In the “Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2015

Appendix 1: DOC's responsibilities

DOC manages about 8.6 million hectares of land, 44 marine reserves (covering almost 1.7 million hectares), and 8 marine mammal sanctuaries (covering approximately 2.8 million hectares).30 A considerable proportion of the land is, however, snow and ice, and much of DOC's work is focused on relatively small areas of land or water where conservation values are high, whether that is for natural heritage reasons or in support of visitor experiences or community engagement.

DOC is responsible for encouraging recreation on the lands and waters it manages. To that end, it provides and manages historic sites and visitor facilities, including walking, biking and 4WD tracks, huts, campsites and visitor centres.

DOC works within the statutory concessions framework to authorise tourism operators and other third party activities on public conservation lands and waters. These include grazing, mining and the use of sites for telecommunication purposes.

DOC supports the Minister of Conservation in exercising responsibilities under the Resource Management Act 1991 for the coastal and marine environment. This includes providing advice to the Minister and input into local government policies, plans and consent applications regarding the coastal and marine environment.

The Department also contributes to all-of-government activities in response to the Government's stated priorities for the public sector, for example the Better Public Services programme.

The Government's driving goals in 2014/15 were:31 to responsibly manage the Government's finances; build a more productive and competitive economy; deliver better public services within tight financial constraints; and rebuild Christchurch, our second-biggest city.

DOC's mandate and context is also set by a statutory planning framework that supports the legislation: the Conservation General Policy, the National Parks General Policy, and the strategies and plans that flow from these policies. A series of conservation management strategies (CMSs) identify the places that DOC manages on behalf of New Zealanders. These CMSs establish 'outcomes at places' and high-level objectives that guide DOC's management of public conservation lands and waters.

DOC manages protected species and public conservation lands and waters to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits, which, in combination, are key contributors to New Zealanders' prosperity and wellbeing.

Appendix 2: Departmental outputs

The work DOC does (the outputs it delivers) to achieve each of the intermediate outcomes is shown in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1: Output classes and main outputs that contribute to DOC's intermediate outcomes.

Intermediate outcome

Output classes

Main outputs32

Intermediate outcome 1: 
Natural heritage
The diversity of our natural heritage is maintained and restored

Management of natural heritage

Fire control
Conservation Services Programme
Restoration
Pest and weed control
Legal protection of areas and marine protection
Species management33

Crown contribution to regional pest management strategies

Regional pest management strategies

Conservation with the community

Participation
Education and communication

Policy advice, statutory planning, and services to ministers and statutory bodies

Policy advice
Ministerial servicing

Intermediate outcome 2: 
Historic heritage
Our history is brought to life and protected

Management of historic heritage

Historic and cultural heritage restoration

Management of recreational opportunities

Asset management
Recreation opportunities management
Recreation concessions

Conservation with the community

Participation
Education and communication

Policy advice, statutory planning, and services to ministers and statutory bodies

Policy advice
Ministerial servicing

Intermediate outcome 3: 
Recreation
New Zealanders and our visitors are enriched by outdoor experiences

Management of historic heritage

Historic and cultural heritage restoration

Management of recreational opportunities

Asset management
Recreation opportunities management
Recreation concessions

Conservation with the community

Participation
Education and communication

Policy advice, statutory planning, and services to ministers and statutory bodies

Policy advice
Ministerial services

Intermediate outcome 4:
Engagement
New Zealanders connect and contribute to conservation

Conservation with the community

Participation
Education and communication

Policy advice, statutory planning, and services to ministers and statutory bodies

Policy advice
Ministerial services

Intermediate outcome 5:
Business opportunities
Every business fosters conservation for this and future generations

Management of natural heritage

Fire control
Conservation Services Programme
Restoration
Pest and weed control
Legal protection of areas and marine protection
Species management

Management of historic heritage

Historic and cultural heritage restoration

Management of recreational opportunities

Asset management
Recreation opportunities management
Recreation concessions
Other resource use concessions

Conservation with the community

Participation
Education and communication

Policy advice, statutory planning, and services to ministers and statutory bodies

Policy advice 
Ministerial services

Appendix 3: Conservation achieved by others

New Zealand's special species and places are under constant threat from pests, climate change and from human activities. The task of managing our natural and historic heritage is huge and the Department recognises it cannot do it alone.

Partnerships with people and groups with a shared interest are critical including whānau, hapū and iwi, businesses, communities, and volunteers. While DOC has always worked in partnerships, this work has not always had a high profile even though it is as important as the conservation work done by our own staff. Partnerships are about working side-by-side with other people who care about conservation and want to make a difference too, and about making it easier for others to contribute in whatever way suits them best and celebrate success and achievements.

