Policy for National Parks 2005 and other legislative requirements. The objectives and policies in this section apply to all of Paparoa National Park. If there is a more specific provision in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne, then it prevails over these provisions.
Adverse effects on Paparoa National Park's natural, historic and cultural values, including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values and the public's enjoyment of the Park, are avoided while:
- allowing visitors to access the Park and benefit from its values, and managing visitor activities to preserve the Park's values;
- enabling the provision of a range of high quality services to visitors through the granting of concessions consistent with the outcomes sought for the Park and its recreational settings; and
- enabling Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae to access and use whenua tupuna/ancestral lands and taonga to support intergenerational Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae wellbeing, where consistent with legislation.
3.1 Management general
The Department aims to allow a range of authorisations consistent with relevant legislation and general policy, the protection of natural resources and historic and cultural values, including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values, and the recreational settings and planned outcomes and policies in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne.
3.1.1 Manage recreational opportunities provided by concessionaires, in accordance with the visitor management zones, as shown in Map 4 and as described in Appendix 2.
3.1.2 Promulgate and review bylaws as required for Paparoa National Park management, including such matters as pollution, litter, fire and noise, or as identified in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne.
3.1.3 Restrict or close access to Paparoa National Park, or any part of the Park, where necessary for:
- the preservation of native plants and animals;
- the welfare in general of the Park; or
- reasons of public safety.
Map 4: Visitor management zones
Note: High resolution maps are available at www.doc.govt.nz/paparoa.
3.1.4 Encourage people and businesses undertaking activities in Paparoa National Park to comply with activity-specific minimum impact codes (care codes) as notified from time to time on the Department's website.
3.1.5 Work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, Land Information New Zealand, the New Zealand Walking Access Commission, local authorities, other agencies, adjoining landowners and the public, to achieve integrated management of legal roads and Crown river beds adjoining Paparoa National Park (excluding those roads managed by the New Zealand Transport Agency), where actual or potential activity on or near these legal roads creates difficulties, by:
- seeking voluntary public management of their use of these roads and river beds consistent with the management of adjoining Paparoa National Park;
- enabling the Department to manage and facilitate recreation on these roads and river beds consistent with the management of adjoining Paparoa National Park;
- seeking active management of, and facilitation of recreation on, these roads and river beds by local authorities consistent with the management of adjoining Paparoa National Park; or
- stopping or resuming these roads and river beds and adding them to the national park in accordance with national park legislation.
3.1.6 Work with the Transport Agency, West Coast Regional and Buller and Grey District Councils, on the rationalisation of legal road boundaries through Paparoa National Park, where:
- options for realignment or reconstruction cannot be accommodated within the existing legal road;
- the proposal is supported by the Department, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board as being in the best interest overall of Paparoa National Park;
- there are no significant adverse effects on:
- threatened or at-risk species or their habitats;
- historic and cultural values; or
- landscape or scenic values; and
- rehabilitation is undertaken as required and to a standard consistent with adjacent Paparoa National Park values.
3.1.7 Undertake consultation with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, the New Zealand Transport Agency, user groups, adjoining landowners, tramping clubs, and other interested parties and the public and apply the following criteria when considering new opportunities for the use of vehicles in Paparoa National Park;
- is consistent with the purposes for which the Park is held;
- is consistent with the outcome and policies in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne for the Place where the road, track or site is, or is proposed to be, located;
- is consistent with the visitor management zones on Map 4 and as described in Appendix 2;
- adverse effects (including cumulative adverse effects) on the road, track or site and natural, historic or cultural values can be avoided, remedied or mitigated;
- adverse effects (including cumulative adverse effects) on the safety and enjoyment of other recreational users can be avoided, remedied or mitigated (including conflicts between motorised vehicles, mountain bikes and electric power-assisted pedal cycles);
- measures such as (but not limited to) trial periods, restricted seasons, daylight use only, limits on numbers and one-way flow can be applied if necessary;
- facilities, including those associated with overnight use, can be provided if necessary;
- risks of fire and biosecurity (including the introduction or spread of pest plants and pathogens) are avoided or otherwise carefully managed; and
- the ongoing management implications of providing vehicle access (e.g. in terms of ongoing maintenance costs) are taken into account.
