NZCA Chair, Edward Ellison ONZM, gives an update on the latest meeting.

New Zealand Conservation Authority meeting April 2024

The Authority held its latest meeting on 19 April in New Plymouth. The meeting was preceded
by a field trip on 18 April within Egmont National Park / Te Papa-Kura-o-Taranaki, where the
Authority had the opportunity to engage with mana whenua, Taranaki Whanganui
Conservation Board members, and the local DOC staff.

On behalf of the Authority, I would like to extend our thanks to Gareth Hopkins (Operations
Manager) and his staff for their hospitality. Special thanks to Fern Brand for organising a
fantastic field trip.

I would also like to thank Ritesh Chandra (Statutory Manager) and the Taranaki Whanganui
Conservation Board members for joining our meeting on 19 April. We found their participation
truly valuable and are thankful for the insightful discussions we had throughout the hui.

Field trip Overview

The field trip started with a visit to the North Taranaki Visitor Centre. Here the Authority was
received by Te Atiawa and the local DOC staff and heard about their project to redevelop the
facility. Before stopping for lunch at the Stratford Mountain House, we visited the Manganui
Bridge, currently under construction, where we received a presentation of the project from
DOC project managers, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāti Maru. As the last stop, we visited the
construction site for Te Rere o Kapuni at Dawson Falls, where Ngāruahine shared with us
their project plan as well as fascinating stories on their tūpuna and the Maunga.

This field trip was of immense value for the Authority. We were pleased to have such a
positive engagement with local Iwi and are most grateful for their warm hospitality. It was
great to see that the relationship between the local DOC staff and mana whenua is growing
strongly and how the local Iwi are actively engaged in many projects across Egmont National
Park / Te Papa-Kura-o-Taranaki. Reflecting the growth and influence of the iwi voice on the
ancestral mounga Taranaki.

Director General Session

Penny Nelson joined the Authority meeting on 19 April via Teams. During her session,
Penny provided the Authority with an overview of the Minister’s priorities as well as the
Department’s priorities. She gave an update on the work undertaken on cuts and efficiencies
to meet the saving target of 6.5%, as set by the Government. Constructive discussions on
the Regulatory Services, IVL funding and marine conservation were also held.

Advice to the Minister of Conservation

During one session of the meeting, the Authority developed the content for advice they are
planning to send to the Minister of Conservation, including the Biological Heritage National
Science Challenge (which ends on 30 June 2024), Myrtle Rust, the review of the General
Policies and Management Planning, and IVL and Jobs for Nature funding.

NZCA’s section 4 obligations

Section 4 obligations are a standing item on the agendas of the Authority’s meetings. This
paper brings together the Authority’s responsibilities and subsequent actions to address these
responsibilities. In this session, the Authority discussed the paper and suggested some edits
to improve clarity and consistency. The final version of this paper will be shared with you once

Taranaki Whanganui Conservation Board Update

Drew Castle, Chair of the Taranaki Whanganui Conservation Board, gave a presentation on
the Board’s work, challenges, and achievements. He provided the Authority with an update on
the Board’s relationships with iwi, DOC, and other Board Chairs; and brought to the Authority’s
attention issues related to the CMS review delays and the Board’s identity.

Conservation Board Chairs’ Conference 2024

The Authority have agreed that the date for this year’s Conservation Board Chairs’ Conference
be set for 17 and 18 August. The Authority are currently considering possible venues and
other logistical details, which will be shared with the Conservation Board Chairs as soon as available.


No reira

Nāku iti noa, nā

Edward Ellison ONZM
Chairperson NZCA

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