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Our natural environment is a valuable resource that we need to preserve and protect. Public conservation land provides New Zealanders with economic, environmental, and recreational opportunities. Access to these underpins our way of life. It also sits at the heart of our largest export earner – the tourism industry. 

National’s sound management of our natural landscapes and our focus on balancing our environmental responsibilities with our economic opportunities is helping to build a stronger economy and create jobs, through more tourism and increased primary production. National is making the most of our great outdoors so that New Zealanders and visitors can enjoy our natural environment.

Better protection of flora and fauna

  • Public conservation land and oceans provide New Zealanders with environmental and recreational opportunities. We have 8.6 million hectares of conservation land, 44 marine reserves and eight marine mammal sanctuaries.
  • Added 664,861 hectares of our most valuable land and waters to Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act. 
  • Added 97,980 hectares protected under QEII National Trust and Nga Whenua Rahui.
  • Created the 12,000 hectare Aotea Conservation Park on Great Barrier Island and advanced a proposal for a National Park in Northland.
  • Backed Zero Invasive Predators facility to research new methods of pest control with Lincoln University.
  • Proposed new Threat Management Plan for the nationally critical New Zealand sea lion.
  • Launched Million Dollar Mouse project to eradicate mice from Antipodes Island, the only introduced predator on the World Heritage-listed island.
  • $20.7 million for Battle for our Birds 2016 to fight back against an expected pest population boom caused by a heavy forest seeding.
  • $16 million over 4 years in Budget 2016 to tackle wilding conifers, a major threat to our ecosystems, land and farms.
  • Proposed new powers to prevent offences against native wildlife such as poaching, hunting protected species and smuggling.
  • Launched Project Taranaki Mounga, a collaboration between the NEXT Foundation, DOC, iwi and others aimed at eradicating pests and restoring Egmont National Park.
  • New kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy to save one of our most beloved birds.
  • Land area devoted to kiwi protection will be doubled and funding for community kiwi protection plans will be ramped up to increase numbers by at least 2% per year.
  • Partnership between Corrections and DOC sees offenders look after DOC sites, upgrade tracks and help to win the War on Weeds.
  • Upgrade of 250 DOC tracks over the next 3 years to combat Kauri dieback.
  • Threatened Species Ambassador to engage the public, raise the profile of lesser-known threatened species and encourage people to help out with conservation efforts.
  • Opened the DOC Community Fund, worth $26 million for community conservation work over 4 years.

Better oceans management  

  • Proposed creation of Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary which will be one of the world’s largest fully-protected areas, preserving important habitats for thousands of species of marine life.
  • Launched a consultation document on new Marine Protected Areas Act which will provide a better and more flexible process for establishing and managing marine reserves. 

Enhancing recreational opportunities

  • Contributed to the public campaign to secure Awaroa beach for the Abel Tasman National Park. 
  • Establishing 45 kilometre Pike29 Memorial Track at Paparoa National Park in memory of the 29 men who died at Pike River.
  • $600,000 in Budget 2016 to support the Game Animal Council, giving hunters an effective voice in their recreation.
  • Created the new 12,000 hectare Aotea Conservation Park on Great Barrier Island, the first such park in the Auckland region.
  • 875 kilometres of new cycle trails developed on public conservation land.
  • Opened 10 new DOC campsites and significantly upgraded 15 others to better meet the needs of campers.
  • $5m invested to replace 10 backcountry huts to meet the needs of recreation users and tourists.