New Zealanders have less than a fortnight left to offer feedback on the Department of Conservation’s proposal to declare a conservation park on Aotea/Great Barrier Island.
Meg Poutasi, DOC’s Auckland Director of Conservation Partnerships, says 43 groups and individuals have submitted so far, and encourages others to offer an opinion before the 28 February 2014 deadline.
“The consultation period is an excellent opportunity for local residents, interest groups and the wider community to have their say. We look forward to their contributing knowledge and input”.
The Aotea Conservation Park proposal covers 12,100 ha and includes stewardship land on the island managed by DOC under the Conservation Act 1987. DOC manages 60% of the island’s land, and a large portion of this currently carries the relatively low protection “stewardship area” status.
The new proposal strengthens protection for this land and its environment, and provides for recreation and enjoyment of the proposed park by islanders and visitors alike.
Following the close of submissions on 28 February 2014, DOC will hold hearings for any submitters wishing to be heard. DOC will then analyse all submissions and hearings evidence, before preparing a report with recommendations for the Minister of Conservation, who will make the final decision.