Submissions closed Tuesday 23 August 2022. We asked for your views on the proposed reclassifications for 504 pieces of stewardship land on the West Coast before final decisions are made.

On this page:

What happens next

Final recommendations to the Minister

The reclassification of stewardship land remains a priority for DOC. Additional time is needed to ensure the panels can meet and consider the extensive material thoroughly, before forming their final recommendations.

DOC officials are working with the National Panel, Mana Whenua Panel, and Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu to ensure good process is followed to reclassify stewardship land. This will also ensure that the panels have a good overview of the points raised in the public submissions process.

The next step in the process is for the National and Mana Whenua Panel to review the submissions and the information presented at the public hearings, along with additional technical advice.

They may adjust their recommendations based on this review as they see appropriate.

Once this review is complete, their final recommendations will be provided to the Minister of Conservation for her consideration.

The Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere will meet with the Minister of Conservation to discuss the recommendations before the Minister makes decisions on classifications.

Public hearings

Public hearings for the proposed reclassifications of stewardship land were held on the West Coast and online from 12 to 21 September 2022. 

The hearings gave submitters the opportunity to provide supporting context to their submission. Hearings were open to the public, including media.

Hearing guidance for submitters (PDF, 399K)

Submitter schedule (PDF, 348K)

Hearing panel

  • Reginald Proffit, Chair of the Hearing Panel: Reginald is an experienced planner with cultural and tikanga knowledge and considerable experience as a Hearing Commissioner. Reginald is the Chair of the New Zealand Planning Institute. 
  • Arna Litchfield, Director-General Delegate: Arna is a Strategic Operations Manager and has previously worked as a solicitor. Arna has extensive experience in regulatory processes, and interpretation and implementation of s4 Conservation Act.   
  • Neil Clifton, Hearing Panel Member: Neil is the Chair of the Western South Island National Panel.
  • Francois Tumahai, Hearing Panel Member: Francois is the Chair of the Mana Whenua Panel and is the Kaiwhakahaere of Ngāti Waewae.
  • Katharine Watson, Hearing Panel Member: Katharine is a member of the National Panel and is an archaeological expert.
  • Paul Madgwick, Hearing Panel Member: Paul is a member Chair of the Mana Whenua Panel and is the Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio.

Conflict of interest declaration

Read the ‘Statements of Declaration’ (PDF, 127K) for information on the identified and potential conflicts of interest of members on the Hearing Panel.

Submissions closed 23 August 2022

This was a 60-day public notification period. The submission period was extended by 20 working days – the old closing date was 26 July 2022.

Media release 25 July 2022: West Coast stewardship land public notification extended

Read the submissions

DOC received 655 individual submissions and 5,976 pro forma submissions on the proposals by the deadline of 23 August 2022.

All available submissions and their attachments can be accessed in the folders below. To find a specific submission, click the appropriate link below. Then enter the submitter name into the search box above 'Name' at the top left of the page to filter the file list.  

The summary at the beginning of each submission shows if it has supporting documents. If it does have supporting documents, they can be found at the bottom of the submission.

Redactions of contact details and other information have been made in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982.

Submission index (PDF, 195K)

Your submission may be released publicly

All submissions are subject to the Official Information Act and can be released under this Act. If you have specific reasons for wanting to have your submission withheld, you had to explain your reasons in the submission. Your reasons will be considered when making any assessment for the release of submissions under the Official Information Act. 

About the public notification

It is a priority for the Minister of Conservation that stewardship land across the country is reclassified appropriately. It is an important project that will determine the future of large areas of public conservation land. 

We asked for your say on the future of 504 pieces of stewardship land on the West Coast to help determine the best outcome for these pieces of land.

Background to the notification

Stewardship land is the term used for land that was allocated to DOC when it was formed in 1987. It includes former state forest and Crown land that was considered to have conservation value.

There are over 3,000 pieces of stewardship land of varying sizes across New Zealand.

