Date: 01 June 2016
The Department of Conservation is inviting people to have their say on the draft Paparoa National Park Management Plan which details plans for how the park will be managed going forward.
Written submissions can be made until 5 August 2016. The draft park management plan and information about making submissions can be found on this website (see below). Copies of the draft plan also can be viewed at the DOC offices in Westport, Punakaiki and Greymouth.
DOC has prepared the draft management plan in partnership with the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board and with the local iwi, Ngāti Waewae and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
The draft plan has also incorporated comments and suggestions from hundreds of people DOC staff have spoken with or heard from in early consultation for the review of the park management plan.
DOC Buller Operations Manager Bob Dickson said the draft management plan aimed to allow for higher visitor activity in appropriate parts of the park, such as around Punakaiki, while retaining the park’s intrinsic wild remoteness over a large area.
“The draft Paparoa National Park Management Plan recognises the Punakaiki area as a visitor hub, with its Pancake Rocks and other stunning landscapes. Draft plan provisions support this area continuing to provide first-class sightseeing and recreational experiences, including walking and challenging climbing and caving opportunities.
“The draft plan includes provision for the planned Great Walk between Blackball and Punakaiki in memory of the 29 men who died in the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster.
“The planned Pike29 Memorial Track will provide an outstanding new walking and mountain biking experience in the park. It will open up access to the park’s dramatic and diverse environments and enable more people to see and appreciate them.
“It is proposed to retain the northern heart of the park around the Paparoa Range as a remote zone with few facilities.
“Paparoa National Park is recognised as a biodiversity hotspot with diverse ecosystems. Its vegetation and wildlife includes beech and podocarp forest, nīkau palm glades, tāiko/Westand petrel, roroa/great spotted kiwi and more than 25 land snail species.
“Conservation of priority ecosystems, threatened native species and significant geological features is proposed through partnerships with communities and others.
“The draft plan recognises Ngāi Tahu’s rights and responsibilities as manawhenua of the park and has proposals for DOC and Ngāi Tahu working closely together in the park’s management.”
After submissions close, a public hearing will be held where those who request it can speak to their submissions. Submissions will then be analysed and the draft Paparoa National Park Management Plan will be revised taking them into account.
The revised plan is then considered by the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board as the next step in the plan approval process.
Paparoa National Park was created in 1987 and today covers 39,036 hectares.
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