Introduction

An overview of the Budget 2020 funding to the Department of Conservation.

Date:  22 May 2020

Budget 2020 provides funding to DOC in three parts:

  • An additional $501.8 million over four years for nature based jobs as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Reset and Recovery package.
  • $23.1 million of additional operating funding over the next four years, investing in staff and Treaty Partner engagement.
  • $13.7 m contingency funding has also been set aside to repair and restore infrastructure after February’s severe weather event in Fiordland.

Nature based jobs initiative

  • $501.8 million over four years is part of the Government’s $1.1 billion investment in nature based jobs over the next four years.
  • The Department will receive this funding (as outlined in the table below) beginning 2020/21. Note the Enhancing Biodiversity Outcomes initiative is subject to completion of a detailed Action plan.

COVID-19 Economic Reset and Recovery Initiatives

2020/21 $m

2021/22 $m

2022/23 $m

2023/24 $m

Jobs for Nature

66.667

66.667

66.666

0.000

Pest management

36.918

42.888

31.988

35.712*

Enhancing biodiversity outcomes (contingency)

46.797

42.445

34.925

30.078**

Total operating funding

150.382

152.000

133.579

65.790

*This initiative funding profile decreases to $14.512 m in 2024/25, $12.512 in 2025/26 and ongoing.

**This initiative funding profile decreases to $0.850 m in 2024/25 and ongoing.

Cost pressure funding

  • $15.2 m over four years to cover negotiated annual salary review increases with PSA.
  • $7.9 m over four years to cover costs related to implementing Ngāi Tai Supreme Court Decisions.

Budget 2020 new initiatives funded

2020/21 $m

2021/22 $m

2022/23 $m

2023/24 $m

Remuneration cost pressures

3.800

3.800

3.800

3.800

Ngāi Tai Supreme Court

1.367

1.556

1.355

3.624*

Total operating funding

5.167

5.356

5.155

7.424

*This initiative funding profile decreases to $1.355 m in 2026/27 and ongoing.

Ngāi Tai Supreme Court initiative

This funding will enable the Department of Conservation (DOC) to address the implementation cost pressures on the policy, operations and regulatory arms of DOC, created by the decisions of the Supreme Court in 2019 relating to Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust v Minister of Conservation.

Remuneration cost pressure initiative

Budget 2020 funding will help alleviate cost pressures incurred by previously negotiated annual salary review increases agreed with the PSA. This investment recognises the value of DOC staff and allows DOC to retain and attract high quality personnel. It also means that DOC will not have to further absorb rising salary costs. The last time DOC received funding to alleviate cost pressures from remuneration was in 2008.

As part of the Public Service, DOC is exercising pay restraint in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with the PSA, DOC has already determined there will be no pay increases for senior leaders and staff paid over $100,000 p.a. until 30 June 2021.

Southern South Island flood recovery funding

An additional $13.7 m contingency funding has also been set aside to repair and restore infrastructure after February’s severe weather event in Fiordland. The Department will receive this funding (as outlined in the table below) beginning 2020/21 subject to completion and approval of a detailed Action plan with joint Ministers.

Budget 2020 Southern S.I. Flood Recovery contingency

2020/21 $m

2021/22 $m

2022/23 $m

2023/24 & ongoing $m

Operating funding

1.163

0.919

1.048

1.080

Capital funding

3.810

2.858

2.858

 

Total contingency funding

4.973

3.777

3.906

1.080

Increases to DOC's departmental budget

The approved new funding initiatives brings DOC’s total operating budget for 2020/21 to $667 million (2019/20 $499 million). The graph below shows how the departmental budget (solid green line) compares with the pre-existing departmental budget (dotted green line).

DOC Departmental Budget from 2014/15 to 2023/24 (including contingencies)

Budgets for the years 2014/15 to 2019/20 are from the Budget Estimates of Appropriations as tabled in Parliament for those years.

Overview of new department funding

The following chart overlays new funding approved in Budget 2020 and the Government’s COVID-19 response package with funding received in the last 10 years. 

Overview of new Departmental operating funding

Trend in Vote Conservation and DOC's departmental budget

Vote Conservation has two main components:

  • Departmental spending, which is DOC's total operational budget
  • Non-departmental spending, which DOC spends on behalf of the Crown, eg community conservation funds and protection of biodiversity on private and Māori land

Vote Conservation compared to DOC's Departmental budget from 2014/15 to 2023/24 (including contingencies)

The graph shows the continued growth of Vote Conservation and DOC's departmental budget from the new funding received in Budget 2020 against prior years. 

The decrease in Vote from 2020/21 to 2021/22 is largely due to reductions in Non-Department Community funds, Nature Heritage and SILNA; the decrease from 2021/22 to 2022/23 is largely due to less capital injections as the Visitor Asset funding from Budget 2002 was for 22 years and Budget 2017 tourism capital funding ends in 2021/22.

Note, DOC’s budget is complex. There can be fluctuations as a result of Government policy initiatives approved in the annual budget round (eg Budget 2017-2019, International Conservation and Tourism Levy, Provincial Growth Fund); external revenue increases (eg hut and camping charges, concessions fees and partnerships revenue) and technical adjustments to budgets such as transferring budgets between years due to uncontrollable events.

Back to top