The preliminary consultation process for the East Coast/Hawke's Bay Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) is now underway. A series of public meetings will be advertised and held throughout the region over the next few months.
An online survey will be used concurrently to gauge public opinion and the importance of key locations throughout the region. John Wauchop, East Coast/Hawke's Bay Conservation Board Chair, is hopeful that everyone will take an opportunity to get involved and provide feedback to this process.
"We want to hear from as many people as possible" he said, "to tell us what is important to them, about any of the conservation sites in East Coast/Hawke's Bay". "People can come to any of the public meetings, or do the online survey if they wish, or even both" Mr Wauchop said. Focus groups will also provide input into the process. A draft publication based on the feedback is scheduled for public consultation later in 2015. This will provide a second opportunity for public comment he said.
Anyone wishing to know more about the CMS process and how they might get involved should contact their local DOC office in Napier on +64 6 8344851 or Gisborne +64 6 869 0465. You can also register your interest by filling in this online form.
A core function of the Conservation Board is to oversee the development of a CMS by region. It is a strategic statutory document which guides how general conservation policies will be implemented. The CMS also establishes objectives for the integrated management of natural and historic resources and for recreation, tourism and other conservation purposes.
This CMS applies to a vast area from Southern Hawke's Bay up to the East Cape on the East Coast encompassing much of the Raukumara Ranges and inland to Tarawera and Kaweka Ranges.
Conservation Boards provide an interaction between local communities and the Department of Conservation (DOC). They play a key role in providing advice to DOC and the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA). Boards also advocate for conservation in other statutory processes and public forums.