DOC is supporting the reclassification of stewardship land to ensure land with conservation and cultural values is protected for future generations to enjoy.

More about the reclassification process

Reclassifying stewardship land on the West Coast

The National Panel for the Western South Island, and a Ngāi Tahu Mana Whenua Panel, have been reviewing the 504 pieces of stewardship land on the West Coast.

More about the panels

They began their work in November 2021 and spent five months assessing the information in the conservation value reports for all the stewardship land areas. Landscape reports and management planning guidance were also prepared. They have also undertaken site visits to the region.

The panels have prepared draft recommendations for the future classification of stewardship land.

Their recommendations have been prepared in accordance with the statutory criteria according to ecological, cultural, historic, landscape and recreational values. Where land has been determined to have no or very low conservation values, it has been recommended for disposal.

Supporting documents

Map of proposed reclassifications on the West Coast (PDF, 1,541K)

We have released the conservation value reports and the recommendation reports. 

Documents supporting stewardship land reclassification

The conservation value reports describe each piece of stewardship land, the conservation values present and Ngāi Tahu values and interests. They were used by the panels to support their recommendations.

The recommendation reports provide the recommendations from the panels for the areas of stewardship land.

The National Panel and Mana Whenua Panel worked together to agree, where possible, on the most appropriate land classification for each area. Where the two panels did not agree, there is a National Panel recommendation and a Mana Whenua Panel recommendation.

How we sought your feedback

We wanted your feedback to help determine the best outcome for stewardship land areas on the West Coast. We asked whether you agreed or disagreed with the panels' recommendations and to include any comments you might have had.

Out of scope

While the panels and the review of legislation relating to stewardship land are both part of the broader stewardship land reclassification project, we only sought your feedback on the panels' recommendations.

We were not seeking views on the proposed legislative changes. These were covered in an earlier consultation: Streamlining the stewardship land reclassification process.

The consultation period for the discussion document on the proposed changes closed on 18 March 2022. A summary of submissions will be published in the coming months.

Online submissions

An online submission form was developed to receive feedback on the recommendations for the 504 parcels of stewardship land on the West Coast.

The submission form was available until 5 pm on 23 August 2022.

About the form

The form asked you to enter personal details, including:

  • your name
  • the name of your organisation, if you were submitting on behalf of an organisation
  • your contact details – an email address was required.

It let you explore the pieces of stewardship land under review in a table.

There was no limit to the number of pieces of stewardship land you could provide feedback on.

Links to the conservation value reports and recommendation reports were provided for each piece of stewardship land to help you with your submission.

Email and written submissions

We encouraged people to submit their feedback online. However, you could make a make a written submission.

You needed to include:

  • your contact details
  • if you wanted to speak to your submission through a public hearing
  • the piece of stewardship land you were providing feedback on (NaPALIS ID and area name)
  • whether you supported, opposed or had no opinion on the recommendation (when required, state that you are commenting on the National Panel or the Mana Whenua Panel recommendation)
  • whether you had any comments on the recommendation (when required, state that you are commenting on the National Panel or the Mana Whenua Panel recommendation). 

You can access the conservation values and recommendations reports online, along with the landscape and management planning reports.

Documents supporting stewardship land reclassification

A hard copy of the conservation values reports and recommendation reports, as well as the landscape and management planning reports, were available for review (not removal) at the following offices:

  • Karamea Information and Resource Centre (106 Bridge St, Karamea 7893)
  • Kawatiri Westport Office (72 Russell St, Westport 7825)
  • Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre (4294 Coast Road Punakaiki 7873)
  • Hokitika Office (10 Sewell Street, Hokitika 7810)
  • Haast Visitor Centre (State Highway 6, Okuru 7886)
  • Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre (69 Cron Street, Franz Josef / Waiau 7886)

Due to the amount of information contained in a report, no photocopying of the reports was available.

Guidance for submitters

We prepared a guidance document that provides an overview of the public notification process.


If you have questions or need help with your submission, email the stewardship land team:

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