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New Zealand Department of Conservation


New Zealand Department of Conservation

New Zealand Department of Conservation

The challenge of the New Zealand Department of Conservation is to oversee historic and natural heritage assets for the greatest enjoyment and benefit of all the people of New Zealand through conservation, advocacy, and promotion of the historic and natural heritage of the country so that undiminished values are passed on to generations of the future.
The mission of the department is to conserve New Zealand’s historic and natural heritage for the benefit of all its people both now and in the years to come. This is translated in the Maori language as: “He ata whakaute, manaaki, me te tiaki ia Papatuanuku ki Aotearoa kia u tonu ai tona whakawaiutanga hei oranga ngakau mo te tini te mano inaianei, ake tonu ake.”


The vision of the department is for the protection of New Zealand’s historic and natural heritage with the help of its people through voluntary involvement in the department’s programs and projects. In the Maori language: “Kei te mahi ngatahi te Papa Atawhai me nga iwi whanui ki te whakaute, te manaaki me te tiaki i nga taonga koiora me nga taonga tuku iho o Aotearoa hei painga mo te katoa.”

The New Zealand Department of Conservation reports directly to the Minister of Conservation. It operates as a central government agency but regionally it functions as a decentralized organization. In Wellington it has a national office while in other regions it has 12 offices for conservancy scattered all over New Zealand.

Several of New Zealand's native fauna are not found anywhere else in the world. Aside from bats and sea mammals such as dolphins and seals and, there are no native mammals in New Zealand. It does have a wide variety of exotic fish, birds, insects, frogs, and lizards.

New Zealand boasts of having the only flightless parrot in the world called the kakapo, and the kiwi, another flightless bird whose beak has nostrils at the end.

Birds of pre-human New Zealand ran free on the land safe from mammals that would eat them.

Because of this, several bird species lost the function of their wings.
Also, a large number of other animals have remained in their ancient forms. Weta (wingless crickets), grew large enough to function as mice in the food chain as they searched for food on the forest surface.

It also has a primitive type of frog which bears live young. New Zealand’s native flora is unique since it evolved in an isolated state over millions of years.

Almost all the trees in New Zealand, along with flowering plants and ferns are found only in this country.


Less than a fourth of New Zealand’s total land area is covered with native flora, from rainforest covered mostly in beech, rimu, matai, tawa, and rata to kohekohe forests and tall kauri; flax and ferns; dune lands with their pingao and spinifex; sub-alpine and alpine fields of herb; and tussock and scrub.

Many New Zealand themes in history are managed actively in over six hundred key sites by the Department of Conservation.



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