Introduction

View the Authority's strategic priorities for 2020-2021. These priorities direct the Authority's work and focus, and are reviewed each year.

Statutory role for management planning and land status

Strategic priority (A&B) - Conservation Management Strategies (A) and National Park Management Plans (B)

NZCA role:

Review, approve, and champion improvements to the planning framework to ensure timeliness and quality of the planning process

NZCA Goals: 
  1. Approve strategy/plan at the third meeting after receipt.
  2. Improve efficacy of approval processes.
NZCA Actions: 
  1. Follow NZCA approval processes (and seek opportunities to expedite timelines, whilst holding or improving the quality of decisions).
  2. Continue to push for better, more dynamic and responsive plans, and smarter planning processes.
  3. Ensure CMSs and NPMPs align with the Department’s Intermediate Outcomes and 2025 Stretch Goals.
  4. Ensure Operations staff undertake their work in conformity with the Statutory Plans.

Strategic priority (C) - Land Status recategorisation (e.g.stewardship land)

NZCA role:

Recommendatory / statutory (for national parks) and advisory (for all conservation lands).

NZCA Goal: 

Conduct a credible and transparent investigation and provide a report with clear recommendations for action.

NZCA Actions: 
  1. Ensure the process and decision for land recategorisation is credible and robust; and that this is apparent to all stakeholders, including consultation with iwi at the inception of the process.
  2. Support the relevant conservation board on specific land recategorisation matters.
  3. Provide advice on future tenure reviews under the Land Act 1948, Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998, and Overseas Investment Act 2005 / Office processes.
  4. Advise on a strategy/programme for prioritising stewardship land reclassifications.

Strategic priority (D) - Treaty of Waitangi and post-Treaty settlement conservation management

NZCA role:

Meet requirements for NZCA as specified in settlement legislation; give on-going effect to the principles of the Treaty (per Section 4 and General Policies); provide advice in response to requests from settlement negotiation parties; evaluate and provide feedback on novel post-Treaty settlement approaches to achieving conservation outcomes.

NZCA Goals: 
  1. Ensure Conservation Act 1987 section 4 considerations are appropriately addressed in the updated General Policy for National Parks and that the procedures for this are updated with learnings from Treaty settlements.
  2. Demonstrate openness and good faith when giving advice (if consulted) on alternative models for conservation oversight and management.
NZCA Actions: 
  1. Maintain open and ongoing communication with iwi leaders.
  2. Implement NZCA’s section 4 template (including revisions), and review the Authority’s performance in relation to this annually.
  3. Ensure the Department develops an effective strategy for building relationships with iwi.
  4. Receive updates from the Department on their implementation of the Ngāi Tai decision.
  5. Develop our cultural competency as an Authority.

Influence and step change opportunities

Strategic priority (E) - Strategic advice to the Minister and DG in the context of conservation in today’s economy, the governance requirements, and strategic advice on public policy documents and legislation.

NZCA role:

Advisory.

NZCA Goal: 

Be respected as an independent, and influential source of strategic advice for conservation.

NZCA Actions: 
  1. Give clear, considered and timely advice: on all matters, relevant to the NZCA effectively fulfilling its functions; and, where this can be influential in achieving better conservation outcomes.
  2. Maintain an active environmental scan to ensure the current and future operating context for conservation is well understood.
  3. Maintain active links with conservation boards and the community, actively seek improved quality of conservation board nominees.
  4. Follow up on submissions and advice to gauge their influence and identify where improvements in this role can be made.
  5. Provide regular monitoring of and advice to achieve the Department’s Stretch Goals and the Intermediate Outcomes objectives.

Strategic priority (F) - Opportunities for step change in conservation

NZCA role: 

Advise and advocate for the effective management of pests and weeds affecting native biodiversity.

NZCA Goal:

Better understand, protect, enhance and appreciate New Zealand’s native terrestrial biodiversity.

NZCA Actions:
  1. Provide strategic advice to the Director-General and the Minister.
  2. Support the evaluation and, where appropriate field assessment, of gene drive and other novel technologies that could help New Zealand become predator free by 2050.
  3. Provide advice on securing and/or sustaining a social licence to responsibly use efficient pest and weed control technologies
  4. Continue to encourage the Department to undertake and sustain large-scale animal pest controland progress toward complete eradication of mammalian predators from large areas, such as Rakiura.
  5. Encourage the Department to actively manage other threats to native biodiversity such as kauri dieback (PTA) disease and myrtle rust, and to take a strong stance on biosecurity in general.
  6. Advocacy for conservation on private land.
  7. Encourage the Department to undertake and sustain landscape-scale plant pest and weed control, such as wilding pines eradication, and introduced wild animal control, such as deer, tahr, pigs, and wallabies.

