The caves at Waitomo and the “Marble Mountain” and caves near Takaka are well known examples of landforms collectively referred to as “karst”. Karst include a variety of distinctive and often spectacular surface and underground features, formed predominantly by the dissolving action of water, which are much prized by iwi and other local people and sought out by visitors and tourists. Karst areas usually also include distinctive soils, micro-climates, flora, fauna and patterns
Karst areas or features are often fragile, and require special management to minimise adverse effects. It is, therefore, important that there are well understood guidelines to help to manage them, in order to conserve their unique character.
These guidelines have been prepared to help DOC staff to more effectively manage karst and karst-like areas. They will be used to help to make management decisions about specific sites and implement conservation management strategies.