Reprint as at 1 August 2014

Conservation Act 1987

Public Act1987 No 65
Date of assent31 March 1987
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.



Part 1

1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

3 Act to bind the Crown

4 Act to give effect to Treaty of Waitangi

Part 2
Establishment and functions of Department of Conservation

5 Department of Conservation

6 Functions of Department

Part 2A
New Zealand Conservation Authority and Conservation Boards

New Zealand Conservation Authority

6A New Zealand Conservation Authority established

6B Functions of Authority

6C Powers of Authority

6D Membership

6E Annual report

6F Term of office of members of Authority

6G Chairperson of Authority

6H Meetings of Authority

6I Director-General entitled to attend meetings of Authority

6J Servicing of Authority

6K Fees and travelling expenses of members of Authority

Conservation Boards

6L Conservation Boards established

6M Functions of Boards

6N Powers of Boards

6O Annual report

6P Membership of Conservation Boards

6Q Co-opted members

6R Term of office of members of Boards

6S Chairpersons of Boards

6T Meetings of Boards

6U Director-General entitled to attend meetings of Boards

6V Servicing of Boards

6W Fees and travelling expenses of members of Boards

Part 2B
Guardians of Lakes Manapouri, Monowai, and Te Anau

6X Guardians of Lakes Manapouri, Monowai, and Te Anau

Part 3
Conservation areas

7 Land may be acquired and held for conservation purposes

8 Conservation area may become reserve, national park, etc

9 Policy statements for conservation areas [Repealed]

10 Management plans [Repealed]

11 Procedure for preparing and amending management plans [Repealed]

12 Effect of management plans [Repealed]

13 Conservation areas may be closed

14 Conditions on the issuing of leases and licences, and disposal of conservation areas [Repealed]

15 Creation of easements [Repealed]

16 Disposal of conservation areas

16A Exchanges of stewardship areas

17 Access to conservation areas

Part 3A
Management planning

17A Conservation areas to be managed by Department

17B General policy

17C General policy under more than 1 Act

17D Conservation management strategies

17E Conservation management plans

17F Procedure for preparation and approval of conservation management strategies

17G Procedure for preparation and approval of conservation management plans

17H Reviews of conservation management strategies and conservation management plans

17I Amendments to conservation management strategies and conservation management plans

17J Freshwater fisheries management plans

17K Procedure for preparation, approval, review, and amendment of freshwater fisheries management plans

17L Sports fish and game management plans

17M Procedure for preparation, approval, review, and amendment of sports fish and game management plans

17N Effect of general policies, conservation management strategies, and management plans

Part 3B

17O Application

17P Relationship with the Resource Management Act 1991

17Q Powers to grant concessions

17R Applications for leases, licences, etc

17S Contents of application

17T Process for complete application

17U Matters to be considered by Minister

17V Limitations on concessions and leases over marginal strips

17W Relationship between concessions and conservation management strategies and plans

17X Power of Minister to impose and enforce conditions

17Y Rents, fees, and royalties

17Z Term of concession

17ZAA Concession may continue after application for new concession

17ZAAB Concession may continue after process initiated under section 17ZG(2)(a)

17ZA Registration of easements

17ZB Accounts

17ZC Changing conditions

17ZD Failure to execute or exercise concession document

17ZE Transfers, subleases, and mortgages

17ZF Aircraft

17ZG Management activities

17ZH Powers of Minister where services are provided by the Minister or the Director-General

17ZI Records

17ZJ Reconsideration of decisions

Part 4
Specially protected areas

18AA Governor-General may confer additional protection or preservation requirements

18AB Governor-General may declare that wetland be notified to Ramsar Secretariat

18 Minister may confer additional specific protection or preservation requirements

19 Conservation parks

20 Wilderness areas

21 Ecological areas

22 Sanctuary areas

23 Watercourse areas

23A Amenity areas

23B Wildlife management areas

Part 4A
Marginal strips

24 Marginal strips reserved

24A Power to reduce width of marginal strip

24AA Power to increase width of marginal strip

24B Power to declare certain dispositions to be exempt from section 24

24BA Notification of intention to reduce marginal strip or to grant exemption

24C Purposes of marginal strips

24D Reservation of marginal strips to be recorded

24E Exchange of marginal strips

24F Right of Crown to half of bed of river adjoining former land of the Crown

24G Effect of change to boundary of marginal strips

24H Management of marginal strips

24I Easements [Repealed]

24J Resumption of marginal strips by Crown

24K Provisions applying in relation to land vested under New Zealand Railways Corporation Restructuring Act 1990

24L Public access rights

Part 5
Stewardship areas

25 Management of stewardship areas

26 Disposal of stewardship areas

Part 5A
Sports Fish and Game Councils

Functions of Minister

26A Functions of Minister

New Zealand Fish and Game Council

26B Establishment and powers of New Zealand Fish and Game Council

26C Functions of New Zealand Fish and Game Council

26D Membership

26DA Members not personally liable

26E Co-opted members

26F Powers of New Zealand Fish and Game Council

26FA Appointment of fish and game rangers

26FB Powers of fish and game rangers

26FC Provisions relating to Director and fish and game rangers

26G Employment principles

26H Crown entity

26I Annual report

26J Chairperson of New Zealand Fish and Game Council

26K Meetings of New Zealand Fish and Game Council

26L Director-General entitled to attend meetings of New Zealand Fish and Game Council

