Have your say on an application for lease of Knox cottage by Moehau Environment Group Limited. Submissions closed 22 March 2019. A decision to decline this application has been made.

This application is notified under section 17SC of the Conservation Act 1987. The Minister of Conservation has received an application for a lease for a term of 10 years from:

Applicant: Moehau Environment Group Incorporated
Location of Proposed Activity: Knox Cottage, Waimanu Road, Waikawau Bay Scenic Reserve  
Map Reference: Approximately the area surrounding NZTM: E1824968 N5947591

Summary of Proposal:

Lease of Knox cottage to rent out to the public and for volunteer use. The Applicant has also requested to lease the workshop to use as an operational base to run their pest control operations.

How to submit

Any person or organisation may make a submission in writing to the Director-General on the proposal. The submission must be made on a submission form available from your local DOC office or downloaded here: submission form (Word 240K)

You may make a submission by sending a written or electronic submission to:

Private Bag 3072
Hamilton 3240


Lynette Trewavas, Permissions Advisor

Submissions close on Friday 22 March 2019 at 5 pm. Once submitted, submitters' information is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and may be released under that Act.  If you wish to keep any part of your submission confidential, you need to state this in writing when making your submission.

Any person or organisation wishing to be heard in support of his/her submission, must request (within that submission) an opportunity to appear before the Director-General.

DOC comment regarding publicly notified applications

The Minister of Conservation has made no determination regarding the suitability of this proposed concession on public conservation land.  This public notification should not be interpreted as an intention on the part of the Minister of Conservation to grant the proposed concession.  

Hearing details

If a hearing is required, it is likely to occur on the week starting 8 April 2019.


The application is to lease Knox Cottage and associated workshop and licence of the surrounding area. The workshop will be used for storing equipment and undertaking works such as building traps. The Applicant intends on renting out the cottage to members on the public using forums such as Bookabach. The cottage would also be available for volunteers working for the Applicant. The Applicant has requested a term of 10 years.

The Application was notified on 22 February 2019 and hearing subsequently held on 15 April 2019. There were 10 submissions received (7 against, 3 support), with four oral submissions heard at the hearing. The submitters raised a variety of concerns including use of toxins, revenue raised, and requested term length. The submission points are included throughout this report.

Iwi consultation was undertaken by the District Office with no direct concerns raised. The proposed activity is expected to have minor effects as it is using existing structures, it is not contrary to the purpose for which the land is held (although neither is it consistent with) and is also consistent with the relevant policies and plans.

However, it is considered inappropriate to grant the concession under section 17U(8) due to the specific circumstances of the cottage and section 4 of the Conservation Act. Knox Cottage was originally identified to be returned to Ngāti Whanaunga under the Hauraki Collective but was considered to be required for the Department once the nearby Waikawau Bay Lodge has been returned. The cottage and workshop would serve as an important place for employees to stay when undertaking key work in the area. Granting the cottage and workshop to another group is contrary to the principle of Partnership. The Department cannot in good faith and reasonableness lease out the Knox Cottage and workshop to another group after it was purposefully left out of redress.

In the short term, it is also inappropriate to grant as it is a health and safety risk due to the significant repairs required to be undertaken on the cottage and workshop. The District Office will need to lodge a bid for money to undertake these repairs which is not expected to occur within the next year or two. For both the reasons identified above, it is recommended to decline the concession.

Application documents

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