Introduction

All programmes should take into account the impact their proposed work will have on natural, cultural and historic conservation values.

Why do programmes need to consider the impact their work will have?

Conservation land has many different values, and all are important. Often when undertaking one bit of work, we can cause an affect in another area.

Workers taking equipment to clear the historic Waitawheta Tramway, Bay of Plenty. Warren Geraghty.
Taking equipment to clear a tramway

For example, using chemicals to clear fungus and vegetation off a historic bridge can potentially have an impact on the natural ecosystem of the stream below if allowed to drip down.

Another example would be where a fence is built around an area of sand dune for the protection of nesting birds, where the holes required for the fence posts could potentially impact on archaeological sites. These are legally protected under the Historic Places Act.

When should an Assessment of Environmental Effects be done?

An assessment is recommended where work is being undertaken that has the potential to disturb or impact on natural, historic or cultural values.

What does the assessment cover?

Injecting preservative chemicals into the wooden supports of the Cleddau horse bridge, Fiordland National Park. Image: Paul Wilson.
Preserving an historic bridge

Assessments include information about:

  • Site description
  • Objective of the programme
  • Description of the work

They will consider the effect on:

  • Visitor use and appreciation
  • The character of the landscape
  • Archaeological and historic values
  • Cultural and spiritual values
  • Wildlife and native flora
  • Waterways and other natural systems

Volunteers undertaking planting at Makoura Stream, Wairarapa. Image: Sandra Burles.
Volunteers planting

They should provide advice on:

  • Recommended actions to be undertaken to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects
  • Details about monitoring requirements

DOC can provide specialist advice on how to avoid any potential threats to natural, cultural or historic values and whether there are any legal requirements that need to be met.

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