New Zealand Conservation Authority meeting April 2020
The New Zealand Conservation Authority held its latest meeting via teleconference on Friday 17 April.
Minister of Conservation
Hon Eugenie Sage (Minister of Conservation) thanked the Authority for their continued attention on Management Planning Processes and spoke to her current focus on the Government’s response to COVID-19.
Discussions with Authority members included: the Government’s planning for the COVID-19 economic response and recovery; the future of international and domestic tourism and the implications of this for New Zealand; working on iwi partnerships throughout the COVID-19 lockdown levels; and, the issue of tahr and deer control.
Lou Sanson (DOC Director-General) was present to answer queries on operational matters that occurred at DOC during the February 2020 to March 2020 period. Lou began by providing the Authority with a detailed update on the unfolding COVID-19 situation, both in a national context, and in relation to DOC’s work and priorities.
Topics discussed included: the changing landscape of tourism in New Zealand; nature-based employment; the integrity of DOC’s Management Planning Process; and, DOC’s relationship with Treaty partners and communities.
Mike Slater (DOC Deputy Director-General Operations), Natasha Hayward (DOC Director Planning Permissions & Land), Lynn Hansberry (DOC Management Planning Manager), and Katherine Hughes (DOC National Management Planning Advisor) were present for a further strategic discussion on DOC’s Management Planning Processes. The team expressed a readiness to work with the Authority in a transparent manner to improve and accelerate the planning process. A sub-committee of the Authority was formed to work with the Planning Permissions & Land team to improve planning processes, in an effort to identify more streamlined mechanisms to address the concerning backlog of plans and CMSs.
Treaty Partnerships Committee
The Authority’s Section 4 Committee have resolved to change their name to better reflect the role they want to take in engaging with our Treaty partners, and in assisting the Department in meetings its obligations.
The Committee met subsequent to the Authority meeting, and want to engage more closely with the conservation boards. An email will circulate shortly seeking feedback on how they can assist boards in upskilling, and better reflect the changing expectations as a result of the Ngāi Tai Supreme Court decision. They will also be looking to update some of the Factsheets that make up the induction package for new members.
Next Authority Meeting
The Authority will react to the changing COVID-19 alert levels in arranging their next meeting, and how it will be held. This is currently scheduled to be held in Wellington on 18 and 19 June 2020.
E noho ora mai
Edward Ellison ONZM