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We’re partially reviewing both the Conservation General Policy and the General Policy for National Parks. Get involved to ensure Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities are visible and understood in these policies.

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 step by step outline of the partial reviews process:

  1. Design of the partial reviews process. Already completed.
  2. Calls for nominations for the Options Development Group members from whānau, hapū and iwi, and Māori organisations, and conservation boards chairs. Starting end of June. Nominations close 11 August 2020.
  3. Development of recommendations for changes to the general policies. Starting September 2020.
  4. Public consultation process. Mid 2021.
  5. The Minister of Conservation and the NZCA decide on the proposed changes. Mid 2022.

Detailed timeline of the steps.

Background paper

This background paper provides information to support our Treaty partners to nominate people to work with us on the partial reviews. It describes the process in detail and summarises the main issues we think the partial reviews will address.

How to get involved

There are a few ways to get involved.

  • Whānau, hapū and iwi, Māori organisations, and Conservation Boards are invited to nominate people to be on the Options Development Groups, or
  • Everyone can be involved after the changes are proposed by the Options Development Groups.

Options Development Groups will develop recommendations for change to the general policies. The groups will work together to develop policy proposals. These proposals will be given to the Director-General of Conservation after testing of the proposals with:

  • Treaty partners, and
  • conservation stakeholders.

Nominate someone to be on the Options Development Groups

Nominations close 5 pm 11 August 2020.

Who can be nominated

Whānau, hapū, and iwi, Māori organisations, and conservation board chairs are being asked to nominate people who have knowledge of:

  • te ao Māori
  • Treaty of Waitangi principles
  • te taiao, and
  • conservation policy and practice.

How to nominate someone

You need to complete a nomination form.

The nominee and the person making the nomination must sign the nomination form.

There are different role descriptions depending on if someone is being nominated by whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori organisation or by a conservation board chair:

Download the background paper to help you identify people to nominate:

Send us your nomination by email or post before 5 pm, 11 August 2020.


Department of Conservation
PO Box 10420, Wellington 6143
New Zealand

Give your feedback on possible changes

There are a few different ways you could get involved if you’re not part of the Options Development Groups. These will happen after the Options Development Groups have developed their ideas for change. In early to mid 2021 we’ll come and discuss the ideas at:

  • hui with whānau, hapū and iwi to seek feedback
  • workshops and meetings with key conservation stakeholders to understand their views on any possible changes.

There’ll also be a nationwide consultation process that involves a:

  • call for public submissions
  • series of public meetings.

What happens after nominations close

The Director-General will consider nominations for membership of the Options Development Groups.

We'll contact everyone nominated to let them know if they’ve been appointed to the Options Development Groups.


The general policies are being partially reviewed

We’re partially reviewing both the:

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

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

  • 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.

What the general policies do

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

  • prioritise conservation work within a region
  • set conservation objectives for specific areas
  • consider applications for concessions and similar decisions
  • work with our Treaty partners and the wider community on particular issues. For example, managing public access or recreational activities in certain areas.

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:

Why the partial reviews are needed

In August 2019, the Minister of Conservation and the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) have directed DOC 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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