Celebrating community contribution

The following three community groups are included to draw the attention of readers to the significant contributions to conservation of a wide number of groups and individuals during the year – contributions that may otherwise go unreported and unrecognised.

The Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group

The Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group (OPBG) is a local community organisation made up of 10 volunteer trustees and a part-time project manager. The focus of the OPBG is on the peninsula-wide control of animal pests, starting with possums which are considered the most controllable. Their goal is to reduce possum numbers to zero density. Possum numbers will be suppressed at that level indefinitely.

OPBG is inspired by the 'Predator Free New Zealand' concept, and its localised efforts, in terms of achievement and knowledge gained, will be of benefit to other groups nationally who hold similar aspirations.

Table 3.1: Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group's contribution to conservation.

Measure group

Measure

Year end result

Possum control

Hectares of land receiving treatment this year for possums

4500

 

Hectares of land under sustained possum control

8631

Volunteer involvement

Number of workday equivalents contributed by people volunteering

145

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Orokonui Ecosanctuary, north of Dunedin, has an 8.7 km pest-proof fence erected in 2007. All 12 species of animal pests originally present have been eradicated. The Ecosanctuary provides safe habitat for many species of threatened native flora and fauna that have been successfully translocated there, such as saddleback/tīeke and kākā. The Ecosanctuary has an active biodiversity reintroductions programme that signals further desirable introductions, like snipe, kākāriki and native frog.

Table 3.2: Orokonui Ecosanctuary's contribution to conservation.

Measure group

Measure

Year end result

Goat control

Hectares of land receiving treatment this year for goats

307

 

Hectares of land under sustained goat control

307

Possum control

Hectares of land receiving treatment this year for possums

307

 

Hectares of land under sustained possum control

307

Volunteer involvement

Number of workday equivalents contributed by people volunteering

1481

Predator control

Hectares of land under sustained predator control

307

 

Hectares of land receiving treatment this year for predators

307

Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust

The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust (YEPT) was started in 1987 by local residents of Otago Peninsula who alerted the public to the declining population of the endemic yellow-eyed penguin. The Trust was New Zealand's first single species trust and it adopted the charitable concept as their own means of conserving yellow-eyed penguins on mainland coasts. Today the Trust is a semi-professional organisation that enjoys a growing national and international reputation as one of New Zealand's lead agencies and authority on yellow-eyed penguin conservation.

The Trust owns or manages six sites between north Otago and the Catlins where it carries out a range of activities including revegetation, predator control and species monitoring.

Table 3.3: Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust's contribution to conservation.

Measure group

Measure

Year end result

Volunteer involvement

Number of workday equivalents contributed by people volunteering

327

Species management

Threatened species under active management to ensure local security (yellow-eyed penguin)

1

Predator control

Hectares of land under sustained predator control

350

 

Hectares of land receiving treatment this year for predators

350

Community Conservation Partnership Fund

Established in 2014, the Community Conservation Partnerships Fund Pūtea Tautiaki Hapori (CCPF) continues to inspire and enable community-led conservation growth. Of the total 338 applications received in the 2015 expressions of interest, 146 were invited to submit a full proposal.

A successful applicant from the CCPF's 2014 round is showing that the fund is a strong mechanism for achieving gains for conservation. Wairaurahiri Jet was awarded funds to replace 304 stoat traps which are in place as part of a well-established predator control programme. Every trap is sponsored by the company's jet boating customers, and volunteers check, re-bait and re-set the traps monthly. Tourists, hunters and trampers are educated about biodiversity and predator control as they are transported into remote areas of Fiordland National Park.

Philanthropic contribution

NEXT is a foundation looking to support projects that significantly protect and sustain New Zealand's natural elements, habitats and species, including research and innovation, conservation and community participation, in ways that enhance the relationship between people and nature. This year's funding round resulted in a partnership project with DOC called ZIP – Zero Invasive Predators. ZIP's mission is to ensure the long-term security of New Zealand's biodiversity by developing operationally ready, innovative, strongly supported technologies to completely remove rats, possums and stoats from large mainland areas, and then defend those areas from reinvasion.

NEXT Foundation has received a further 105 applications to be assessed against its allocation criteria 'catalyst for transformational change in New Zealand'.

Appendix 4: Ngā Whenua Rāhui Fund

Purpose/vision

To enable Māori landowners' tino rangatiratanga associated with their land and to achieve specific biodiversity outcomes.

The Ngā Whenua Rāhui Fund is governed by an independent committee of Māori leaders and serviced by the Department of Conservation.