3.1.8 Should follow the statutory management plan amendment or review process when providing new opportunities for the use of vehicles in Paparoa National Park.
3.1.9 Restrict or close access to part of Paparoa National Park, including the use of rāhui, where necessary for the preservation of native plants and animals or the welfare in general of the Park.
3.1.10 Should not authorise the removal of protected New Zealand objects, including ngā taonga tūturu from Paparoa National Park, including caves, unless it is:
- for research and monitoring purposes; and
- in accordance with General Policy for National Parks 2005, section 11.
3.1.11 Monitor authorised activities and their effects on natural, historic, recreation and cultural values, including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values as required. If evidence shows adverse effects are occurring, further restrictions may be applied.
3.2 Authorisations general
Unless enabled by other legislation, anyone wishing to carry out various activities in Paparoa National Park requires an authorisation. The most common authorisations are concessions and permits.
3.2.1 Will process authorisations in accordance with the relevant legislation, General Policy for National Parks 2005, the West Coast Te Tai Poutini Conservation Management Strategy and this Plan.
3.2.2 Should consider options to manage an activity if monitoring indicates adverse effects are occurring to reduce or avoid, remedy or mitigate those effects.
3.2.3 Should not grant authorisations where they are inconsistent with the:
- outcomes, objectives and policies in this Plan;
- purposes for which the Park is held; and
- visitor management zones on Map 4 and as described in Appendix 2.
3.2.4 Should include a condition in all guiding concessions for Paparoa National Park requiring no more than 50% of available bunk space in a hut to be occupied (unless otherwise unoccupied).
3.2.5 Include conditions, where relevant in concessions for Paparoa National Park, to recognise and protect Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values and encourage respectful use of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae cultural information.
Te torohē ana
Paparoa National Park is an important area for caving nationally and internationally. In many instances, caving is a specialised activity and protection of the fragile underworld ecosystems is necessary. Some are open access caves, but there are a number of restricted or partially restricted access caves where caving experience is required to enter them and other caves where, for safety or protection reasons, authorisation is required from the Department to enter them. Individual caves are detailed in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne, Nīkau Place, Policies 4.4.8–4.4.14 and Mānuka Place, Policies 6.4.2–6.4.7.
3.3.1 Should manage access to the cave and karst systems within Paparoa National Park in accordance with accepted internationally and nationally consistent standards such as the Karst Management Guidelines (1999), the West Coast Cave and Karst Management Strategy and Operational Guidelines 1992, or any revised and updated guidance.
3.3.2 Work with the New Zealand Speleological Society to encourage a precautionary approach to the placement of permanent fixtures such as safety anchors (bolts) within caves in Paparoa National Park, and in accordance with the New Zealand Speleological Society Code of Ethics and Policy 3.4.7.
3.3.3 Work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board, the New Zealand Speleological Society, the Australasian Cave and Karst Management Association Inc (ACKMA) and other interested parties to protect and manage the valuable caving and karst resource in Paparoa National Park by:
- undertaking a review of the West Coast Cave and Karst Management Strategy and Operational Guidelines 1992;
- sharing information between all parties regarding the cave and karst systems of Paparoa National Park, including new discoveries;
- encouraging visitor safety, proper use (such as, tracking and biosecurity), awareness, education and appreciation of the natural, scientific, scenic and recreational significance of cave and karst systems; and
- encouraging the public to advise the Department and/or Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae of any accidental discoveries of ngā taonga tūturu or other protected New Zealand objects.
3.3.4 Encourage research and investigation into the caves and karst in Paparoa National Park, working with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board and in consultation with the New Zealand Speleological Society.
