Actor, Sam Neill planting kowhai on his Otago vineyard to attract the native birds, with Project Gold ranger Jess Clark
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How to start, improve or evaluate a conservation project. Get information on guidelines and best practice.

    Start a project on public conservation land

    Use the following checklist as a starting point to help you plan your conservation project.

    Understand DOC's requirements

    All community group-led projects on public conservation land will need:

    Approval from DOC

    This involves entering into a community agreement with DOC. If you have a management agreement which is expiring and has a right of renewal, you may choose to work with your local office to renew your management agreement.

    The agreement will lay out details such as planned activities, intended outcomes and outputs, responsibilities of all parties involved, and health and safety requirements. DOC staff will work with your group to prepare the document for signing.

    Health and safety roles and responsibilities between DOC and the community group agreed and clearly assigned

    This involves having safety hazards and risks associated with the proposed activities assessed, control measures put in place and health and safety roles and responsibilities clearly assigned between the community group and DOC.

    These agreed actions will need to be documented in a safety plan. DOC staff can help to provide a safety plan template and check the prepared safety plan for acceptance.

    Insurance against risks

    In most cases, DOC can insure community groups that meet the conditions set by our insurer. There may be instances where some aspects of the work cannot be covered by DOC's insurance. If DOC cannot insure your group, we will inform you of the type of insurance to take up.

    Have an outline plan

    Here are some useful things you should think about for discussion with DOC:

    • what outcomes and outputs does your project want to achieve?
    • what is the timeframe for your project?
    • does your group have all the necessary skills and resources to complete your activity?
    • what support will your group need from DOC?
    • who else needs to be involved to discuss your project?

    Set up discussion with DOC

    Put aside time to invite your local DOC office to a discussion. This will be an opportunity for DOC to understand your group's plan, give relevant advice/information and feedback on what your group's project proposal.

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