There are over 3,000 parcels of stewardship land of varying sizes across New Zealand that need to be reviewed and potentially reclassified. Our strategy aims to increase the efficiency of this work.

Ensuring stewardship land has adequate protection is a priority for DOC. Reclassifying land is part of DOC's statutory role and we are developing a systematic process that is more efficient and less resource intensive.

A central project team is managing the reclassification of stewardship land throughout New Zealand.

Prioritisation criteria

The following criteria is being applied to determine stewardship land priorities.

  • Starting in the regions with the most stewardship land. This enables economy of scale in terms of dedicating resources to the process and efficient use of time for both DOC staff and iwi partners.
  • Working in partnership with iwi. DOC will initiate work in areas where our Treaty partners have capacity and willingness to be involved.
  • Following the Conservation General Policy guidelines for reclassification. The guidelines require DOC to ensure that classification of land:
    • gives appropriate protection and preservation
    • enables integrated conservation management
    • provides for access and enjoyment by the public
    • reflects the values of public conservation lands that are present
    • enables specified places to achieve conservation outcomes in the future.


All stewardship land will be reviewed over time, across the country.

The first set of recommendations will be going to the Minister in 2020.

Back to top