Aoraki/Mount Cook

Image: Danilo Hegg | ©

Introduction

The review of the National Park Management Plan for Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park has restarted.

Restarting the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan review

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and Ngāi Tahu in consultation with the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board have agreed to start a new review of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan.

Restarting the review means that the notified draft Plan will be withdrawn and a new draft Plan will be developed.

The Plan was placed on pause in February 2019 to consider the implications of the Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Supreme Court decision. This decision clarifies that the Department and Ngāi Tahu have an important role in giving effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The decision to start a new review has also taken into consideration the length of time the review has been on pause, the significant issues raised in submissions for managing the Park and the changing physical nature of the Park environment.

The Park contains areas and values of immense importance to Ngāi Tahu. It is internationally recognised for its exceptional natural values through its inclusion in the wider Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area and the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.

The new process

The new review process will be the same as set out in the National Parks Act 1980, but it will not start from scratch. The new draft Plan will draw on all the work done to date, and the extensive points raised by submitters on the notified draft Plan. 

The review will also enable wider discussion around the changes occurring in the Park due to large weather events, new national policy guidance for reducing carbon emissions, and the changing nature of tourism as important factors to be addressed in the new draft Plan.

Once a new draft Plan has been developed, it will be publicly notified, and submissions invited. The new draft Plan will identify the changes made to the notified draft in response to submissions and any new issues that have arisen.

All documents will be made available on this webpage.

Hearings

Hearings will be held after submissions on the new draft Plan are received. All submitters who asked to be heard on both the first notified and new drafts will be invited to attend hearings. These dates will be set at a later time.

Who will be involved?

The review process includes DOC, the three kaitiaki rūnaka - Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, Te Rūnanga o Waihao and Te Rūnanga o Moeraki, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu working in consultation with the Conservation Board.

Targeted public consultation and workshops will be undertaken with submitters and other stakeholders to address matters raised through the submissions, and any new issues that have arisen since the process was paused.

We acknowledge the COVID-19 lockdown has been challenging and may have had significant impacts on the lives and livelihoods of people who have an interest in the review. This is something we will be considering as we move into the consultation process.

What is the timeline?

At this stage, a timeline for completion is unclear given the COVID-19 situation. While the country transitions through the Alert levels alternative options for engagement and consultation will be looked at to enable all interested parties to contribute to the new draft Plan development.

In the meantime, analysis of the submissions on the notified draft Plan will continue to identify where more technical advice is needed and what issues would benefit from further consultation. This will provide guidance for reviewing the Plan. Regular updates on this webpage will keep people informed of progress and of any opportunities for involvement in the review process.

What’s happening with the review?

The first step in developing the new draft plan is to review all the submissions made on the notified draft plan. Once this work is completed, we will identify a timeline and next steps in the process.

Background information

View submissions on the notified draft Plan

DOC received 889 submissions on the draft Plan. View copies of all submissions

Note: This links to our Cerberus download site. Get help on downloading files.

To help you find any particular submission, see index of submitter names and numbers (XLSX, 32K).

View the notified draft plan

Draft Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan (PDF, 9,268K)

Maps in the draft Plan

Download maps as individual files:

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