In the “Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2007

The Department was set up under the Conservation Act 1987 and has powers and functions under other Acts. The Act defines conservation as: ‘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’.

The Department’s mission is:

To conserve New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage for all to enjoy now and in the future.

He ata whakaute, manaaki, me te tiaki ia Papatuanuku ki Aotearoa kia u tonu ai tona whakawaiutanga hei oranga ngakau mo te tini te mano inaianei, ake tonu ake.

The Department’s key functions are described under the Conservation Act (section 6 (a)(g)) and are summarised as follows:

  • manage, for conservation purposes, all land and other natural and historic resources held under the Conservation Act
  • preserve, so far as practicable, all indigenous freshwater fisheries
  • protect recreational freshwater fisheries and freshwater fish habitats
  • advocate the conservation of natural and historic resources generally
  • promote the benefits to present and future generations of conservation of natural and historic resources
  • prepare, provide, distribute, promote and publicise conservation information
  • foster recreation and allow tourism, to the extent that the use of any natural and historic resource is not inconsistent with its conservation
  • advise the Minister on matters relating to any of the above functions or to conservation generally.

The Department also interprets and administers the Conservation Act to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in accordance with section 4 of the Act.

The Department has powers and functions under a number of other Acts (a list of the key legislation is provided in the Appendices).

The Department directly and indirectly contributes toward achieving the Government’s priorities for the next decade:

  • Economic transformation
  • Families – young and old
  • National identity.

Together with its legislation, these goals provide the Department with a vision for the overall outcome it is working towards:

New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage is protected; people enjoy it and are involved with the Department in its conservation.
Kei te mahi ngatahi te Papa Atawhai me nga iwi whanui ki te whakaute, te manaaki me te tiaki i nga taonga koiora me nga taonga tuku iho o Aotearoa hei painga mo te katoa.

Figure 1: The Department’s contribution to the Government’s priorities for the next decade – linking outcomes to outputs.
Figure 1: The Department’s contribution
to the Government’s priorities for the
next decade – linking outcomes to outputs.
View a larger version of
Figure 1 (PDF, 56K)

To help achieve this vision and fulfil its legislated conservation responsibilities, the Department has identified two inter-related high level outcomes:

  1. Protection: New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage is protected and restored.
  2. Appreciation: People enjoy and benefit from New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage and are connected with conservation.

The link between the Department’s outcomes and outputs, and the Government’s priorities for the next decade are shown in Figure 1.

Public sector outcomes

As well as delivering on its Protection and Appreciation outcomes, the Department also contributes to wider Government goals through joint work with several other government agencies. This includes: implementation of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (the Department’s protection work), the Department’s role in the national biosecurity system (led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) and contributing to Treaty settlement negotiations.

The Department’s collaborative work on integrated policy responses helps ensure a common understanding of respective roles, and complements the Department’s work to fulfil its legislated conservation responsibilities. The more significant of these relationships are governed by agreed memoranda of understanding. The Protection section of this Annual Report includes descriptions of some examples of the Department’s joint policy work.

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