Read the Authority's strategic priorities for 2018-2019.

Statutory role for management planning and land status

Strategic priority (A&B)

Conservation Management Strategies (A) and

National Park Management Plans (B)

NZCA role (A&B)

Review, approve and champion. Advice on the development and shaping.

Goals (A&B)

  1. Approve strategy/plan at the third meeting after receipt.
  2. Improve efficacy of approval processes.

Actions (A&B)

  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.

Strategic priority (C)

Land status recategorisation e.g. stewardship land

NZCA role (C)

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

Goals (C)

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

Actions (C)

  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 (D)

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.

Goals (D)

  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.

Actions (D)

  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. Develop a strategy for building relationships with iwi.

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 (E)


Goals (E)

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

Actions (E)

  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 (F)

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

Goals (F)

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

Actions (F)

  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. Encourage the Department to undertake and sustain large-scale animal pest control (including the use of 1080), especially via the Battle for our Birds.
  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.

Strategic priority (G)

Visitor management on public conservation lands and waters

NZCA role (G)

Advisory and advocacy.

Goals (G)

Manage and mitigate the arrival of domestic and international visitors to public conservation land.


  1. Work with the Department on a visitor strategy.
  2. Ensure that the NZCA has a role in developing the DOC/MBIE Tourism Strategy.
  3. Review the resilience and capabilities of conservation land for providing for visitors at specific sites.
  4. Work with other key stakeholders that have an interest in the tourism industry, e.g. TIA, local government.

Advocacy on nationally significant issues for conservation

Strategic priority (H)

Climate change adaptation and mitigation

NZCA role (H)

Advisory and advocacy.

Goals (H)

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

Actions (H)

  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.

Strategic priority (I)

Rivers and freshwater ecosystems

NZCA role (I)

Advisory and advocacy.

Goals (I)

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

Actions (I)

  1. Maintain active advocacy for the comprehensive protection of a representative range of rivers.
  2. Use the NZCA River Report (2011) and other national fresh water 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. Review the NZCA River Report in light of the Land and Water Forum’s Fresh Water Reform Report, paying attention to the inclusion of aquifers.

Strategic priority (J)

Marine ecosystems and protected areas

NZCA role (J)

Advisory and advocacy.

Goals (J)

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


  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 the Conservation Services Levy in mitigating this.

Monitoring and evaluation

Strategic priority (K)

Effectiveness and efficiency of the Department’s conservation management

NZCA role (K)

Review and advise.

Goals (K)

  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.

Actions (K)

  1. The project to review the 2005 General Policy for National Parks is currently in abeyance (as at April 2018).
  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 (L)

Self review.

Goals (L)

Effect continuous improvement to achieve greater value and impact.

Actions (L)

  1. Undertake annual self-review of performance and modus operandi.
  2. Document and enhance NZCA processes and guidance policies and principles.
  3. Work on a process to ensure better communications between conservation boards and the NZCA.
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