3.4 Bolts and fixed anchors
Ngā pou here
Paparoa National Park offers a number of climbing opportunities, including bouldering, traditional rock climbing, mountaineering and sports climbing. However, the placement of bolts and fixed anchors (e.g. for the development of sport climbing routes) is only provided for in the designated 'Climbing Development Area' within Nīkau Place, see Policy 4.4.15 and Map 7.
The use of bolts and fixed anchors is subject to the following policies.
3.4.1 Should allow for the placement of bolts and fixed anchors within the Climbing Development Area, Nīkau Place, as detailed in Policy 4.4.15 and shown on Map 7.
3.4.2 Work with the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board, in consultation with other relevant groups, to protect and manage the valued recreational activity of sports climbing by:
- developing the NZAC guidelines for climbing within the Climbing Development Area in Nīkau Place and any other authorised climbing development areas;
- sharing information between all parties regarding bolt and fixed anchor management;
- encouraging visitor safety, proper use, awareness and education and addressing adverse effects, including cumulative effects on national park values; and
- encouraging the public to advise the Department and/or Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae of any accidental discoveries of ngā taonga tūturu or other protected New Zealand objects.
3.4.3 Apply the NZAC guidelines (as per Policy 3.4.2a) and any updates or revisions to the guidelines, in the management of climbing in the Climbing Development Area in Nīkau Place.
3.4.4 May authorise new climbing development areas (outside of the 'Climbing Development Area') within Nīkau Place, see Policy 4.4.15 where the following has been undertaken:
- consultation with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board; and
- a full assessment of effects, including;
- avoidance of adverse effects on priority ecosystem units, threatened or at-risk species;
- protection of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values;
- consideration of recreation use patterns;
- adverse effects of tracks required to access the climbing area and associated campsites;
- fixed anchor placement and the adverse effects on national park and Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values; and
- addressing safety concerns.
3.4.5 Encourage climbers to provide a range of climbing experiences for different climbing abilities.
3.4.6 Encourage and support the NZAC to take the lead on bolts and fixed anchor management:
- in accordance with the NZAC guideline (as per Policy 3.4.2a)) and the NZAC's Position on Bolting (2010) and the Bolting Technical Guidelines (2005) and any other updated guidance; and
- in consultation with the Department, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board and the local climbing community.
3.4.7 Should allow the placement of safety anchors in caves and canyons within Paparoa National Park in accordance with Policies 3.1.3 and 3.3.2.
Vehicles, both powered and non-powered, are allowed on identified roads, tracks and designated parking areas in Paparoa National Park.
3.5.1 Liaise with vehicle user groups to identify opportunities to:
- be involved in conservation programmes; and
- maintain the roads, tracks or routes they are permitted to use.
3.5.2 Monitor the adverse effects of vehicle use on natural, historic and cultural values, including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values and on other recreational users.
3.5.3 Work in consultation with the New Zealand Transport Agency where vehicle impacts affect the State Highway network.
3.5.4 Review vehicle use where monitoring shows adverse effects are occurring, in consultation with relevant user groups and the community.
3.5.5 Identify, on the Department's website, signs and other information:
- where people are permitted to take vehicles into Paparoa National Park; and
- what conditions apply to the taking of such vehicles, including, where vehicles are restricted to identified tracks or roads, the requirement to remain on the track or road formation at all times.
3.5.6 May restrict vehicle access at any time in the following situations:
- there is a health and safety risk;
- there is a fire risk;
- adverse effects are evident, or likely, on conservation resources;
- priorities change for the provision of the road or designated vehicular route; or
- where damage to the structure of the road is evident or likely.
3.6 Powered vehicles
Ngā waka mīhini
Powered vehicles include motor vehicles and electric power-assisted pedal cycles4. Motor vehicles are used to access the coastal areas and outer edges of Paparoa National Park. State Highway 6 plays an important role in facilitating visitor access to the Park.
