Date: 09 December 2013 Source: Office of the Conservation Parliamentary Private Secretary
Conservation Parliamentary Private Secretary Nicky Wagner today released a report on the review of Conservation Boards and announced their role is to be enhanced to complement the new partnership approach of the restructured Department of Conservation.
“We have undertaken a thorough review of the role of conservation boards – the first since they were established in 1987. Conservation Boards have a lot of strengths but the review has identified a number of ways in which they can be more effective,” Ms Wagner says.
“Consideration was given to whether to align the existing 13 Conservation Boards to the six new larger departmental regions. We believe this would have lost the strength of community connections. There will be 14 boards in future, taking into account the Far North Treaty of Waitangi settlements that require a new Te Hiku Conservation Board.
“The review recommends that Conservation Boards be more representative of the communities they serve, with a greater focus on recreation. We will be taking this into account with the new appointments to be made early next year.
“The way Conservation Boards interact with DOC needs to be enhanced with an annual letter of expectation, reporting framework, and code of practice. We also see potential for efficiency gains from having three, rather than 14 Conservation Management Strategies and a limited number of Conservation Management Plans. We want to see individual National Park Management Plans for each park maintained. We also see a role for Conservation Boards in respect of grants made from the Biodiversity Fund.
“The Government deferred the appointment of new Conservation Boards this year while this review was undertaken. Advertisements for members were posted in regional papers today and the new boards will be in place by May 2014.”
More information on the nomination process can be found at: www.conservationboards.org.nz. The closing date for nominations is Monday 20 January 2014 at 5:00 pm.
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