Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage, in launching a new visitor behaviour campaign, says the Department of Conservation (DOC) is well prepared for a busy summer with more resources to respond to growing domestic and international visitor numbers.
“The ‘Visit the Kiwi way- Look after our place’ campaign aims to help all visitors to understand the need to have as little impact as possible on our wild spaces and natural areas,” Eugenie Sage said.
“The campaign encourages people to travel responsibly and do the right thing with practical advice on how to behave in nature in relation to safety, littering, toileting, wildlife interactions, and drone use.
“This aligns with Tiaki – Care for New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand’s Responsible Camping Campaign.”
About 3.9 million New Zealanders and 1.4 million overseas tourists visit conservation areas at least once a year.
In addition to enhanced and increased visitor information, DOC will be spending an extra $3.6 million this summer to maintain facilities on public conservation land. This includes cleaning toilets, dealing with toilet waste, track maintenance and compliance.
The funding will see additional rangers employed around the busiest spots, involved in visitor management while also sharing local heritage and nature-based stories and information with visitors.
In the past three financial years, DOC has invested more than $42.4 million in capital expenditure to improve visitor assets including roads, toilets, car parks, and campsites.
“More people than ever before are enjoying the great outdoors and I’m pleased that government agencies are stepping up with better infrastructure and resources to maintain and enhance these stunning places,” said Eugenie Sage.
Campaign messages – Visit the Kiwi way – Look after our place
- Give wildlife space – Keep 20 m from all wildlife, a safe distance. Never feed our birds – even if they ask!
- Take your litter with you – Help us protect our land, water and wildlife by taking your litter or using a bin.
- Poo in a loo – Please use a toilet when you see one. If you really can’t wait, chose to poo away from people and waterways and cover it up when you’re finished!
- Always be prepared:
- Plan your trip well
- Pack the right gear, extra layers and plenty of food and water
- Check the weather in advance as conditions can change fast
- Know your limits—it’s never too late to turn back