Motor vehicle access into Paparoa National Park is limited to existing formed roads in Horoeka Place and the formed road to the Pike River mine interpretation centre. Further discussion on motor vehicle use can be found in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne. The use of electric power-assisted pedal cycles (e-bikes) is a relatively new activity and their use on the Pike29 Memorial Track and the Paparoa Track may be considered in the future by way of a partial review of this Plan (see Part Two: Tī Kōuka Place). E-bikes can be used wherever motor vehicles can go.
3.6.1 Should allow independent electric power-assisted pedal cycles (e-bikes) and may grant concessions for guided electric power-assisted pedal cycling and events using e-bikes, only:
- on the Pike River mine road;
- formed roads in Horoeka Place; and
- designated parking areas.
3.6.2 Seek bylaws to prohibit motor vehicles in Paparoa National Park except on:
- the Pike River mine road;
- formed roads in Horoeka Place; and
- designated parking areas.
3.6.3 Seek bylaws to prohibit electric power-assisted pedal cycles (e-bikes) in Paparoa National Park except on:
- the Pike River mine road;
- formed roads in Horoeka Place; and
- designated parking areas.
3.7 Non-powered vehicles
Ngā waka kore mīhini
Non-powered vehicles include bicycles, mountain bikes and all terrain wheelchairs. Mountain biking and all terrain wheelchairs have only previously occurred on formed legal roads bisecting Paparoa National Park. A relatively new activity for national parks, mountain biking is a popular recreation activity.
Further discussion on mountain bike and all terrain wheelchair use can be found in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne.
Map 5: Aircraft zones
Note: High resolution maps are available at www.doc.govt.nz/paparoa.
3.7.1 Should allow independent mountain biking, and may grant concessions for guided mountain biking or mountain bike events, only:
- on the Pike River mine road, the Pike29 Memorial Track and the Paparoa Track, formed roads in Horoeka Place, and designated parking areas; and
- in accordance with Policy 4.4.17 in Nīkau Place and Policies 5.4.3–5.4.8 in Tī Kōuka in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne.
3.7.2 Seek bylaws to:
- prohibit mountain bikes in Paparoa National Park, except on:
- the Pike29 Memorial Track and the Paparoa Track;
- the Pike River mine road;
- formed roads in Horoeka Place; and
- designated parking areas;
- require mountain bikes to remain on the formed Pike29 Memorial Track and the formed Paparoa Track at all times;
- prohibit the use of mountain bikes on the Pike29 Memorial Track and the Paparoa Track during the hours of darkness; and
- prohibit the taking of mountain bikes into a hut and onto or under hut steps, verandas or porches.
3.7.3 Monitor mountain bike use on the Pike29 Memorial Track and the Paparoa Track and their effects on natural, historic, cultural and recreational values. If evidence shows adverse effects are occurring further restrictions may be applied, in accordance with Policies 3.1.3 and 3.5.6.
3.7.4 Report annually to the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae on the result of the mountain bike use monitoring to enable them to consider whether to apply further restrictions.
Ngā waka rererangi
All aircraft, including remotely piloted aircraft (drones), require a concession or authorisation to land on, take off from, or hover over (collectively referred to as landings) Paparoa National Park.
To manage the effects of aircraft landings in Paparoa National Park there are three, nationally consistent, aircraft access zones (as shown on Map 5). These zones reflect the different management required, and the likelihood of granting concessions, for aircraft landings:
Red Zones are areas where a concession application to land an aircraft should be declined (with some exceptions).
Yellow Zones are areas where a concession application to land an aircraft should be granted where it meets the nationally consistent limits for this zone.
Orange Zones are areas where there are complex issues to be managed, which require the use of limits and/or other criteria to guide whether concessions for aircraft landings can be granted.
3.8.1 Advocate to aviation controllers and aircraft operators to manage flight paths to avoid adverse effects on Paparoa National Park.
