Caitlin Bell planting at Bullock Creek as part of a Jobs for Nature project.
Image: Belle Gwilliam and Elise Lanigan | DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


An overview of the Budget 2021 funding to the Department of Conservation.

Date:  20 May 2021

As part of Budget 2021 the Department of Conservation will receive funding increases of:

  • $10 million for departmental operating expenditure for the six months ending December 2021 to preserve baseline funding. This money offsets a reduction in concession funding that would have been received from tourism operator concessions. This funding was secured by MBIE at Budget 2021 and has been transferred to DOC.
  • $5.127 million of capital funding to be spent in 2020/21 and 2021/22 from the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority to part-fund the purchase of 148 electric vehicles and charging stations, which will help contribute towards making DOC’s vehicle fleet carbon neutral.

DOC's 2021/22 departmental appropriations

DOC’s departmental appropriations have increased by $42.050m, from $594.494m in 2020/21 to $636.544m in 2021/22. This is primarily due to:

  • $28.439 million of expense transfers from 2020/21 to 2021/22 because of delays in engaging with third parties and pending enactment of legislation.
  • $10.000 million to preserve baseline funding, offsetting the reduction in concession funding. Note the $10 million uplift will effectively be reduced to zero once the baseline is reduced at the October Baseline Update to reflect the decrease in tourism operator concession revenue.
  • $9.236 million of increased funding for 2021/22 secured at Budget 2018 for biodiversity (freshwater, marine and terrestrial).

The following chart shows DOC’s departmental appropriations in 2021/22:

DOC departmental output (operating) appropriations 2021/22

DOC Departmental Output (Operating) Appropriations 2021/22:

  • Natural Heritage, $380.9m
  • Historic Heritage, $5.5m
  • Recreational Opportunities, $195.4m
  • Conservation with the Community, $36.3m
  • Contribution to Regional Pest Management, $3.2m
  • Policy Advice, $4.1m
  • Statutory Planning, Services to Ministers, $10.7m
  • Search and Rescue Activities, $0.4m

Overview of departmental output expense funding over time

The following chart shows funding received over the past 10 years above the 2014/15 baseline. It includes Budgets 2014 – 2021. The most significant funding uplift was secured at Budget 2020, which included the Government’s COVID-19 response Jobs for Nature package of $501.8m over four years.

DOC departmental output expense funding (operating) 2015/16 to 2024/25

Chart notes:

  • The above graph shows the amount of funding secured in previous Budget rounds and how the funding was allocated across financial years. The table below details the amounts per initiative for each Budget.
  • ‘Other’ budget movements include changes to third party and crown concessions revenue, and baseline transfers and adjustment since 2014/15.
  • The Department’s funding from 2021/22 onwards is per Main Estimates 2021/22 and is subject to change pending future budgets and baseline adjustments.

The following initiatives were included at each Budget (the dollar amounts refer to the first four years of funding):

Budget Initiative
Budget 2014 Kauri Dieback ($16.4m)
Budget 2015 Save Our Iconic Kiwi ($11.2m)
Budget 2016 Battle for our Birds ($20.7m)
Funding for Game Animal Council ($0.6m)
Budget 2017 Tourism Infrastructure - Maintenance ($33.1m)
Tourism Growth Initiative - New Walks ($11.5m)
Battle for Our Birds ($21.3m)
Port Hill fires ($4.8m)
Marine Protection and Development ($0.8m)
Regional Growth Programme ($0.4m)
Budget 2018 Predator control ($81.3m)
Biodiversity Contingency ($76.0m)
Organisational capability ($16.2m)
Visitor management ($5.5m)
Biodiversity in Mackenzie Basin ($2.6m)
Budget 2019 International Visitor Levy ($106.2m)
Remuneration Cost Pressures ($15.2m)
Improving Safety and Security ($10.7m)
Provincial Growth Fund ($0.3m)
Budget 2020 Jobs for Nature: Kaimahi for Nature ($200.0m)
Jobs for Nature: Restoring Nature ($154.3m)
Jobs for Nature: Protecting Nature ($147.5m)
Ngai Tai Supreme Court Decisions ($7.9m)
Southern South Island Flood Recovery contingency ($4.0m)
Budget 2021 Preserving Concession Funding ($10.0m)

Trend in DOC’s appropriations

Vote Conservation has two main components:

  • Departmental spending, which includes DOC's operating and capital budget
  • Non-departmental spending, which DOC spends on behalf of the Crown, eg grants to community conservation funds and the protection of biodiversity on private and Māori land.

DOC operating and capital appropriations 2015/16 to 2024/25

The graph above shows how DOC’s departmental appropriations (including operating and capital) and non-departmental appropriations (including operating and capital) have changed over time.

The increases in departmental and non-departmental appropriations since 2019/20 have been driven by the Covid Recovery and Relief Funds received at Budget 20, including the Jobs for Nature initiatives and the Wildlife Institutions Relief Fund.

As the Covid Recovery and Wildlife Institutions Relief Funding is time limited the graph shows decreases to appropriations by 2024/25.

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