The Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai [DOC] formed in 1987 is a public science based service department of the New Zealand Government charged with the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historical heritage, while facilitating the recreational use of same.
There are 13 conservation boards under an advisory body, the New Zealand Conservation Authority [NZCA] for different areas around the country which function to facilitate interaction between DOC and the public
The NZCA also works to provide advice to DOC and its ministers in the implementation of the Conservation Act 1987, which sets out the majority of the Department’s responsibilities and roles.
The land area involved is about 30% of New Zealand’s land area or about 8 million hectares of native forests, tussock-lands, alpine areas, national parks, wetlands, dune-lands, estuaries, lakes and islands, national forests, maritime parks, marine reserves, nearly 4000 reserves, river margins, some coastline, and many offshore islands. All of the land under its control is protected for either conservation, ecological, scenic, scientific, historic or cultural reasons, and for recreation.
Providing for recreation is a major part of its core work, and this covers the management of family picnic sites, as well as maintaining rugged back-country tracks and over 1000 accompanying back-country huts that are used by hunters and recreational trampers. DOC also administers the Nature Heritage Fund, and is responsible for rural fire control.
In addition to its work managing land and providing for recreation in New Zealand, DOC works to preserve its natural heritage. This includes preservation of historic sites on public conservation land, saving native threatened species, managing threats like pests and weeds, environmental restoration, caring for marine life, and assisting landowners to effectively preserve natural heritage.
Or visit DOC’s extensive web site packed with information and resources