In the “Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2015

Impact we seek

Every business fosters conservation for this and future generations

Impact indicators

Increase in engagement of the commercial sector in conservation partnerships

Change in the level of investment in conservation from the commercial sector

Improvement in level of return on investment for key DOC products and services

To be able to deliver increased conservation outcomes across New Zealand, DOC engages with others and works in partnership with communities. The commercial sector is a vital and leading part of the wider community. DOC has been focusing on changing how this sector thinks about and interacts with conservation. We are continuing to seek increased conservation outcomes through deepening our relationships with our current partners and seeking out new partnerships. Points of focus are:

  • Developing productive business partnerships
  • Increasing business opportunities on public conservation land
  • Increasing the return (benefit) to conservation from key DOC products and services.

DOC's successful engagement of the business sector in conservation endeavours is heavily dependent on how people relate to conservation already and the image DOC has within society (the 'DOC brand').

Increase in engagement of the commercial sector in conservation partnerships

Growth in the commitment of businesses to conservation continues as DOC establishes and grows partnerships.

  • DOC entered into a 3-year partnership with Yealands Family Wines to support conservation initiatives on the Queen Charlotte Track and Queen Charlotte Sound.
  • Crombie Lockwood insurance company has been assisting regional teams with conservation projects, helping groups with public liability insurances, and providing marketing and communications support, and administrative help. This relationship profiles how DOC can help grow conservation outcomes by acting as broker between businesses and active conservation groups throughout New Zealand.
  • Genesis Energy continue to provide valuable sponsorship for the Whio Recovery Programme, including helping to raise the public profile of whio through their new Facebook page.

The Living Water Programme is a joint project between DOC and Fonterra, working with local communities, dairy farmers, iwi and other stakeholders, that enables engagement with the primary production sector. The programme's vision is for a sustainable dairy industry that is part of healthy, functioning ecosystems, that together enrich the lives of all New Zealanders. At this early stage the successes are seen in the delivery of various initiatives of the programme. The outcomes of demonstrated benefit to conservation can be expected as these initiatives take effect.

Change in the level of investment in conservation from the commercial sector

Commercial operations on public conservation lands and waters involve a diverse range of commercial businesses. These include tourism, aviation, beekeeping, agriculture, energy, telecommunications, wild animal recovery and filming. The Department is working to better understand the issues and opportunities of each industry and how we can work together to achieve increased conservation outcomes.

This year DOC has entered into a number of Memoranda of Understanding and run workshops with core industries including tourism, aviation, fur processing, marine, and the Sustainable Business Council. There are considerable growth opportunities but careful planning is required to ensure long-term sustainability. In addition, we are continuing to investigate how we can most effectively address iwi interests in respect of business development.

  • Beekeeping activities are going through a high growth phase on the back of the buoyant mānuka honey market. This has driven increasing competition for the natural resources on public conservation land. DOC is reviewing how it manages beekeeping in order to ensure conservation and cultural values continue to be maintained while increasing beekeeping opportunities, optimising the economic return to conservation and streamlining the processes.
  • DOC has worked with film companies to support the production of five major series showcasing New Zealand internationally. As a new business approach, DOC has developed content rights agreements with film companies allowing the footage to be used for conservation purposes in future.
Table 10: Department of Conservation concession and partnership revenue.

Financial contribution received

Actual (baseline)




Change since 2013/14 







Partnership (funds in partnership commitments)






Improvement in level of return on investment for key DOC products and services

Participation in conservation and enjoying our natural and historic heritage brings many benefits to people, the economy and our nature. Promotion is one way of increasing recreational participation. Particular focus this year has been on international markets. This has included working with 40 wholesalers and 15 inbound tour operators and providing information about Great Walks in eight languages.

With changing markets, patterns of use and increasing visitor numbers, we are paying particular attention to visitor safety and preparedness information. Domestic marketing has a focus on encouraging New Zealanders to experience our wild places.

Table 11: Revenue from key DOC products and services.

Revenue received

Actual (baseline) ($000)




Change since 2013/14 

Backcountry huts






Conservation campsites






Great Walks






Visitor centre network – gross retail






DOC seeks to collaborate with partners in marketing, utilising their channels to reach new audiences. This is highlighted through the Air New Zealand partnership, which promotes the Great Walks through a coordinated multi-media programme including in-flight material and digital marketing. Since this partnership began, there has been a 10 percent increase in Great Walks bed-nights in each of the past 3 years. In addition DOC and Air New Zealand partnered in the Coastal Gems marketing campaign, raising awareness of key marine reserve destinations.

DOC manages 22 visitor centres at key locations across New Zealand. They receive 1.6 million visitors per year and are an important way of providing visitor information, safety messaging and an opportunity to grow understanding and support for conservation.

DOC's brand strength has shown a positive upward trend with the public since 2008.28 DOC also rated as the third most influential Kiwi brand in New Zealand in the recent Ipsos Most Influential Brand research,29 excelling in the citizenship aspect of the research findings. This is a significant achievement. The Department has gone through an exercise of trademarking our product logos to continue to strengthen and protect our brand equity on behalf of New Zealanders.

Living Water progress highlights – end of year 2


  • Well-attended Community Open Days/Water Quality Action field day
  • Reports on opportunities for restoration (Hikurangi, Waikato Lakes, Te Waihora)
  • Baseline assessments (all sites)
  • On-farm solutions: nitrate passive filter trial (Waituna), constructed wetland (Hikurangi), biodiversity assessment (Hikurangi), drainage management (Te Waihora)
  • Mātauranga Māori pathway report (Waikato)
  • Business case for land acquisition for habitat expansion (Pukorokoro)
  • Planting and weed control on PCL – all sites, on-farm planting
  • Public access ways at Lake Ruatuna and Rotomanuka lengthened and widened

Girl with a tree at a communitiy open day. Photo: Fonterra.  Man and boy at a community open day. Photo: Fonterra.
Community Open Days. Photos: Fonterra

Top 10 brands in a 2015 survey: Google, facebook, trademe, Microsoft, YouTube, Apple, Air New Zealand, Department of Conservation, TVNZ, The Warehouse.
DOC came 8th in a survey of New Zealand's top 100 brands of 2015

28 BrandCapital International 2014: DOC brand update 2014 [Report 1]. Report prepared for the Department of Conservation. BrandCapital International, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 58p.

29 Ipsos 2015b: New Zealand's 100 most influential brands. Research results

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