Rangitahi/Molesworth Recreation Reserve with Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura artwork.
Image: Rob Suisted | ©


DOC and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura are together preparing a new conservation management plan for Rangitahi/Molesworth Recreation Reserve.

Rangitahi (converging sky) is the ancestral description for an iconic landscape: where sky and land blend; and tributaries and arterial waterways flow across vast mountainous terrain. The generational imprint of history and people’s relationship to the whenua culminate in a convergence of spirit, landscape, and nature’s treasures.

Rangitahi is the Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and Ngāi Tahu name for this area. Using Rangitahi and Molesworth together gives mana to both names.

You can explore the reserve virtually to learn more about its values.

A new approach

The new plan is being developed in partnership by Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and the Department of Conservation. This new approach gives life and meaning to our Treaty of Waitangi-based partnership and brings together deep and wide-ranging expertise and connections to this special place.

Pouherehere mō te tau
Bound by season, timeless

Seeking your input on the plan review

The conservation management plan review process is the opportunity to pause and look afresh at how Rangitahi/Molesworth Recreation Reserve, with its spectacular high-country landscape and rich cultural history, is managed.

This is the chance to craft a plan collaboratively for the future management of Rangitahi/Molesworth Recreation Reserve. The strategies we put in place today will help protect the many special features of this recreation reserve for everyone to enjoy in the future.

Interest groups and the public have opportunity to make suggestions for the management of Rangitahi/Molesworth that will be taken into account in developing a draft plan.

In July and August 2022 we asked you to submit your feedback as part of our public survey into the future management of Rangitahi/Molesworth. We received almost 800 responses from interested individuals and organisations.  A summary and analysis of results is now available. 

You can: 

Note: The views expressed in these responses are those of the public and do not represent the views of DOC or Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura. Profanity has been redacted where necessary. 

In November 2022, we also heard from other government agencies and stakeholder groups about their visions for the future management of Rangitahi/Molesworth.

Summary of the key themes heard during the stakeholder hui

Plan review process

The Molesworth Steering Committee, which provides advice on management of Rangitahi/Molesworth, and the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board will advise Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and DOC on the development of a draft plan. The draft plan will be written to ensure the recreation reserve is managed in accordance with the Reserves Act 1977 and the Conservation Act 1987.

The draft plan is scheduled to be released in 2023. Public submissions will be invited on its proposals for management of the reserve for 40 working days. Submitters will have opportunity to speak to their submissions at a public hearing following the closure of submissions.

The draft plan will then be revised taking into account submissions. The Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura will finalise the revised conservation management plan and approve it. It’s intended the new conservation management plan will be approved and come into effect in 2024.

The current grazing lease held by Pāmu Farms of New Zealand (Landcorp Farming Ltd) has been extended until June 2023 to allow time for the plan review.

He aha i tua atu o te tāepaepatanga?
What is beyond the place where the sky meets the land?


If you require any further information, email the Rangitahi/Molesworth review team: rangitahimolesworth@doc.govt.nz

Intellectual property rights statement

All knowledge (including artwork and narratives) provided by Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura for the Rangitahi/Molesworth Conservation Management Plan review remain the intellectual property of Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura. Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura reserves the right to use and make public parts of their artwork and narratives. 

This website also includes artwork commissioned by DOC based on Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura narratives. DOC waives Crown copyright in this commissioned artwork but retains a perpetual licence to use it in its publications and media in connection with the Rangitahi/Molesworth Conservation Management Plan review. As the commissioned artwork is based on Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura narratives, re-use or publication in any other form is prohibited.

Stakeholder hui summary

The Rangitahi/Molesworth stakeholder hui was held the week of 7 November 2022.

DOC and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura heard from 10 statutory agencies, one concessionaire, and 18 interest groups about their visions for the future management of Rangitahi/Molesworth Recreation Reserve. These are the key themes we heard:

1. Stakeholder groups support increased opportunity for public access:

  • Stakeholders expressed broad support for increased access to Rangitahi/Molesworth, with many referencing the land’s legal classification as a recreation reserve under the Reserves Act 1977.
  • Stakeholders desired increased access to new areas of the Reserve and at times of the year when access is currently restricted. Many specifically flagged the Tarndale area and Severn to Sedgemere Road as a key route to open for enhanced access.
  • However, multiple groups noted that in order to protect conservation values and values of quiet and solitude, they did not want vehicle access to be opened as a free-for-all everywhere in the Reserve. Many groups thought that increased access for activities such as vehicle use was appropriate only via a system of well-managed permits.

2. Stakeholder groups support increased protections for water quality and indigenous biodiversity:

  • Stakeholders repeatedly emphasised the importance of protecting water quality in the awa, with many stakeholders noting the special importance of the Waiau Toa/Clarence River and desiring ongoing protection for the watershed of that river.
  • Stakeholders also wanted to ensure that Rangitahi/Molesworth’s taonga species were protected, and that habitats were restored and guarded from threats such as pests and wilding pines.

3. Stakeholder groups are supportive of the co-design arrangement between DOC and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura:

  • Stakeholders thought the co-hosting of the hui and the co-design approach between DOC and mana whenua was a step in the right direction for the management of Rangitahi/Molesworth, with one stakeholder noting the refreshing use of the names “Rangitahi” and “Waiau Toa.”

4. Stakeholder groups are keen to keep contributing to a new Conservation Management Plan:

  • Stakeholders expressed support for the ability to get involved in the creation of a new Conservation Management Plan. Many groups reiterated their willingness and excitement to keep working with DOC and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura as the Plan is drafted and their wishes to keep working together under the framework of a new conservation management plan.

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