To: Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation
Date: 28 March 2018
Fiordland National Park – adjustment of Specially Protected Area boundary
The Murchison Mountains Specially Protected Area was established to provide protection for the last remaining population of Takahe within Fiordland National Park. An adjustment to the boundary of this area is proposed for a 200-250 m strip along part of the western shoreline of Lake Te Anau. Access to a specially protected area within a national park is by permit only. Removing that status along this narrow strip of shoreline would allow fishers and boat users to land there without the need for a permit. In addition, it would enable the Department to re-consider an application by Real Journeys Ltd for an extension to their current concession activity, which was declined in 2009 because of this boundary.
It is important to note that removing the specially protected area status along the shoreline will have no negative impact on the takahe population, and will allow for low impact recreational use by the public.
The Department has consulted with the Southland Conservation Board, Oraka-Aparima Runaka and the Takahe Recovery programme, as well as considering public submissions, all of whom support the boundary change. The Authority is satisfied this consultation has been thorough and notes the support of the key stakeholders for the boundary change to be made.
At its February 2018 meeting the NZCA resolved to approve of the boundary change to the Murchison Mountains Specially Protected Area, pursuant to section 12 of the National Parks Act 1980, and recommend that you proceed with this adjustment.