3.8.2 Work with aircraft operators overflying Paparoa National Park to establish voluntary codes of conduct, which reflect the requirements of visitor management zones for the Park.
3.8.3 Should apply (but not be limited to) the following criteria when assessing concession applications for all aircraft landings:
- is consistent with the aircraft zoning provisions in this Plan, including the outcomes and policies in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne, and the aircraft access zones on
- the use of global positioning systems and other technologies for monitoring purposes;
- landings near tracks, huts and car parks (unless otherwise specified in an outcome or policy for a Place) are avoided;
- the need to hold and comply with certification in a noise management scheme approved by the Department, in specified locations; and
- adverse effects on Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values are avoided.
3.8.4 Should not grant concessions for aircraft landings in the Red Zone except:
- for the construction, operation and/or maintenance of equipment (e.g. meteorological, seismic) or utilities (e.g. communication systems, transmission lines) authorised by the Department;
- to support research, monitoring or the collection of material authorised by the Department; or
- in support of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae cultural purposes.
3.8.5 Should grant concessions for aircraft landings in the Yellow Zone only where the landings meet the criteria in Policy 3.8.3 and in accordance with the following limits:
- for commercial purposes, no more than two concessions for the whole zone, two landings per concession per day at any one site (defined as any landing site within a 1-kilometre radius of the initial landings site) and a maximum of 20 landings per aircraft per site per year; or
- for recreational purposes, two landings per aircraft per day at any one site (defined as any landing site within a 1-kilometre radius of the initial landings site) and a maximum of 20 landings per site per year.
3.8.6 Should grant concessions for aircraft landings in the Orange Zone only where they meet the criteria in Policy 3.8.3 and as detailed in the outcomes and policies of Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne, and the aircraft access zones on Map 5.
3.8.7 May grant concessions for aircraft landings associated with sporting events or filming activities where they do not meet the limits and/or criteria for the Yellow or Orange Zone, and/or the prescriptions for visitor management zones in Appendix 2 (see www.doc.govt.nz), in accordance with Policies 3.11.1–3.11.6 and subject to an assessment of:
- any adverse effect of the event or filming activity and the extent to which it is possible to avoid, remedy and mitigate those effects. Examples of mechanisms used to address any adverse effects include:
- informing neighbours and potential visitors to the site that the activity is to occur or is occurring;
- avoiding peak visitor times;
- avoiding or protecting sites with high natural, historic or cultural values, including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values in consultation with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae;
- the use of remotely piloted aircraft; and
- low-level flying (i.e. hovering) but no actual landing on the ground.
- cumulative adverse effects on the values at the site; and
- the need for public consultation of the event or filming activity.
3.8.8 May grant concessions for aircraft landings in Paparoa National Park where they do not meet the limits and/or criteria for an aircraft access zone and/or the prescriptions for visitor management zones in Appendix 2 (see www.doc.govt.nz) for:
- the construction, operation and/or maintenance of equipment (e.g. meteorological, seismic) or utilities (e.g. communication systems, transmission lines) authorised by the Department; or
- wild animal control activities covered by Policies 3.18.1 and 3.18.2 (Wild animals).
3.8.9 May grant concessions for the commercial or non-commercial use of remotely piloted aircraft (drones) in the Yellow and Orange zones (other than at the ventilation shaft or the portal of the Pike River mine), subject to the provisions of Nīkau Place Polices 4.4.18 and 4.4.19.
Ngā waka moana
Many of the rivers flow through, but are not part of Paparoa National Park, and are therefore not controlled by the Department. Other watercraft controls exist through Buller District Council's Navigation and Safety Bylaws.
3.9.1 Should allow independent non-powered watercraft (such as kayaks, canoes, rafts, paddle boards and waka), and may grant concessions for guided non-powered watercraft in Paparoa National Park.