The Fund provides the opportunity for Māori landowners to manage their interests in biodiversity, reflecting different Māori landowners' priorities and sharing in the benefits of its use, to support their cultural, social, environmental and economic aspirations and fulfil their responsibilities as kaitiaki whilst retaining ownership.

Achievements

Legal protection

To date, Ngā Whenua Rāhui has implemented 234 agreements (totalling 171,773 hectares).

  • 13 agreements totalling 1,325 hectares were formally signed off by the Minister of Conservation
  • 12 agreements covering 2,577 hectares have been Approved in Principle by the Ngā Whenua Rāhui Komiti and will go to the Minister for final sign-off in 2015/16.

Compliance monitoring

With 232 sites now under protection, emphasis and commitment on compliance monitoring continues.

New protected area: C17286 Hokotehi Kaingarahu Bush, 43 hectares (Chatham Islands)

The Kaingarahu Bush, located on the north-eastern coast of Wharekauri/Rekohu (Chatham Islands) adjacent to an important wetland and Lake Kaingarahu, is a rare example of matipo-dominated forest. The bush is currently showing signs of stock grazing. The bush contains many dendroglyphs/Moriori tree carvings, was once a traditional village with burial grounds and also an important food gathering area. The subject block is part of a wider coastal landscape termed 'necklace lakes' that offer habitat for threatened species such as Chatham pipit, pied stilts, grey duck, warblers, shags, white-fronted terns, godwits and banded dotterel.

Statement of service performance – non-financial

Performance measures

2012/13
Actual standard

2013/14
Actual standard

2014/15
Budgeted standard

2014/15
Actual standard

Number of kawenata/management agreements signed off

4

16

10

13

Hectares of land receiving treatment for possums

11,754

15,607

16,000

9,846

Number of possum operations undertaken that meet their targets for operational success

9

4

5

6

Hectares of land receiving treatment for goats

32,121

15,252

20,000

43,460

Number of other terrestrial animal pest operations undertaken that met the criteria for success set out in their programme plans

5

4

4

2

Appendix 5: Statutory and ministerially appointed bodies

The New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) and the regional conservation boards are independent statutory bodies established under the Conservation Act 1987.

The NZCA's role is to advise the Minister of Conservation and the Director-General of Conservation on issues of national importance for conservation. It is also responsible for approving the General Policy for National Parks, conservation management strategies (CMSs) and national park management plans, which set objectives for DOC's management of public conservation areas. Members are appointed for a 3-year term and may be re-appointed. The current Authority's term finished on 30 June; eight members were reappointed to the new Authority, and five new members were appointed.

There are 14 conservation boards, each with a defined geographical area and up to 12 members. The boards are involved in conservation planning, policy and management advice. The Minister undertook a review of conservation boards in light of the significant changes in the conservancy boundaries and the new partnerships model within the Department. The review revealed that a refresh of the systems that support the boards was required, which would focus on the relationships, processes and operations of the boards. Central to this would be a new reporting framework that complemented the boards' current annual reporting to the New Zealand Conservation Authority. This will provide a greater focus for boards in their operations while maintaining their independence. Appointments were made to all boards, following last year's deferral for the review.

DOC also provides services to two ministerial bodies: the independent committees of Ngā Whenua Rāhui and the Nature Heritage Fund. The goal of the Ngā Whenua Rāhui Fund is to provide incentives for voluntary protection of indigenous ecosystems on Māori-owned land that represent a range of natural diversity originally present in New Zealand. The committee also allocates funds to increase tangata whenua participation in managing biodiversity in ways consistent with mātauranga Māori (customary knowledge). The Nature Heritage Fund's role is to protect indigenous ecosystems that represent the full range of natural diversity originally present in the New Zealand landscape, and it seeks to do this by providing incentives for voluntary conservation. These two ministerial bodies prepare and table their own annual report to Parliament each year.

Appendix 6: Management planning

Part of the context in which DOC operates is a statutory planning framework required by the Conservation Act 1987, National Parks Act 1980 and various Treaty of Waitangi settlements requiring the preparation of conservation management plans. A focus is the revision of conservation management strategies (CMSs), which have reached the end of their intended 10-year life. Public consultation is a critical part of the process, and final approval of a CMS rests with the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA).

The first three CMSs to be revised were approved by the NZCA during the reporting period. These were Northland, Auckland and Waikato. The second three, Canterbury, Otago and Southland, were referred to the conservation boards for their consideration during the period and have all been approved for handover to the NZCA.  In addition, pre-consultation work began during the period on reviews of the  Hawke's Bay/East Coast CMS (including joint work with Ngāti Porou on the Nga Whakahaere Takirua part of this CMS, in accordance with the Ngāti Porou Claims Settlement Act 2012), Wellington/part Wanganui and Nelson/Marlborough CMSs.

