April 2005, amendment to Chapter 2, June 2007, technical amendment July 2019
General Policy for National Parks provides guidance for managing national parks. It replaces General Policy for National Parks 1983.


General Policy for National Parks (GPNP) is approved by the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) and implements the National Parks Act 1980. GPNP provides consistent direction for administering national parks across the country through:

  • conservation management strategies, and
  • national park management plans.

Timeline of changes

This timeline goes from oldest to newest.

2007 amendment

On 13 June 2007 the NZCA approved a minor change to policy 2(g) in GPNP. This related to the customary use of traditional materials and indigenous species by deleting the word 'non-commercial'.

The Chairperson of the NZCA, Kerry Marshall, said that "Following representations from and consultation with Ngāi Tahu, and having also received advice from the Department of Conservation and considered the views of the Minister, the Authority has decided that it is appropriate to include all customary use of traditional materials and indigenous species under one policy."

Customary use is defined in the policy as “Gathering and use of natural resources by tangata whenua according to tikanga.”

The Minister of Conservation, Hon Chris Carter, decided to make a similar amendment to policies 2(g) and 4.1(e) in Conservation General Policy in June 2007.

2019 technical amendment

The technical amendment addresses a similar error in GPNP to that identified in the Conservation General Policy by the Supreme Court in Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki v Minister of Conservation [2018] NZSC 122.

After receiving the Court’s guidance, the NZCA approved a technical amendment in August 2019 to remove this error from text in Chapter 2 of GPNP (see crossed out text below):

The Conservation Act 1987, and all the Acts listed in its First Schedule, must be so interpreted and administered as to give effect to the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (section 4, Conservation Act 1987). Where, however, there is clearly an inconsistency between the provisions of any of these Acts and the principles of the Treaty, the provisions of the relevant Act will apply.

This does not change the policies themselves, and they continue to apply in line with the Supreme Court’s decision.

Publication information

Produced by the Department of Conservation for the New Zealand Conservation Authority.

ISBN 978-0-478-14241-9


New Zealand Conservation Authority

Phone: +64 4 471 3211
Fax: +64 4 471 1082

18-32 Manners Street
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6011

Department of Conservation

Policy unit
Whare Kaupapa Atawhai / Conservation House Head Office

Phone: +64 4 471 0726
18-32 Manners Street
Wellington 6011

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