Date: 14 December 2016
A new draft Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) for the Wellington, Kāpiti, Manawatū-Rangitīkei and Wairarapa regions will be launched today, and the Department of Conservation is inviting people to have their say on its contents.
The draft strategy is open for submissions until 4 April, 2017 and the final strategy, when approved, will give direction for DOC management of conservation resources in these areas over the next ten years.
It aims to show how DOC will manage places, native plants and animals, clarifies priorities, guides decision-making on commercial activities and describes conservation outcomes to be achieved.
DOC Lower North Island Director, Reg Kemper says, “The document is our handshake with the community – it guides both the Department and the public about what DOC intends to do, how it will set priorities and how the public and other organisations can get involved.”
This new strategy places more importance than ever before on collaboration and connectivity – its purpose is to establish integrated objectives and a more connected way of managing our natural places and visitor assets in collaboration with others.
People are encouraged to put in submissions to support or oppose the draft policies and suggest other approaches.
“If you agree with what the CMS proposes then great!” said Mr Kemper, “please put in a submission to let us know.”
“However if you don’t agree with something, let us know why and what you think the CMS should say instead. This is your opportunity to guide DOC’s approach in places that are important to you.”
DOC has already used information that was collected as part of the pre-consultation process with tangata whenua, local authorities, community, stakeholders, and others to inform the draft Wellington CMS.
The boundary of this plan includes some of the most popular recreation areas in the lower North Island; the Tararua, Ruahine and Rimutaka Forest Parks.
There are opportunities to comment on a wide range of proposals such as changes to visitor levels on Kāpiti and Mana island sanctuaries; improving recreation and access opportunities in forest parks; working with tangata whenua to improve story telling about their historic places; landscape scale pest control in forest areas; and identifying potential new marine protected areas.
The draft strategy and information about making submissions can be found on www.doc.govt.nz/wellingtoncms. Copies of the draft plan also can be viewed at the DOC offices in Wellington, Masterton, and Palmerston North. Submitters can also choose to speak in support of their submission before public hearings in May/June 2017.
Lee Barry, Community Ranger, Kapiti Wellington
Phone: +64 4 470 8439