3.9.2 Should not allow powered watercraft (such as runabouts, launches, hovercraft, cruisers, personal watercraft (e.g. jet skis) and powered sailing craft) in Paparoa National Park.
3.9.3 Seek a bylaw to prohibit powered watercraft in Paparoa National Park.
3.9.4 Advocate for the management of, and work with Buller and Grey District Councils and West Coast Regional Council to manage, watercraft use on waters adjacent to Paparoa National Park and not managed by the Department in a manner consistent with this Plan.
3.10 Commercial filming and photography
Te hanga kiriata me te hopu whakaahua
Commercial filming and photography (filming activity) is any photography or filming undertaken in Paparoa National Park for gain or reward. Filming activities can include some or all of the following – crew, film equipment, vehicles, aircraft, animals, sets and special effects.
3.10.1 Should grant concessions for commercial filming and photography (filming activity) in Paparoa National Park only where:
- it is consistent with the aircraft zoning provisions in the Plan, Policies 3.8.1–3.8.9 and Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne objectives and policies, and the aircraft access zones on Map 5;
- any conflicts between recreation/tourism uses and filming activity are avoided (e.g. separated in space and time), remedied or mitigated; and
- any adverse effects from filming and associated activities on conservation values, including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values, are avoided, remedied or mitigated.
3.10.2 Should require compliance with the latest version of the Code of Practice: Filming on Public Conservation Lands 5 and A Guideline for Filming within the Takiwā of Ngāi Tahu in all concessions for filming activities.
3.11 Sporting and other competitive events
Competitive sporting events including endurance races, multi-sport or orienteering events require a concession and present an opportunity to educate participants about national park values, such as through pre-race information and briefings. Adverse effects, such as ground and vegetation damage, tend to be minimal when confined to a track system designed and well maintained for the activity.
3.11.1 May grant concessions for organised sporting or other competitive events where adequate public notification of the event can occur before the event.
3.11.2 May grant concessions for sporting events where they are consistent with the aircraft zoning provisions in this Plan, Policies 3.8.1–3.8.9, Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne objectives and policies, and the aircraft access zones on Map 5;
3.11.3 Should not grant concessions for sporting events through caves within Paparoa National Park.
3.11.4 May waive or reduce the requirement for public notification in circumstances where details of a sporting or other competitive event are not disclosed to participants in advance, if satisfied the adverse effects will be minimal and following consultation with the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board on a confidential basis.
3.11.5 May require the concessionaire to ensure participants in a sporting or other competitive event to comply with a code of conduct developed with the concessionaire.
3.11.6 Should require in all authorisations for sporting and other competitive events:
- monitoring of effects on natural, historic, recreational and cultural values;
- fire safety contingencies in high fire risk areas, including event authorisations being cancelled at short notice; and
- opportunities for conservation advocacy and interpretation; including Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values in consultation with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae.
Domestic animals can potentially modify or adversely affect natural, historic and cultural values associated with Paparoa National Park. Such effects include risks to wildlife, introducing pest plants and browsing of indigenous vegetation. The use of animals can also enhance the recreational experience of visitors to the Park.
3.12.1 Should not permit horses to be taken into Paparoa National Park.
3.12.2 Should not allow dogs in Paparoa National Park, except in accordance with section 56E of the National Parks Act 1980 (including disability assist dogs).
3.12.3 Should allow disability assist dogs in Paparoa National Park without a permit, provided:
- the person who the dog is accompanying keeps the dog under control at all times; and
- the dog:
- wears a Disability Assist Dog identification tag; and
- is registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register.
3.12.4 Educate the community about the threats uncontrolled dogs can pose to wildlife and conservation values.
3.12.5 Should not permit any other types of animals to be taken into Paparoa National Park.
3.13 Grazing and farming
Ngā mahi pāmu
Grazing and farming is not generally consistent with the requirements of the National Parks Act 1980 to preserve national parks as far as possible in their natural state.
