DOC is undertaking partial reviews of these general policies focussing on considerations associated with section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987.

DOC has obligations under section 4 of the Conservation Act to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in the way it manages conservation.

The partial reviews are one element of DOC’s response to the recent Supreme Court decision in Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki v Minister of Conservation [2018] NZSC 122 (the Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki case) and also part of our wider efforts to give effect to Treaty principles in conservation. See the Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki case judgment.

The Conservation General Policy and General Policy for National Parks are prepared under the Conservation Act 1987 and National Parks Act 1980. Due to the close relationship between the general policies, the partial reviews will be progressed in tandem.

What is the significance of the general policies?

Within the planning framework for all public conservation lands and waters, statements of general policy provide integrated national direction.

  • The Conservation General Policy provides unified policy for the implementation of the Conservation Act 1987 and other conservation legislation.
  • The General Policy for National Parks provides consistent national direction for the administration of New Zealand’s national parks.

A close relationship exists between the general policies, owing to the common administration by DOC, shared boundaries between national parks and other public conservation lands and waters, and the passage of species between different places regardless of land status.

The implementation of the general policies is achieved through lower order statutory documents such as conservation management strategies and national park management plans. These documents set out how DOC and our Treaty partners intend to manage public conservation lands and waters, plants, birds, wild animals, marine mammals, and historic and cultural sites over multiple years.

Coordinated and effective management planning relies on a high degree of consistency between the general policies in terms of their approach to key issues as well as their substantive policy and guidance.

What is the process for delivering the partial reviews? 

The process by which the partial reviews will proceed is yet to be finalised.

Given the significant interest Māori have in DOC’s delivery of its section 4 obligations, the work will begin with a series of regional hui with our Treaty partners from August 2019 to discuss the ways in which they might be involved and draft Terms of Reference.

How can I get involved?

The participation of conservation boards, stakeholders, and the wider public will be sought when the partial review process begins in earnest next year. In addition to the regular public notification and submissions process, there will be regular opportunities for stakeholders and the wider public to provide direct input.

Opportunities for your participation will be detailed on this webpage as details become available.

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