More spending on natural heritage and recreation
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.
DOC’s total departmental budget has increased from $316 million in 2008/09 to $376 million in 2017/18 (source: Main Estimates).
DOC is spending more money than before on our natural heritage and recreation work (as shown by the green line in the graph below).
Fluctuations in Vote Conservation (as shown by the blue line) are mainly due to non-departmental expense transfers, when the budget is reduced in one year and transferred to the next year.
Graph: Total Vote Conservation and departmental operation funding from 2008/09 to 2020/21
New spending in 2017
Budget 2017 gives DOC new spending:
- $76 million over 4 years for visitor infrastructure and managing visitor growth
- $21.3 million for Battle for our Birds (in the 2016/17 year)
- $4.75 million operating funding as a result of the Christchurch Port Hills fires
- $0.75 million for marine protection and development.
Even with a major funding injection for tourism, DOC still spends most of its operating budget on species protection and ecosystem maintenance.
In 2017/18, 47% of the departmental budget will go towards natural heritage (biodiversity), with 39% on recreation. The rest is spent on working with the community to grow conservation, and historic heritage and policy advice.
Recent funding for new initiatives
In recent years DOC has been given extra money for new initiatives, including:
- $42 million for Battle for our Birds
- $28 million for Predator Free 2050
- $22 million to tackle kauri dieback disease
- $11 million to save our iconic kiwi.
The graph below shows Budget allocations for new initiatives. Note: Battle for our Birds funding is for one-off events.
Graph: Funding for new initiatives from 2013/14 to 2020/21