3.13.1 Should not authorise grazing or farming in Paparoa National Park.
3.14 Sports fish
The West Coast Fish and Game Council manages sports fish and fishing in the region. Sports fishing is a popular recreational activity with opportunities to fish for trout in highly scenic rivers attracting locals and visitors.
3.14.1 Work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the West Coast Fish and Game Council to:
- preserve indigenous freshwater fisheries; and
- protect recreational freshwater fisheries and freshwater fish habitats at risk of loss or decline.
3.14.2 Work with the West Coast Fish and Game Council in its management of sports fishing in Paparoa National Park.
3.14.3 Should not approve the introduction of sports fish into the waters of Paparoa National Park.
Te hopu tuna/te hī ika
The Department is responsible for protecting and preserving indigenous fish, including tuna/eels and their habitat within Paparoa National Park. Ministry of Primary Industries is responsible for the setting of commercial quota, including tuna/eel. Tuna/eels have an important role to play in ecosystem functioning, being the top predators in freshwater ecosystems. Commercial eeling, habitat loss and hydro-development can all have potential adverse effects on tuna/eels. Longfin eels are 'at risk/declining'.
3.15.1 Should not grant concessions for:
- commercial eeling in Paparoa National Park; or
- access over Paparoa National Park, where it is required to reach a proposed commercial eeling site
to ensure the preservation of tuna/eel species.
3.15.2 Non-commercial customary and recreational fishing for indigenous species in Paparoa National Park requires written consent from the Minister and may be authorised on a case-by-case basis where:
- it is consistent with all relevant Acts and regulations and the purposes of national parks;
- there is an established tradition of such fishing in those Paparoa National Park waters;
- the preservation of the indigenous freshwater fisheries and maintenance of stocks within those waters of Paparoa National Park are not adversely affected;
- it is provided for in this plan; and
- in the case of non-commercial customary fishing, the application is supported by Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae.
3.16 Mining and sand/shingle extraction
Te huke waro
The taking of sand, shingle or other natural material is managed by the West Coast Regional Council under the Resource Management Act 1991. An authorisation from the Department is also required for extraction activities within Paparoa National Park.
Under the Crown Minerals Act 1991, the Minister of Conservation may, in exceptional circumstances, grant access arrangements over land and/or water described in Schedule 4 of the Act, which includes national parks.
Rock is required for maintaining State Highway 6 and other roads and tracks in Paparoa National Park, and to protect against coastal erosion. Using material from inside the Park reduces the risk of importing seeds of pest plants from other sources. Rock extraction from the Park has occurred in the past.
3.16.1 Should grant permits for access arrangements under section 61(1A) of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 only in accordance with the criteria set out in the relevant provisions of the Act.
3.16.2 May grant concessions for the removal of sand, shingle and other natural material from Paparoa National Park for the purposes of road and track maintenance, coastal erosion protection, and other construction purposes, where adverse effects on natural, historic and cultural values are avoided, remedied or mitigated.
3.16.3 Encourage, wherever possible, the sourcing of sand, shingle and other natural material from acceptable sites within Paparoa National Park, for use in the Park, to reduce the risk of introducing pest plants into the Park.
3.16.4 Work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and West Coast Regional Council to achieve integrated management of sand, shingle and other natural material extraction within and adjacent to Paparoa National Park.
3.17 Structures, utilities and facilities
Ngā whare me ngā whakaurunga
The structures within Paparoa National Park relate to Department operational requirements, facilities for public use, utilities, and the representation of Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values.
Utilities provide essential public services, such as: telecommunications; energy generation, water supply and flood control; roads; weather stations; and seismic monitoring.
3.17.1 Consider proposals for the development of new public recreational tracks in Paparoa National Park (including community-led initiatives for new public tracks) where adverse effects on natural, cultural, recreation and historic values can be avoided, remedied or mitigated, and visitor demand is evident. When considering potential track developments give preference to those:
- linking with existing opportunities on adjacent land;
- ensuring, where they are present, that self-reliance and solitude values prevail;
- protecting and enhancing priority ecosystem units or threatened species; and
- protecting Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values.
