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New set of national policies for conservation land

1 June 2005

New set of national policies for conservation land

Conservation Minister Chris Carter today launched a new set of national policies guiding the management of all conservation land and waters around the country, except national parks.

The policies, contained in a single Conservation General Policy Statement, are designed to bring more consistency to decision-making on conservation land and waters nationwide. They have been developed in conjunction with a separate set of policies governing national parks that have been drawn up by the New Zealand Conservation Authority.

"Conservation areas are becoming increasingly important in New Zealand as a recreational and economic resource. A formal set of policies guiding the particular management required on the different types of conservation land nationwide is long overdue," Mr Carter said.

"Those people restoring forests and saving species need a clear and consistent set of policies to guide their work, regardless of where they are. Similarly, the numerous people using conservation land either for recreation or economic activity also deserve to know the basis for decision-making around it.

"I am confident the new general policy statement provides that guidance. It has been developed after a great deal of discussion, including an extensive period of consultation. Hundreds of public submissions were considered following the circulation of a draft policy in 2003," Mr Carter said.

He said there had been some tangible changes to the policy in response to the public, a high profile example being policy around private baches on public conservation land.

"The draft policy proposed gradually phasing out all private baches on public land because exclusive use of facilities by individuals or families was incompatible with the idea that public land should be available to everybody," Mr Carter said.

"After further discussion, the final policy has been altered to allow for exemptions where there are existing agreements about baches in particular areas, or exemptions in legislation."

ENDS

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