In the “Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2015

Impact we seek

New Zealanders connect and contribute to conservation

Impact indicators

Change in the satisfaction of tangata whenua with DOC's activities to help them maintain their cultural relationships with taonga Performance measures to be developed.

Change in the importance of conservation to New Zealanders Performance maintained.

Change in the quality of the Department's engagement with key associates Performance maintained.

10-year stretch goals

90 percent of New Zealanders' lives are enriched through connection to our nature.

Whānau, hapū and iwi are able to practise their responsibilities as kaitiaki of natural and cultural resources on public conservation lands and waters.

Over the past 12 months DOC has continued to embed a fundamental shift in the intent and approach it has for engaging with others.

Our engagement and partnerships model is strongly focused on:

  • Connecting New Zealanders to conservation and its social, cultural, economic and environmental values and benefits
  • Shifting our society towards taking personal responsibility for conservation and contributing towards it.

DOC works hard to ensure that New Zealanders can access and enjoy conservation experiences that enrich their lives and wellbeing, as well as contributing to the protection and restoration of the country's natural, historic and cultural heritage.

Change in the satisfaction of tangata whenua with DOC's activities to help them maintain their cultural relationships with taonga

The 'Outside In' programme25 has been used as an indicator for this measure while a more enduring reporting method is being developed. This programme was established to address significant internal, external and tangata whenua issues in relation to the Wildlife Act 1953 and research and collection authorisation processes. Treaty partners and Māori organisations were engaged in the programme during August and September 2014.

Tangata whenua reported examples of open and proactive engagement with them by DOC in some areas across New Zealand. In some cases there was early and regular contact or consultation, as well as working together on specific projects. Tangata whenua indicated that because Crown rules and policy are not aligned with tikanga and cultural practice, there tends to be limited interaction with DOC about customary use.

Whānau, hapū and iwi are our Treaty partners in conservation. As well as a statutory responsibility under section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987 to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, we also work in partnership with whānau, hapū and iwi, recognising their close spiritual and cultural connections to nature. In 2014/15 almost 30 percent of DOC's partnerships involved tangata whenua.

Te Urewera Treaty Settlement Implementation

DOC is working closely alongside Te Uru Taumatua (Ngāi Tūhoe's post-settlement governance entity) to support Te Urewera Board and manage the day-to-day operations across Te Urewera. In the first year of joint operations between DOC and Ngāi Tūhoe, there has been a surge of interest in ideas about how long-term conservation gains can be made, while ensuring the rightful recognition of Tūhoe as integral to this special place in New Zealand.

Early conservation successes within Te Urewera include positive results from the Waikareiti Islands pest eradication programme and the establishment of a work programme with Rangipo Prison.

Change in the importance of conservation to New Zealanders

DOC uses an annual population-based survey (Ipsos 2015) to track New Zealanders' understanding and perceptions of conservation. The results of the 2015 survey showed that 81 percent of New Zealanders felt that conservation is very important or important to them personally – a rate that has been relatively stable for several years now.

DOC is involved in a variety of activities that help raise the public's awareness of conservation management.

The Auckland, Waikato and Northland Conservation Management Strategies were publicly notified for submissions in late 2014, and a total of 326 submissions were received for all three strategies.

Sirocco, the high-profile kākāpō 'spokesbird' for conservation, has a Facebook profile providing an opportunity to share conservation stories. His Facebook page had 147,876 'likes', double the number of followers since the same time last year. Sirocco's Facebook page is performing well above average compared with other New Zealand community Facebook pages.

Connecting with nature – Nature Space

Nature Space is a collaborative website for groups, individuals and landowners undertaking ecological restoration across New Zealand. Nature Space, with administrative support from DOC, provides a one-stop-shop for the community to access conservation restoration information and resources. There has been a 25 percent increase in the number of groups participating in Nature Space over the past year (currently 268 groups) and the number of New Zealanders involved in ecological restoration is now over 35,000.26

Change in the quality of DOC's engagement with key associates

The 2015 research on DOC's engagement with key associates took place against the background of the transformation of the organisation and the transition to a new senior leadership team. As anticipated, the research showed a widening of the gap since the research was last undertaken in 2013, between those associates who reported a very positive experience of DOC's engagement and those who reported a somewhat less positive experience.

Green Ribbon Awards

This year marks 25 years of the Green Ribbon Awards, but the first year of DOC's involvement with the Ministry of the Environment to celebrate outstanding contributions towards protecting New Zealand's environment by the community. The Supreme Award was won by Project Janszoon, one of DOC's long-term partners. In 2014/15, Project Janszoon completed 11,500 hectares of aerial pest control for possums and rats, 14,296 hectares of stoat control, and 3,500 hectares of goat control.

Outputs that contribute to this intermediate outcome

The output classes and output groups that contribute to this intermediate outcome are set out in Appendix 2. These are reported on in the statement of service performance below.

Graph showing land treated for pests - stoat control was over 14,000 hectares, possum/rat 11,500 hectares, goat 3,500.
Project Janszoon pest animal control success in Abel Tasman National Park in 2014/15

Statement of service performance 2014/15: Engagement

Performance measures and targets: 2014/15

National commentary27

Education and communication

728 education initiatives will be provided during the year with more than 70% of participants surveyed rating the initiatives as 'effective' or 'partly effective' at meeting their objectives.

960 education initiatives were provided during the year.
1,551 participants out of 1,790 surveyed rated the initiatives as 'effective' or 'partly effective' at meeting their objectives (87%).

34,000 workday equivalents will be contributed by people volunteering.

34,789 workday equivalents were contributed by people volunteering.


713 partnerships will be run during the year with more than 80% of partners surveyed rating their contribution to conservation as 'moderate' or 'significant'.

901 partnerships were run. 
246 participants out of 253 surveyed rated their contribution to conservation as 'moderate' or 'significant' (97%). 

30% of partnerships involve tangata whenua.

258 of the partnerships run involved tangata whenua (29%).

Output class operating statement 2014/15: Conservation with the community (engagement)



Revised budget













Total revenue






Total expenses








25 'Outside In' is a DOC-led programme to design processes for the authorisation of wildlife, research and collection activities in collaboration with our kaimahi and Treaty partners, while fulfilling the intent of the law and keeping the process simple and useable.

26 See Nature Space website

27 DOC considers that performance has been achieved when the output is within a tolerance level acceptable for the nature of the operation. For field operations, this is generally within +/-10% of the projected performance target. For significant outputs however, as shown on the 'Summary of Output Performance' table, this tolerance is +/-5%. When outside these ranges, a variance comment is provided.

Back to top