The 1996 Visitor Strategy was intended to guide DOC's planning and management for visitor services. A new Heritage and Visitor Strategy will be released in early 2020.

The Visitor Strategy is an internal document for the use of DOC staff which is intended to guide and inform all DOC's planning and management relating to visitor services. It may also assist, where relevant, the implementation of conservation management strategies as well as management plans for national parks and other conservation areas.

Download the publication

1996 Visitor Strategy (PDF, 291K)

Update January 2020

DOC is currently updating its visitor strategy. We intend to release a new Heritage and Visitor Strategy during early 2020. 

DOC's new Heritage and Visitor Strategy will set out the long-term outcomes and strategic direction that DOC wants to achieve from its heritage and visitor system and the approaches it will take to achieve them.

The strategy is one part of a larger journey to ensure DOC is set up to manage visitors in a way that both protects and enhances New Zealand’s natural, cultural and historic heritage.

The strategy will outline:

  • DOC's legislative functions and their relationship with visitor management
  • the strategy's place within DOC's existing work programmes and goals
  • principles to guide DOC's heritage and visitor system
  • focus areas and actions.

The three goals of the strategy are:

  • Protect: New Zealand’s natural, cultural and historic resources are preserved and protected to maintain cultural and historic values, biodiversity, ecosystem health, landscapes and natural quiet
  • Connect: Visitors are enriched and better connected to New Zealand’s natural, cultural and historic heritage
  • Thrive: Tangata whenua, regions and communities benefit from protecting, and connecting visitors with their natural, cultural and historic heritage.

These goals have a hierarchy. The natural, cultural and historic heritage of places managed by DOC needs to be protected first. Visitors can then experience and connect with this unique heritage. This protection and enhanced visitor connection will help support the improved wellbeing of thriving and sustainable communities.

The strategy will be supported by an implementation plan which will provide an outline of the actions needed and operational policies and tools required to help deliver the strategy. It will inform a range of operational tools that will help run the system such as spatial plans, designing the visitor experience, standard settings, and visitor segmentation. 

The strategy has been approved by Ministers as a draft. It will be finalised following further engagement with iwi and stakeholders and approval by the Minister of Conservation. Once finalised, it will be a 'living document' that DOC will review and update as required.


Whare Kaupapa Atawhai / Conservation House Head Office
Phone:   +64 4 471 0726
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   18 Manners Street
Wellington 6011
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
Wellington 6143

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