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Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park Plan Approved

N e w s R e l e a s e
Monday, 23 August 2004

Park plan approved

The Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park Management Plan has been approved by the NZ Conservation Authority after several years of public consultation and due process.

It is the first plan for the park to have recognised the significance of Aoraki/Mount Cook as a Topuni under the Ngäi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998.

Poma Palmer of the Department of Conservation said the plan will provide guidance for the department and the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board to manage the park over the next ten years.

“The previous plan was in many respects out-dated. We have bought it into the 21st century, clearly addressing the issues facing park and village management today and for the future,” he said.

“It includes all the recognitions and statutory obligations of being kaitiaki / guardians of a Topuni site – one of 14 sites in the South Island of particular significance to Ngäi Tahu,” he said.

Some of the challenges of managing a village within a mountainous park, such as flood protection, building designs and standards, waste disposal and appropriate development have been covered in the new plan.

“One of the success stories of this plan has been the joint work with local commercial aircraft operators to allow for ongoing aircraft services, while recognising and reducing the impacts on the park,” said Mr Palmer.

“The plan also addresses the issues of increased visitor numbers to hot spots like the Hooker Valley and the new Mueller Hut, to make sure each visitor gets a positive national park experience.”

This plan was a review of the previous management plan from 1989. A draft plan was developed, which, after extensive public consultation and submissions, was revised and presented to the Conservation Board and subsequently to the Conservation Authority for amendment and final approval.

C.D.s and printed copies of the plan will be available by the end of September from the Department of Conservation, 133 Victoria Street. It will also be on the DOC website.

ENDS

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