More than 300 submissions have been received by the Department of Conservation on the two draft planning documents for Stewart Island/Rakiura.
The number and quality of submissions is an excellent reflection of the public consultation process that began in September 2005, Department of Conservation Public Awareness and Planning Manager Anke Habgood said.
An initial assessment of the 315 submissions shows a broad range of topics have been covered by submitters with recreational hunting, biosecurity and biodiversity being the most common.
Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island
The submission period for the Draft Stewart Island/Rakiura Conservation Management Plan and the Draft Rakiura National Park Management Plan closed at 5pm on March 11.
“I am thrilled with the number of submissions received and that so many individuals and organisations are so keen to be involved in this process. Stewart Island/Rakiura is a special place,” Mrs Habgood said.
Public hearings are the next stage in the process. Those submitters who have requested to be heard will be given a chance to verbally express their viewpoint to a hearing panel.
The two draft planning documents, released in November 2008, followed an extensive public consultation process including public meetings, several workshops, presentations, along with regular newsletters and information presented on this website.
It is unclear how long the process will take to complete. This will become clearer when further analysis of the submissions is completed and is largely dependant on the number and content of the public hearings.