St James Conservation Area

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Introduction

DOC manages stewardship areas under the Conservation Act 1987 to protect their natural and historic values.

Stewardship land is land held for conservation purposes, that is not a marginal strip or watercourse, and does not hold any additional specific protection or preservation requirements.

A number of areas were allocated to DOC when it was formed in 1987 and are managed as stewardship land. They were former State forest and Crown land areas considered to be more appropriately managed for their conservation values by DOC. The intention was that DOC would act as a steward of these areas until their destiny was determined. In addition to the above areas, there is other land that is held under the Conservation Act 1987 (e.g. land that has been acquired, transferred, exchanged or gifted) that is also managed as stewardship land.

Around 30% of conservation land is stewardship land, approximately 2,508,000 ha – 9% of New Zealand.

Report on stewardship land

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, released her report into the management and administration of stewardship land on 21 August 2013.

On 9 April 2015, the Commissioner released an update assessing the response to her recommendations.

Following this second report the Minister of Conservation asked the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) for advice on the principles and processes that should be used in respect to land exchanges when making decisions on net conservation benefits. The NZCA provided this advice to the Minister and she has since asked DOC to refer to this advice in all land decisions.

PCE’s report on Stewardship Lane

Update on DOC's work on stewardship land – April 2018

This is an update on DOC's work following the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report into the management and administration of stewardship land.

Progress on the two significant reclassification projects

This is an update on DOC's work following the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report into the management and administration of stewardship land.

Reclassification work programme

DOC is developing a long-term work programme to enable the Department to review all stewardship land, ensuring areas that should be considered for additional protection are assessed and reclassified appropriately.

With over 3,000 parcels of stewardship land across New Zealand, we are focusing on developing an assessment strategy to increase efficiencies through centralised coordination and providing additional support around consultation, which is a key component of these processes.

Ensuring stewardship land has adequate protection is a priority and the Minister of Conservation has requested DOC consider options to deliver this work with greater urgency.

Other work

DOC will continue to progress classification of areas of land purchased by the Nature Heritage Fund and is carrying out other statutory driven land transaction work associated with the various pieces of legislation it administers, including acquisitions, easements, covenants, etc.

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