A parallel full review of the Westland/Tai Poutini National Park and Aoraki/Mt Cook Management Plans began during the period, with work progressing toward an intention to notify early in the 2015/16 period.

Work on drafting a conservation management plan for the Whirinaki Conservation Park, in accordance with the Ngāti Whare Treaty Claims Settlement Act 2012, was undertaken in consultation with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whāre. Pre-drafting and consultation work was also undertaken on conservation management plans for Te Hauturu o Toi/Little Barrier, Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe, Browns (Motukorea) group of islands and Wairau (Te Pokohiwi/Boulder Bank).

These strategies and plans provide guidance to DOC in its management of public conservation lands and waters.

Appendix 7: Performance of Reserve Boards as at 30 June 201434

Reserve Boards – Financial information available

Reserve Board

Type

Revenue
$

Expenditure
$

Net Assets
$

Northland

Oakura

Recreation

10,870

4,620

249,995

Ruakaka Central

Hall

13,227

14,168

73,259

Waipu Cove

Recreation

1,028,457

787,692

2,983,555

Whatitiri

Recreation

5,436

6.920

208,889

Coates Memorial Church

Local purpose

3

698

195,199

Taurikura

Hall

6,624

2,728

8,085

Auckland

Glorit

Hall

6,530

3,811

15,915

Bay of Plenty

Awakaponga

Hall

3,641

6,205

127,039

Lake Rotoiti

Scenic

7,538

9,698

33,582

Whanganui

Poukiore

Recreation

6,310

2,344

140,046

Tiriraukawa

Hall

309

179

2,835

Pākaitore/Moutoa Gardens

Historic

44,578

50,069

268,852

Wellington

Horowhenua

Recreation

718

4,980

32,610

Whitireia Park

Recreation

5,554

11,263

40,799

Nelson/Marlborough

Homewood

Hall

161

1,418

59,661

Kaiteriteri

Recreation

4,986,460

4,396,906

8,524,729

West Coast

Millerton

Hall

1,938

918

70,768

The Reserve Boards financial information for the following boards is not available:

Northland Waikiekie (Recreation),35 Ruakaka (Recreation); West Coast Charleston (Hall).

Appendix 8: Search and Surveillance Act 2012, section 171

Annual reporting of search and surveillance powers by agencies other than the Police

171(a)

The number of occasions on which entry or search powers were exercised without a warrant in the period covered by the report.

11

171(b)

The number of occasions on which warrantless surveillance powers were exercised in the period covered by the report that involved the use of a surveillance device.

0

171(c)(i)

In respect of each kind of surveillance device used without a warrant in the period covered by the report, the numbers of that kind of device used (i) for a period of no more than 24 hours.

0

171(c)(ii)

In respect of each kind of surveillance device used without a warrant in the period covered by the report, the numbers of that kind of device used (ii) for a period of more than 24 hours but no more than 48 hours.

0

171(d)

The number of persons charged in criminal proceedings where the collection of evidential material relevant to those proceedings was significantly assisted by the exercise of a warrantless search or surveillance power in the period covered by the report.

1

171(e)

The matters set out in section 172 in relation to surveillance device warrants and declaratory orders.

n/a


30 Marine reserves and marine mammal sanctuaries are listed in the companion report: Department of Conservation 2015: Biodiversity indicators: 2015 assessment – supplementary material. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

31 Budget Priorities Budget 2014, NZ Treasury website: treasury.govt.nz/budget/2014/bps/03.htm.

32 Quality assurance for this work is managed through DOC's development and implementation of best practice and standard operating procedures. Where external standards are not available, and/or DOC is the only agency undertaking work in New Zealand, it uses an internal peer review process to ensure best practice remains up to date.

33 This is an interim report, as work is still underway to comprehensively identify all the sites in which all species streamed for management occur, which pressures need to be reduced and to what level for each species, and planning and costing the work.While the aim of persistence is to secure management at a minimum of three sites, a number of species only exist at one or two sites nationally and this may be adequate for their persistence.To be included in this interim persistence report, management sites must have implemented more than 50% of planned management actions. A case-by-case evaluation of whether the exact actions required for each species are being implemented will be completed in 2016/17.

34 Details are dated 30 June 2014 as they are usually based on audited reports often not available until after the DOC Annual Report deadlines.

35 No figures are available for this board, which is in discussion with Audit NZ regarding its reporting.

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