Managing recreation and tourism on the public conservation lands of New Zealand
The aim of this report is to critically analyse the ability of the Department of Conservation processes to meet the objectives of section 6(e) of the Conservation Act 1987. A comprehensive, interdisciplinary Integrated Environmental Management approach has been taken in order to meet the follow objectives of this study: 1. Evaluate the terms used in section 6(e) and investigate their genesis in order to clarify the objectives of section 6(e) of the Conservation Act 1987. 2. Identify the current processes the Department of Conservation has at their disposal to meet the objectives of section 6(e). 3. Identify any outside factors influencing the Department of Conservation's ability to meet the objectives of section 6(e). 4. Critically analyse the use of the processes identified under Objective 2 to meet the requirements of section 6(e). 5. Identify the gaps in knowledge and information that may be preventing the Department of Conservation from meeting the objectives of the Conservation Act. 6. Recommend a course of action the Department of Conservation can undertake to fill these gaps and further improve its visitor management. Recreation and tourism have grown to the point where they are now central to the philosophy of public conservation land administration in New Zealand. This administration underwent major restructuring with the passing of the Conservation Act in 1987. Visitor planning and management were brought under the administration of one agency, the Department of Conservation. This suggested that planning for both conservation and visitor use would benefit from greater co-ordination. However, the formation of the Department from a number of previous agencies, along with the constant restructuring of the Department in its 11year history, has impeded the emergence of a consistent approach to managing recreation and tourism. Today, the Department of Conservation manages approximately one third of New Zealand's total land area and under section 6(e) is required: To the extent that the use of any natural or historical resource for recreation or tourism is not inconsistent with its conservation, to foster the use of natural and historical resources for recreation, and to allow their use for tourism: This section requires the Department of Conservation to place a relative value on the antagonistic objectives of conservation, recreation and tourism. Currently, no policy interpreting this section of the Act exists. Increasing visitor numbers, caused in part by the marketing efforts of the New Zealand Tourism Board, in conjunction with a central government vision for greater strategic planning, lead the Department of Conservation to release a Visitor Strategy in August 1996 (DoC, 1996a). The Visitor Strategy takes a very cautious approach to the conservation - use dilemma. The Department of Conservation has chosen not to use the terms in section 6(e), but instead focus on 'visitors' in a general sense. This report traces the development of recreation and tourism management as part of protected area administration in order to identify the objectives of section 6(e). The ability of the Department of Conservation planning processes are then analysed regarding their ability to reconcile the antagonistic objectives of section 6(e).... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsrecreation management; tourism management; conservation lands; visitor strategy; Conservation Act 1987; Department of Conservation (DOC); conservation; national parks
Fields of Research050205 Environmental Management; 150603 Tourism Management; 160507 Environment Policy
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