In the “Department of Conservation's Statutory Planning Processes”
July 2010 update
Note: The concessions system was changed in July 2010. The information on this page is out of date. View current concessions information.
Anyone wanting to run a commercial operation on public conservation land must apply for a concession, and their operation must be consistent with the principles laid out in our legislation, policies and management plans. Some concessionaires not only make a living from activities on public conservation land, they also give back to conservation through promoting conservation values, and undertaking tasks such as monitoring and pest control.
Do your homework. Before you lodge an application for a concession, make sure you’ve read the relevant bits about the area you want to work in from the CMS and, where appropriate, the national park management plan. There is no point investing a huge amount of time and energy in filing an application to operate on conservation land if what you want to do is inconsistent with the management objectives for that place.
Talk to DOC first. When you’re thinking about applying for a concession to operate a business interest on conservation land, you are allowed two free hours of consultation with a concessions person at your local DOC office. They will be able to tell you straight away whether or not your application is consistent with the objectives of the CMS, and what you should do to prepare your application. This can save you a lot of time and effort later on, and it helps you to know what you need to do to get your concession approved in the future.
When decisions are made about the land you operate on. If you are a business operator on conservation land (concessionaire), then you definitely have an interest in how that land is managed. It’s really important that when a plan or strategy comes up for consultation you take up the opportunity to have your say.
The public may have a say on your application. Depending on the nature of a concession application, it may be discussed with outside parties such as tangata whenua and the conservation board or it may be notified for public submissions. The more it is likely to impact on the public’s use and enjoyment and the greater the adverse effects, the more likely that the public will get to have a say. Remember that “DOC land” is public land, not private land, and a concession is, after all, a privilege and not a right. It makes sense that there are more checks and balances than for private land.