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The partial reviews are an opportunity to collaborate with Māori to shape Treaty partnership in conservation. The process also involves conservation stakeholders and the wider public.

The general policies are being partially reviewed

We’re partially reviewing both the Conservation General Policy and the General Policy for National Parks.

We’ll refer to these two policies as the “general policies”. We’re reviewing them to ensure they:

  • are well placed to give effect to the principles of the Treaty, and
  • help us meet our responsibilities as a Treaty partner.

The general policies are being partially reviewed together because there’s a close relationship between them.

Detailed background paper

To help everyone understand what the partial reviews are about we’ve written a background paper. The paper explains in detail why we’re doing the partial reviews, the process, and the main issues.

What the general policies do

The general policies outline what we need to consider when making decisions, such as how we:

  • work with whānau, hapū and iwi and Māori and the wider community on particular issues - for example, managing public access or recreational activities in certain areas,
  • set conservation objectives or outcomes for specific areas,
  • prioritise conservation work within a region,
  • consider applications for concessions and similar decisions.

Flowchart of how the acts and policies affect DOC work and strategies (PDF, 151K).

If you want to find more information about what’s in the current general policies, you can go to:

Summary of the partial reviews process

The Director-General of Conservation is responsible for delivering the process for the partial reviews of the general policies. The partial reviews process was designed based on feedback received from whānau, hapū and iwi between September and December 2019.

Here’s a simple overview of the partial reviews process:

  1. Minister of Conservation (Minister) and New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) announce partial reviews, August 2019.
  2. Early engagement with whānau, hapū and iwi and Māori organisations on the scope of and process for the partial reviews, September-December 2019.
  3. Design of the partial reviews process. Completed.
  4. Calls for nominations for the Options Development Group (ODG) members from whānau, hapū and iwi, and Māori organisations and conservation board chairs. Starting end of June. Nominations closed 11 August 2020. Nomination process.
  5. Options Development Group (ODG) develop recommendations for changes to the general policies. Starting September 2020.
  6. ODG tests their ideas with whānau, hapū, iwi, Conservation Boards, and conservation stakeholders. ODG hui and workshops.
  7. ODG submit their final report to the Director-General, December 2021.
  8. Director-General publicly releases ODG report, April 2022.
  9. DOC considers recommendations made by the ODG and prepares a proposal to respond to the ODG report.
  10. Minister and Cabinet agree to consult on proposals put forward by Director-General on recommendations for change.
  11. Public consultation process.
  12. The Minister and the NZCA then decide on the proposed changes.

Detailed process for partial reviews of the general policies.

Why we’re reviewing the general policies

In August 2019, the Minister and the NZCA have directed Te Papa Atawhai to begin partial reviews of the:

  • Conservation General Policy, and
  • General Policy for National Parks.

This work is referred to as ‘the partial reviews’ of the general policies. This is because of the specific focus on Treaty responsibilities in the two documents.

The main drivers that led to the Minister and the NZCA initiating the partial reviews are the:

  • Supreme Court’s judgement in the Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki case
  • recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal in the Wai 262 claim
  • the Government’s priority to build closer partnerships with Māori.

Related web pages:

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