Strategic priority (G) - Visitor management on public conservation lands and waters

NZCA role: 

Advise and advocate.

NZCA Goal:

Manage and mitigate the activities of domestic and international visitors on public conservation land.

NZCA Actions
  1. Advise the Department on the implementation of its Visitor Strategy and the DOC/MBIE Tourism Strategy.
  2. Ensure the concessions framework for tourism activities on public conservation land is fit for purpose.
  3. Review the resilience and capabilities of conservation land for providing for visitors at specific sites, especially pressure points.
  4. Work with other key stakeholders that have an interest in the tourism industry, e.g. TIA, MBIE, local government.
  5. Provide input into the future of international visitors to New Zealand e.g. via the Tourism Futures Taskforce.
  6. Establish a Tourism Committee to develop and advocate a position on visitors to the conservation estate

Advocacy on nationally significant issues for conservation

Strategic priority (H) - Climate change adaption and mitigation

NZCA role:

Advise and advocate.

NZCA Goal:

Assess the implications of, and opportunities arising from, climate change and ensure conservation planning and expenditure priorities.

NZCA Actions:
  1. Highlight the role of conservation in mitigating and adapting to climate change; and the means to reduce the risks of climate change to biodiversity and the Department’s infrastructure and management of capital assets.
  2. Show leadership with respect to landscape scale pest and weed control and its contribution as a mitigating factor – improving ecosystem health/ resilience.
  3. Monitor the implementation of DOC’s Climate Change Adaption Action Plan (CCAAP).

Strategic priority (I) - Rivers and freshwater ecosystems

NZCA role:

Advise and advocate.

NZCA Goal:

Be an advocate for ecosystem services that public conservation land provides to New Zealanders, with respect to values of our waterways and waterbodies.

NZCA Actions: 
  1. Maintain active advocacy for the comprehensive protection of a representative range of rivers.
  2. Use the NZCA River Report (2011) and other national freshwater management initiatives as a basis for advocacy for freshwater ecosystem management.
  3. Provide strategic advice on the management of whitebait and other endangered freshwater species such as the longfin eel.
  4. Ensure DOC’s environmental strategies align with the National Policy Statement for Freshwater and its successors.

Strategic priority (J) - Marine ecosystems and protected areas

NZCA role:

Advise and advocate.

NZCA Goal:

Contribute to the better protection of the marine environment and biodiversity.

NZCA Actions: 
  1. Actively engage with all stakeholders on Marine Protected Areas and how to protect a representative range of habitats and species.
  2. Encourage the Department to investigate the Snares, Three Kings and Chathams for marine protection and implement follow-up steps from this.
  3. Maintain a watching brief on the growing/expanding marine aquaculture industry and monitor development and its impacts on marine ecosystems.
  4. Maintain oversight of threatened species marine by-catch and the effectiveness of monitoring of bycatch on fishing vessels, especially through the use of cameras.
  5. Encourage consideration of the Kermadecs for protection.
  6. File a submission for the Marine Protected Areas Discussion Document. 

Monitoring and evaluation

Strategic priority (K) - Effectiveness and efficiency of the Department’s conservation management

NZCA role:

Review and advise.

NZCA Goals:
  1. Fulfil statutory function (CA 6B(c)) to review and report on the Department’s administration of General Policies.
  2. Provide insightful evaluation and advice that contributes to improved conservation outcomes.
  3. Provide a ‘check and balance’ on the Department’s strategic planning.
NZCA Actions:
  1. Monitor the progress of the General Policy for National Parks Review work.
  2. Ensure General Policies are implemented in CMSs and NPMPs (via approval role - see A&B), and Milestone reporting is undertaken.
  3. Provide advice on the Department’s Statement of Intent.
  4. Provide advice to the Minister of Conservation and Director-General on budget and priority spending.
  5. Provide advice to the Department on how business, volunteer groups, and communities can engage with them more easily in order to increase conservation outcomes.

Strategic priority (L) - NZCA's performance

NZCA role: 

Self-review

NZCA Goal:

Effect continuous improvement to achieve greater value and impact.

NZCA Actions:
  1. Undertake annual self-review of performance and modus operandi.
  2. Regularly review and update the NZCA policies and principles.
  3. Work on a process to ensure better communications between conservation boards and the NZCA.
  4. Produce an Annual Report for year ending 30 June 2021.
  5. Learn the waiata ‘I hū ahau e hine’.
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