Date: 14 March 2018
Source: New Zealand Conservation Authority
The New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) has decided to put its proposed review of the general policy for National Parks on hold for the time being to focus on providing support and advice on the conservation priorities of the new Government.
The general policy drives planning for what activities can occur in national parks. It ensures there is an appropriate balance between the preservation of native plants and animals, the welfare in general of the parks, and the rights of the public to access and enjoy these special places. The current policy was issued in April 2005.
Chair Warren Parker says, “Our national parks are facing pressures arising from tourism growth, and the impacts of climate change on both biodiversity and infrastructure. There is also the environment around the new Crown/Iwi portfolio and how this connects to conservation.”
Since the NZCA decision in August 2017 to proceed with a review there has been a change of Government, along with a new Minister of Conservation.
“We have decided as an Authority that it’s important for us to focus on how we can work with the Minister to address these issues together,” Parker says.
“We also want to support the Minister in her priorities for the coming year, including addressing the decline in biodiversity, developing the national visitor strategy, and expediting conservation management strategies and plans currently in preparation.”
“Because of this we have decided to put the review of the National Parks general policy into abeyance temporarily,” Parker says. “We will look to pick up this work further down the track.”
The role of the New Zealand Conservation Authority Te Pou Atawhai Taiao O Aotearoa is to advise the Minister of Conservation and the Director-General of Conservation.
It is closely involved in conservation planning and policy development affecting the management of public conservation areas administered by the Department of Conservation as it approves the statutory strategies and plans which set objectives for their management.
Dr Warren Parker, Chair NZCA
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