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National parks policy review put on hold

The policy review was being undertaken due to the increasing pressure on national parks. Photo: Rosino/Creative Commons

A review of the policy for how national parks are managed has been abandoned, at least for now.

In August last year, the Conservation Authority, which governs the management of national parks, decided to review the General Policy for National Parks. The policy is used to guide the national park management plans and hadn’t been reviewed since 2005.

The authority said it was being reviewed due to the multiple challenges of record tourism growth, greater iwi involvement in park management and climate change.

But authority chair Warren Parker said it had decided to put the review on hold “to focus on providing support and advice on the conservation priorities of the new government”.

“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 said.

“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. We will look to pick up this work further down the track.”

In February, Wilderness invited recreation, conservation, iwi and tourism experts to share their opinion on the big issues facing national parks and how they should be addressed. You can read their comments in the story ‘The Big issues’.