Reprint as at 26 March 2015

Reserves Act 1977

Public Act1977 No 66
Date of assent23 December 1977
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Department of Conservation.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

Part 1

3 General purpose of this Act

4 Minister may require reports as to land to be reserved or otherwise protected

5 Restricting application of this Act

5A Director-General to administer special leases and grazing permits over certain reserves

6 Powers of Minister in cases of doubt

7 Director of Reserves

8 Rangers

9 Committees

10 Delegation of Minister's powers

11 Department may engage persons on contract

Part 2
Acquisition of land for reserves

12 Minister's powers

13 Governor-General may declare reserve to be national reserve

14 Local authority may declare land vested in it to be a reserve

15 Exchange of reserves for other land

Part 2A

15A General policy

Part 3
Classification and management of reserves

Classification and purpose of reserves

16 Classification of reserves

16A Application of section 16 to nature and scientific reserves after commencement of Crown Minerals Amendment Act 2013

17 Recreation reserves

18 Historic reserves

19 Scenic reserves

20 Nature reserves

21 Scientific reserves

22 Government purpose reserves

23 Local purpose reserves

24 Change of classification or purpose or revocation of reserves

24A Change of purpose of reserve by territorial authority or regional council

25 Effect of revocation of reserve or change of classification or purpose

Management and control of reserves

26 Vesting of reserves

26A Vesting of certain reserves

27 Cancelling vesting of reserves

28 Appointing a local authority to control and manage a reserve

29 Appointing a voluntary organisation to control and manage a reserve

30 Appointing a board to control and manage a reserve

31 Term of office of members of boards

32 Meetings of boards

33 Form of contracts of boards

34 Members of boards not personally liable

35 Appointing trustees to control and manage reserve vested in Crown

36 Appointing Minister of the Crown to control and manage reserve

37 Administering body may control and manage more than 1 reserve

38 Control and management of land that is not a reserve

39 Provision of technical assistance to administering body

39A Annual financial statements

39B Financial statements may comply with standards rather than generally accepted accounting practice

Functions of administering body

40 Functions of administering body

40A Conservation management strategies

40B Conservation management plans in respect of reserves administered by Department

41 Management plans

General powers of Minister and of administering body

42 Preservation of trees and bush

43 Fencing and maintenance of reserves

44 Unauthorised use of reserve

45 Erection of shelters, huts, cabins, and lodges

46 Grant of rights to Maori

47 Wilderness areas

48 Grants of rights of way and other easements

48A Use of reserve for communications station

49 Taking of specimens

50 Taking or killing of fauna

51 Introduction of flora and fauna

51A Introduction of biological control organisms

52 Union of reserves

Particular powers of Minister and administering body

53 Powers (other than leasing) in respect of recreation reserves

54 Leasing powers in respect of recreation reserves (except farming, grazing, or afforestation leases)

55 Powers (other than leasing) in respect of scenic reserves

56 Leasing powers in respect of scenic reserves

57 Powers in respect of nature reserves

58 Powers in respect of historic reserves

58A Leasing powers in respect of historic reserves

59 Powers in respect of scientific reserves

59A Granting of concessions on reserves administered by Crown

60 Powers in respect of government purpose reserves

61 Powers (including leasing) in respect of local purpose reserves

61A Leases in respect of reserves for aerodrome purposes

62 Powers of Commissioner

63 Reserves not vested in the Crown

64 Administering body may purchase land on deferred payments

Special provisions as to recreation reserves set apart for racecourse purposes

65 Bylaws

66 Club may use reserve on conditions

67 Leasing

68 Application of revenue

69 Annual statement of accounts and report

70 Special Acts dealing with racecourse reserves to be read subject to this Act

Farming and other leases

71 Farming by administering body

72 Farming by another person or body

73 Leasing of recreation reserves for farming, grazing, afforestation, or other purposes

74 Licences to occupy reserves temporarily


75 Afforestation by administering body

Protected private land, and conservation covenants

76 Declaration of protected private land

77 Conservation covenants

77A Nga Whenua Rahui kawenata

Part 4
Financial provisions

78 Application of revenue from reserves

79 Funds of administering bodies

80 Expenditure of funds

81 Unauthorised expenditure

82 Application of proceeds of land where reservation revoked

83 Application of proceeds from exchange

84 Minister may authorise diversion of money

85 Minister may authorise expenditure of money on land that is not a reserve

85A Minister may authorise certain administering bodies to spend proceeds from certain reserves for other purposes

86 Payment of rates on Maori reservations

87 Payment of rates on protected private land

88 Financial statements and audit

88A Crown entities

89 Contributions and advances by local authorities

90 Borrowing powers of administering body

91 Administering body may have debit in accounts in anticipation of revenue

92 Relief of lessees and licensees of reserves

Part 5
Miscellaneous provisions


93 Powers of constables, rangers, and other officers

94 Offences on reserves

95 Seizure and forfeiture of property

96 Trespassing animals

97 Damage by fire

98 Offences with respect to officers or rangers

99 Time for filing charging document

100 Stopping and searching of boats

100A Removal of boats in certain circumstances

101 Proceedings in respect of offences

102 Evidence of offences

102A Penalties for certain offences

102B Penalties for offences committed for commercial gain or reward

103 Penalties

104 Penalty for breach of bylaws

104A Sentence of community work

105 Application of fines


106 Bylaws

107 Procedure for making bylaws

108 Bylaws to be approved by Minister


109 Application of Mining Act 1971 and Coal Mines Act 1925 to reserves

General provisions

110 Removal and disposal of vehicles and boats

111 Road reserve may be dedicated as a road

112 District Land Registrar not to give effect to dealings not in conformity with trusts

113 Form of leases and licences of reserves

114 Variation of covenants, terms, and conditions in leases and licences

115 Transfers, subleases, and mortgages

116 Certificate of title in respect of reserves

117 Commissioner may execute documents on behalf of the Crown

118 Commissioner may act in proceedings on behalf of the Crown

119 Notices

120 Rights of objection and of making submissions

121 Minister may give conditional consent or approval

122 Special provisions as to reserves administered under Tourist and Health Resorts Control Act 1908

122A Control of dogs

123 Regulations

124 Amendments

125 Repeals

Schedule 1
Basic provisions applicable to leases or licences of recreation reserves and scenic reserves

Schedule 2
Enactments amended

Schedule 3
Enactments repealed

Schedule 4
Land that may be held as reserve

Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend certain enactments of the Parliament of New Zealand relating to public reserves, to make further provision for their acquisition, control, management, maintenance, preservation (including the protection of the natural environment), development, and use, and to make provision for public access to the coastline and the countryside

  • Title: amended, on 1 January 1987, pursuant to section 29(2) of the Constitution Act 1986 (1986 No 114).