Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is seeking the views of the public on draft management plans for Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini National Parks.

Date:  08 September 2018

The consultation will be open for public comment for a two month period.

The plans describe how the parks and their special values will be managed and take into account matters such as the impacts of climate change and increased tourism.

Aoraki / Mount Cook Operations Manager, Brent Swanson says both plans include proposals to manage high visitor numbers.

“A proposed park and ride system is one possible solution to managing visitors to the Aoraki / Mount Cook Village and Hooker Valley while retaining the intrinsic wild remoteness over most of the park.”

A new approach to authorising aircraft activity is also being proposed in the draft plans.

“As well as a zone approach for aircraft landings we have been working with the University of Canterbury to develop a tranquility mapping tool. This tool enables DOC and stakeholders to work co-operatively in the conservation of New Zealand’s soundscapes and tranquil places.

The draft plans have been developed in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and rūnanga Arowhenua, Waiho and Moeraki who are affiliated with Aoraki, and Makaawhio who are affiliated with Tai Poutini, as well as conservation boards and the community. The plans reflect their values and aspirations for the parks.

Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini national parks contain amazing scenery, important ecological systems and natural features which are recognised internationally and are part of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area.

DOC is hoping to hear from as many people as possible over the next two months, says Westland Tai Poutini Operations Manager, Wayne Costello.

“Every bit of feedback will help revise the draft plans and ensure they represent the views of New Zealanders and how they want to see the parks managed into the future. People can complete written submissions until November 9,” he says.

After submissions close, public hearings will be held where people can speak to their submissions. The submissions will then be analysed, and the draft plans revised taking them into account.

The revised plans are then considered by the conservation boards before going to the New Zealand Conservation Authority for approval.

Check the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park Management Plan and Westland Tai Poutini National Park Management Plan for draft plans and information about making a submission. Copies of the plans can also be viewed at the DOC offices in, Hokitika, Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Haast, Aoraki/Mount Cook Twizel, Geraldine, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka and Wellington. Submitters can also choose to speak in support of their submission at public hearings later this year.

Key Points:        

  • Submissions are open from 8 September to 9 November.
  • Public hearings will be held in mid-November / early December (more information will be released in November).
  • Information collected as part of the pre-draft consultation has already informed both draft plans.


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