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Source: Department of Conservation

Date:  25 July 2022

Stewardship land is the term given for land that was allocated to the Department of Conservation (DOC) when it was formed in 1987 but had yet to be given a specific land classification. Panels were set up last year to reclassify stewardship land to ensure appropriate layers of protection.

DOC Operations Strategic Support Director Karl Beckert says some submitters had expressed concern about the timeframe available for submissions and it is being extended to give people more time.

“With 504 pieces of stewardship land on the West Coast, we acknowledge there is a large amount of information to consider in preparing submissions.

“The extension of 20 working days to the 40 working days already available gives submitters enough time to provide their comments and it ensures a fair and sound process for public feedback.

“Those who have already submitted can add to their existing submission or choose to resubmit,” Beckert said.

The public notification period opened on 30 May 2022. The recommendations for revised land classifications were made by panels that had independently assessed West Coast stewardship land, including a National Panel of experts and a Ngāi Tahu Mana Whenua Panel.

A summary of all submissions received will be provided to the Minister to help inform her final decisions on the draft recommendations.

Information about the recommendations and about making submissions can be found on the DOC website: Help us reclassify stewardship land on the West Coast.

Read the recommendations and conservation value reports for each area: Documents supporting stewardship land reclassification.


The National Panels, appointed by the Minister of Conservation, comprise technical experts with capability in ecology, earth sciences, landscape, recreation, heritage and mātauranga Māori. More about the National Panels.

Stewardship areas are ‘conservation areas’ under the Conservation Act which are managed to protect the natural and historic values present on the land.

Stewardship areas do not have to be reclassified for their conservation values to be managed and protected.

Stewardship areas can be disposed of, exchanged or reclassified to add greater protection that reflects the conservation values present.

Around one third of the conservation land managed by DOC is categorised as stewardship land, approximately 2,740,000 ha – 9% of New Zealand.


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