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New general policy for national parks

New general policy for national parks
Friday, 22 August, 2003

New Zealanders look on national parks as priceless areas that represent our natural heritage, the New Zealand Conservation Authority says.

Authority chairman Kerry Marshall was commenting on a draft general policy statement on national parks management, released today for public consultation.

“National parks are part of our national birthright which must be protected for future generations to treasure and enjoy," Mr Marshall said. "It’s vitally important that the management of these icon areas is of the highest standard."

The draft policy was a fundamental review of the current general policy statement for national parks dating back to 1983, he said. It would define a “standard of care” for DOC and the Authority in national parks management.

"While the 1983 statement had stood the test of time, significant changes have occurred in the way we do conservation. In particular, we now have a single agency, the Department of Conservation, which must apply an integrated approach to places and species it is responsible for, including in national parks."

New concepts in biodiversity conservation and historic and cultural heritage management were reflected in the new general policy, Mr Marshall said, as well as the Crown’s relationship with tangata whenua based on the Treaty of Waitangi, which had evolved in the last 20 years.

“The intention of the National Parks Act 1980 is that the general policy should allow us to preserve our heritage while allowing public access to enjoy recreational activities.”

Copies of the draft general policy statement for national parks management are available on DOC’s web site, www.doc.govt.nz, and from early next week at DOC Conservancy and Area Offices and public libraries. Submissions close on December 19 this year.

Note: This document complements a draft general policy on conservation, which Conservation Minister Chris Carter is releasing today (Friday) for public consultation.


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