Cycling the Paparoa Track

Image: John Strange | ©


DOC is halting the CMS amendment process while it works with iwi, conservation and recreation groups to ensure the legal process is robust.

The Department of Conservation publicly notified the intention to make amendments to the West Coast Te Tai o Poutini Conservation Management Strategy 2010 (CMS) in March 2019. Submissions closed Monday 20 May 2019.

The Department has decided to halt the CMS amendment process while it works with iwi, conservation and recreation groups to ensure the legal process is robust.

The Department will also recommend to the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) that the recreational aircraft provisions in the Paparoa National Park Management Plan 2017 (the Plan) are quashed. 

View submissions on the draft CMS

View copies of all submissions

Note: This links to our Cerberus download site.

Why were we amending the CMS?

In 2017 the NZCZ approved the Paparoa National Park Management Plan and the CMS amendment process was to ensure the Plan was consistent with the CMS.

The process to prepare and approve the Plan was fast tracked to allow for the Paparoa Track to be built. This took place in 2016 and the Plan was approved by the NZCA in 2017.

The Paparoa Track was identified by the Pike River Families as a project to honour the memory of the 29 men who died in the 2011 Pike River Mine Disaster.

This fast-tracked plan review meant that amendments to the CMS would be made after the Plan was approved. The Department consulted with the NZCA and the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board about the need to run an unusual process and this was agreed to, given the exceptional circumstances at the time.

This is different to the usual review process which sees changes to the CMS made before an inconsistent activity is written into a park plan instead of before.

The intention was to complete the amendment process by September 2019, in time for the opening of the Paparoa Great Walk at the start of December 2019.

Notably, the amendments were needed to allow for some commercial activities, such as aircraft landings, to take place on the Great Walk, as well as clarifying activities that are currently “silent” in the CMS. The amendments also explicitly allowed for mountain biking in the National Park and on areas of the track outside of the National Park.

As mountain biking is not a direct offence under the National Parks Act 1980, recreational mountain biking will be possible on the Paparoa Great Walk when the track opens.

Why are we halting the CMS amendment?

This turnaround is due to concerns raised by stakeholders that the Department is deviating from processes put in place to ensure the CMS provides the overall direction for managing and integrating conservation and recreation values on and off public conservation lands on the West Coast. National park management plans are then written to align with the CMS.

The process the Department has run would have seen the amendments made to make the CMS consistent with the Plan instead of the other way around.

The Department was confident the process to change the CMS after the Plan was approved was workable, but a closer legal inspection has revealed the CMS must be reviewed first to allow for activities before these activities can be written into the Plan.

Your submission

The decision to halt the amendment has nothing to do with submissions received. The submission period has only just closed, and the Department has not had a chance to review or analyse individual submissions yet.

Submissions received to date on the CMS amendment will be considered within any future processes developed.

What happens next

The Department will work on developing a process to review the CMS alongside the stakeholders concerned.


If you have any further questions email

View the CMS amendments

The draft CMS amendments are presented by identifying only those parts of Volume I and Volume II with proposed amendments in the document below. The amendments are shown using tracked changes, with underlining for new text and strike through (text that has been crossed out) for deleted text.

Draft West Coast Te Tai o Poutini CMS amendments (PDF, 221K)

You can also view a full copy of the current CMS to assist in identifying where the proposed amendments occur.

West Coast Te Tai o Poutini CMS

Draft CMS amended maps

Volume I

Volume II

Hard copies of the draft CMS amendments can be inspected during working hours between 9 am and 4:30 pm at:

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