3.17.2 Should consider the following criteria6 when considering applications to erect or retain structures, utilities and facilities in Paparoa National Park:
- the relevant outcomes and policies in Part Two: Ngā Tamariki a Tāne where the activity is proposed to occur;
- the structure, utility or facility is readily available for public use;
- the activity promotes or enhances the retention of a historic structure, utility or facility;
- the activity is an adaptive reuse of an existing structure, utility or facility;
- the structure represents or communicates Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae history or values;
- the activity supports the health and safety of the public and communities; and
- the adverse effect on tangible or intangible cultural values, artefacts, wāhi tapu or wāhi taonga are avoided, remedied or mitigated.
3.17.3 Encourage the co-location of telecommunication facilities to avoid proliferation and any adverse effects on unmodified landscapes.
3.18 Wild and game animals
Ngā kararehe kōwao me ngā kararehe whakangau
Wild animals are introduced animals managed in accordance with the Wild Animal Control Act 1977. In Paparoa National Park, the Minister of Conservation has responsibility for this Act through the granting of:
- concessions issued under the Conservation Act 1987, for commercial wild animal recovery operations involving aircraft; and
- permits for commercial and recreational hunting.
Game animals are introduced animals managed in accordance with the Game Animal Council Act 2013.
3.18.1 Work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the Game Animal Council to facilitate the hunting of wild and game animals in Paparoa National Park in accordance with the Wild Animal Control Act 1977 and Game Animal Council Act 2013.
Deer, pig, chamois and goat live capture and carcass recovery
Te hopu tia, te hopu poaka, te hopu koati mohoao me te whakawhāiti i ngā karaehe mate
3.18.2 Should assess concession applications for deer, pig, chamois and goat live capture and carcass recovery in Paparoa National Park under the Wild Animal Control Act 1977 against the following criteria:
- the contribution to concerted action to control wild animals (to achieve the purposes of the Wild Animal Control Act 1977);
- adverse effects on conservation values, including priority ecosystem units and species, surrounding lands, and natural quiet;
- effects on Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Waewae values;
- effects on visitors;
- cumulative effects;
- frequency, timing and location of the activity;
- the effect of granting the concession on other authorisations;
- the destination of any live capture animals outside public conservation land; and
- other relevant matters, including the applicant's ability to obtain required accreditations or certifications from other agencies.
Under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977, the Fire Authority for the West Coast Rural Fire District is responsible for the area containing Paparoa National Park. The West Coast Rural Fire District brings together the fire fighting responsibilities of the Buller and Grey District Councils and the Department.
Vegetation fires are generally not a serious threat to Paparoa National Park due to the high rainfall. Open fires require a permit, obtained from the District Councils, under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.
3.19.1 Work co-operatively with the West Coast Rural Fire District Fire Authority, New Zealand Fire Service, surrounding landowners and the community to increase awareness of rural fire risks and to prevent them from affecting Paparoa National Park.
3.19.2 Require visitors to Paparoa National Park to use portable cooking equipment as opposed to open fires for cooking.
3.19.3 Seek a bylaw to prohibit the use of open fires in Paparoa National Park.
Ngā pouaka pī
Beehives are permitted in Horoeka Place. Identification of new areas for the placement of beehives is subject to research to gain a better understanding of the effects on native species.
3.20.1 Should authorise the placement of beehives only in:
- Horoeka Place; and
- other Places once the effects on indigenous species are understood.
3 Persistence is achieved when there is a 95% probability of a species surviving over the next 50 years or three generations (whichever is longer).
4 An electric power-assisted pedal cycle has one or more auxiliary electric propulsion motors attached having a combined maximum power output of up to 300 watts.
5 Jointly developed by the Department and Film New Zealand.
6 In addition to the matters set out in section 17U Conservation Act 1987.