26M No remuneration payable to members

Transitional Councils

26N Transitional Councils

26O Functions and powers of Transitional Councils

Fish and Game Councils

26P Establishment and powers of Fish and Game Councils

26Q Functions of Fish and Game Councils

26R Fish and Game Council responsibilities

26S Powers of Fish and Game Councils

26T Appointment of staff

26U Membership

26V Co-opted members

26W Crown entity

26X Annual report

26Y Eligibility to vote

26Z Conduct of elections

26ZA Term of office of members of Fish and Game Councils

26ZB Members not personally liable

26ZC Chairpersons of Fish and Game Councils

26ZD Meetings of Fish and Game Councils

26ZE Director-General entitled to attend meetings of Fish and Game Councils

26ZF No remuneration payable to members

Part 5B
Freshwater fisheries

26ZG Application of Part

Maori fishing rights

26ZH Maori fishing rights unaffected by this Part

Sports fisheries

26ZI Taking sports fish without licence prohibited

26ZJ Offences relating to spawning fish

26ZK Fishing competitions relating to sports fish

26ZL Restrictions on fishing

26ZM Transfer or release of live aquatic life

26ZN Fishing rights not to be sold or let

26ZO Occupier may fish without licence

Miscellaneous provisions

26ZP Determination of closed seasons for fishing

26ZQ Buying, selling, or possessing fish, contrary to Act

26ZQA Possessing certain kinds of fish without approval

26ZR Using hazardous substances to catch or destroy fish

Part 5C
Control of dogs

26ZS Controlled dog areas and open dog areas

26ZT Areas excluded from open dog areas

26ZU Matters that may be included in declarations of controlled dog areas or open dog areas

26ZV Matters about which Minister must be satisfied

26ZW Matters to be taken into account in relation to declaration

26ZX Matters relevant to determination of conditions

26ZY Preparation of discussion document

26ZZ Notification of discussion document

26ZZA Inspection of discussion document

26ZZB Submissions on discussion document

26ZZC Hearing of submissions

26ZZD Summary of submissions

26ZZE Recommendation of Director-General

26ZZF Issue of notice

26ZZG Restrictions on access to controlled dog area

26ZZH Dog control permits

26ZZI Requirements in relation to dog control permits

26ZZJ Power to amend or revoke dog control permit

26ZZK Persons authorised to take dogs into controlled dog area without dog control permit

26ZZL Seizure and destruction of dogs

26ZZM Disposal of seized dog

26ZZN Supply of information in relation to ownership of dogs

26ZZO Recovery of costs relating to dogs

26ZZP Offences

26ZZQ Dogs causing serious injury to protected wildlife

26ZZR Power of warranted officer to request information

26ZZS No liability where dog wounded in attempt to destroy

26ZZT Limitation of liability for damage

Part 6

27 Covenants

27A Nga Whenua Rahui kawenata

28 Resources other than land

29 Management agreements

30 Taking of plants

31 Removal of shingle, etc [Repealed]

32 Lessees, etc, may be required to make contributions [Repealed]

33 Receipts

34 Annual reports

35 Local authority contributions

36 Trespassing livestock

37 Production of permit, etc, on demand

38 Hunting, etc

39 Other offences in respect of conservation areas

40 Powers of warranted officers

41 Offences in respect of warranted officers and fish and game rangers

42 Protection of warranted officers and others

43 Proceedings for offences

43A Evidence in proceedings

43B Strict liability

43C Penalties for certain offences

43D Penalties for offences committed for commercial gain or reward

44 Penalties

44A Sentence of community work

45 Offenders liable for loss or damage

46 Forfeiture of property

47 Information leading to conviction

48 Regulations

48AA Regulations prescribing time limits for applications for concessions

48A Special regulations relating to freshwater fisheries

48B Special regulations relating to South Island freshwater fisheries

49 Public notice and rights of objection

50 Changes of status of land to be noted

50A Errors of description in notices may be corrected

51 Consent or approval may be conditional

Part 7

52 Director-General of Conservation

53 Powers of Director-General

54 Deputy Directors-General of Conservation

55 Other officers and employees of Department

56 Committees

57 Delegation of powers by Minister

58 Delegation of powers by Director-General

59 Warranted officers

60 Acquisition of land for administrative purposes

60A Persons in respect of whose actions Director-General may recover costs, require royalties, etc

60B Director-General may recover certain costs

60C Indirect applications

60D Royalties, etc, may be required in certain circumstances

60E Payments

60F Certificate of title in respect of conservation areas

Part 8
Transitional, consequential amendments, and savings

61 Certain former State forest land to become protected area on commencement of Act

62 Certain land to be managed as if it is stewardship area

63 Certain land may become protected area without public notification

64 Existing leases, licences, etc

64A Agreed exchanges to proceed

64B Powers under forestry and Crown leases, etc, exercisable by Minister or Director-General

65 Amendments and savings

Schedule 1
Other enactments administered by Department

Schedule 2
Enactments amended

Schedule 3
Consequential amendments to regulations

Schedule 4
Land that may be protected area

Conservation Amendment Act 2010

Reprint notes

An Act to promote the conservation of New Zealand's natural and historic resources, and for that purpose to establish a Department of Conservation