Options Development Group appointed as partial reviews of conservation policies get under way

The general policies set national direction for how the Department of Conservation (DOC) / Te Papa Atawhai and others with conservation roles fulfil their responsibilities under conservation legislation.

Lou Sanson says the policies are being partially reviewed to make sure Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities are properly reflected. “These appointments to the Options Development Group are an important part of that process.”

In June, Mr Sanson asked whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori organisations and Conservation Board Chairs to nominate people for the Group, which will work with DOC officials on the partial reviews.

“I was pleased to receive such a large number of nominations of very experienced and capable candidates,” Mr Sanson said.

As a collective, the members of the Options Development Group have expertise in tikanga and mātauranga taiao, a solid understanding of conservation issues and practice, and experience applying the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi. The group members also have experience in policy development and analysis.

Of the 12 appointed members, 8 were nominated by whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori organisations, and 4 were nominated by Conservation Board Chairs. A further 3 officials from DOC will participate as ex-officio members of the Options Development Group.

The Options Development Group is responsible for developing recommendations or options for changes to the general policies. The ideas will then be tested with Treaty partners and stakeholders before the Group submits its report to the Director-General.

There will be nationwide public consultation on any proposed changes to the general policies.

The Minister of Conservation is the decision-maker for the Conservation General Policy and the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) is the decision-maker for the General Policy for National Parks. The Minister and the NZCA will consider the proposals and the submissions received before approving the new general policies.

It is expected the partial reviews of the general policies will be completed by the middle of 2022.

The members of the Options Development Group are:

Te ao Māori representatives

  • Hoani Lansbury
  • Tame Malcolm
  • Aroha Mead
  • Beverley Nawarihi Hughes
  • George Riley
  • Dr Valmaine Toki
  • Dion Tuuta
  • Steven Wilson

Conservation Board representatives

  • Mana Cracknell
  • Vicky Dombroski
  • Nicole McCrossin
  • Dr Barry Wards

Ex officio DOC/Te Papa Atawhai representatives

  • Kaiwhakarite – Te Pae Whakatere (Dr Kayla Kingdon-Bebb)
  • Principal Policy Advisor (Jeff Flavell)
  • Strategic Operations Manager (Karl Beckert)

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