The management plan for Westland Tai Poutini National Park has been reviewed in accordance with the procedures set out in Section 47 of the National Parks Act 1980. This is a statutory document and provides for the management of Westland Tai Poutini National Park in accordance with the General Policies for National Parks and the Act. This is the second review of the original plan published in accordance with the National Parks Act 1952.
A management plan contains detailed objectives and policies for the effective management of the park but does not override the provisions of primary legislation and general policy. The purpose of this plan is to express the Department’s overall management intentions for Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Achievement will be determined by the availability of resources, strategic and business planning and level of community and concessionaire support.
This management plan has been prepared by the Department of Conservation in consultation with representatives from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board, the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board and other interested groups and individuals.
The plan acknowledges mana whenua and tangata whenua status of Ngāi Tahu over their ancestral lands and waters within the park. It acknowledges the Crown’s relationship with and obligations to Ngāi Tahu under section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987, provisions of the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 and the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement 1997. Apart from complying with the provisions of the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 and the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement 1997, the Department must also comply with section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987. This requires the Department to interpret and administer the Conservation Act 1987 so as to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Case law has established that section 4 applies to the Acts listed in the First Schedule to the Conservation Act 1987. The National Parks Act 1980 is one of listed Acts. The plan integrates these acknowledgements at all levels.
Public notice of the intention to review the plan was given on 5 December 1998 and the public were invited to make submissions on the management of the park. As a result 19 submissions were received within the required time-frame and were considered in preparation of the draft management plan.
The draft plan was then notified on 4 December 1999. Four months were allowed for public submissions. A total of 53 submissions were received and 11 submitters were heard in support of their submissions. These submissions were taken into account in the development of this plan.
This plan was approved by the New Zealand Conservation Authority on this 21st day of December 2001.
In 2008, the New Zealand Conservation Authority approved an amendment to the plan to enable the construction of shared cycling/walking pathways within the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Valleys. Changes in circumstance and general policy resulted in the need for sections 4.3.9, 4.4.17 and the glossary of the plan to be amended. Other sections of the plan (including maps 1-3) also needed to be updated to include several areas of land that have been added to the Park since this management plan was approved. The amendments were made following the standard consultation process set out in Section 47 or the National Parks Act 1980 and took effect on 11 June 2008.
In April 2014, the New Zealand Conservation Authority approved an amendment to the plan focusing on access to the Franz Josef Glacier Kä Roimata o Hine Hukatere and Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe. This change was required to ensure safe public access to these Icon Destinations due to the glaciers advancing and receding. When the plan was approved in 2001 the dramatic rate of glacier retreat and consequent problems of access to/or onto the glaciers was not anticipated. Changes in policy for Aircraft Access, Road Access, Vehicle Use and Glacier Guiding have been changed in the plan. Additionally Maps 4 and 4A, Aircraft Landing Sites, have been updated to reflect these changes. The amendments were made following the standard consultation process set out in section 47 of the National Parks Act 1980 and took effect on 9 April 2014.
This plan, including the amendments, remains operative unless formally reviewed in full or in part or amended.