In the “Department of Conservation's Statutory Planning Processes

Sometimes, when you’re dealing with plans and statutory processes, it may seem like the Department of Conservation (DOC) speaks another language! By the time you’ve waded through policies, plans and strategies, you might be left feeling like you’re out of your depth before you’ve really begun.

This document aims to unveil some of the mysteries of the statutory planning processes relating to conservation, as well as providing some guidance on how to have your say and how to make your say count. Once you know how to be involved in DOC processes, it’s easier to work your way through the various procedures.

How does conservation relate to you?

What DOC does. The Department of Conservation manages approximately one third of the land in this country as well as marine reserves, on behalf of all New Zealanders. The main pieces of legislation that set out how DOC should look after this land, water, and vegetation, and the living things that inhabit it, are the Conservation Act 1987, the National Parks Act 1980 and the Reserves Act 1977. Other laws that control how we look after our plants and animals are the Wildlife Act 1953, the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978, the Marine Reserves Act 1971 and the Wild Animal Control Act 1977.

For more information on the statutes relating to conservation, please visit www.

Why be involved/why should you care?

As a New Zealander, this is your land.

As tangata whenua your association with the land may stretch back many, many generations.

You may be passionate about natural and historic places.

You may love to play in and visit national parks, conservation and forest parks, reserves and other protected natural places.

You may have business interests on public conservation land.

You may be a neighbour to conservation land, and could be directly affected by decisions made about how it should be managed.

Conservation is about looking after and enjoying special places, native birds, other creatures and the open spaces they live in. It’s about having a place to enjoy your natural and historical heritage, for now and for the future.

Why you need to have your say

DOC manages public conservation land in NZ on behalf of the public.

It’s important to get the best information from the community.

DOC needs to hear new ways of looking at an issue, by listening to the perspectives of the community.

It wants to hear a wide range of perspectives.

It wants its plans to be accurate and relevant.

It wants to run an efficient process.

Back to top