As part of a partnership with DOC, launched in April 2012, Air New Zealand has used its high profile communication and marketing channels to promote the nine Great Walks to its domestic and international customers.
DOC and Air New Zealand were recognised for conservation and marketing work centred on DOC’s Great Walks.
Since the partnership began three years ago, DOC has seen a 31% increase in the number of people staying overnight in huts and campsites on the Great Walks. An additional 24,736 people have enjoyed the Great Walks as a result of Air New Zealand promoting these iconic tracks in National Parks managed by DOC.
In addition Air New Zealand has funded programmes to control predators - such as stoats, rats and possums - in areas alongside four of the Great Walks.
This has helped the native forest to recover and enabled DOC and Ngāi Tahu to release kiwi and South Island robins alongside the Rakiura Track on Stewart Island, pāteke beside the Milford Track and whio beside the Routeburn. DOC is working with Tuhoe alongside the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk on a similar conservation project.
DOC Director-General Lou Sanson says the DOC Air New Zealand partnership benefits both conservation and the economy, by boosting tourism.
“Our partnership with Air New Zealand is a strong example of how DOC wants to work with businesses. By aligning our vision and values we can create a win/win for both the business and conservation,” says Lou Sanson.
“The investment in our natural heritage by business also pays dividends for our environment, our economy and our social well being.”
Air New Zealand’s Manager Sponsorship and Communities Meghan Blair says together the airline and DOC have achieved results that neither could have achieved on their own.
“Helping preserve and promote something as special as our Great Walks has been really rewarding and a lot of fun. We’re very proud of what this partnership has achieved,” says Meghan Blair.
Air New Zealand recently extended its partnership with DOC through to 2020.
The airline supports conservation projects along the Great Walks, flies threatened native wildlife to new homes on regular passenger flights as part of DOC’s work to ensure the survival of these species, promotes the Great Walks network and Coastal Gems network as holiday destinations, and funds research in DOC managed marine reserves, providing a greater understanding of how marine ecosystems work.