Notice Type
Notice Title

Conservation Board Appointments Protocol

Under section 282(4) of the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998, I, the Honourable Kiritapu Allan, Minister of Conservation, notify that I have issued the following protocol regarding the Department of Conservation’s interaction with Ngāi Tahu on Conservation Board appointments.


1. The membership of Conservation Boards is governed by section 6P of the Conservation Act 1987 (“Act”). The Minister of Conservation (“Minister”) is to appoint every member of a Board after giving public notice in accordance with the process set out in that section, and after consultation with the New Zealand Conservation Authority (“Authority”). In making appointments, the Minister is to have regard to the particular features of the relevant land, and the interests of nature conservation, natural earth and marine sciences, recreation, tourism, and the local community including the tangata whenua of the area.

2. Section 4 of the Conservation Act also requires the Act to be so interpreted and administered as to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (“Treaty”). This requires the Department of Conservation (“Department”) and Minister to apply relevant statutory and legal considerations in a manner that gives effect to relevant principles of the Treaty. It is therefore also relevant to these decisions.

3. Ngāi Tahu have an important and enduring relationship with te ao tūroa of the Ngāi Tahu takiwā. A large proportion of public conservation land lies within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā. The relationship between the Minister, Department, and Ngāi Tahu is of critical importance.

4. This protocol sets out how the Department will exercise its functions in relation to the Conservation Board appointment process, for the conservation boards whose area of jurisdiction is wholly or partly within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā, and how it will interact with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to facilitate Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu’s input in this process.

5. The Minister issues this protocol:

5.1 to set out a mechanism for the input of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu into Conservation Board appointments

5.2 to strengthen the Department’s relationship with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu; and

5.3 under section 282(1) of the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998.


6. The Department seeks public nominations to boards annually. When the number and location of conservation board vacancies is confirmed, the Department will:

6.1 write to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to state the number of vacancies within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā

6.2 note the proposed or indicative appointment timeline; and

6.3 invite nominations from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.


7. The Department advertises public nominations for vacancies using a range of media. Nominations are received by the Department from a range of sources including from the Authority and the community.

8. There are existing, ongoing relationships between Papatipu Rūnanga chairpersons and the Department. The Rūnanga chairpersons may put forward nominations, and regional directors will record those nominations.

Lists of Nominations

9. Once nominations have closed:

9.1 the Department and relevant Papatipu Rūnanga chairpersons will meet in good faith to share and discuss the “long list” of nominations. The Department will inform nominees that their nomination and application information will be discussed with Ngāi Tahu as part of the appointment process. Where information is passed to Ngāi Tahu under this Protocol, the information will only be provided to a person where this is reasonably appropriate to achieve the purposes of this protocol

9.2 if a nominee does not want their application information provided to Ngāi Tahu the nominee will be given the opportunity to opt out, meaning their application information will not be provided to Ngāi Tahu. The relevant chairpersons will be advised of the number of candidates on the long list who have opted out. No personal information about an opt-out nominee will be provided, but an anonymised summary of information from the nominee’s application form will be shared with Ngāi Tahu

9.3 the Department will ensure the Papatipu Rūnanga chairpersons have sufficient time and information to engage meaningfully with the Department in relation to the long list, in a way that ensures privacy of information is appropriately maintained

9.4 the Department will record the views of Papatipu Rūnanga chairpersons

9.5 that meeting will include a discussion of relevant issues that impact on the selection of board members, including the appropriate geographic spread, diversity of members, and any identified skill gaps that would be desirable to fill; and

9.6 Ngāi Tahu will declare any potential conflicts of interest, including any existing relationships with nominees on the long list (but the fact that a person on the list is of Ngāi Tahu whakapapa is not in itself a conflict of interest).

10. Ngāi Tahu will treat this long list as being provided in confidence and will use this information for the sole purpose of providing advice to the Department.

The Department’s Reports

11. The Department will ensure that the views of Ngāi Tahu are included in the advice and recommendations to the Minister on the Board appointments.


12. The Minister is the final decision maker, but will do so informed by the input of Ngāi Tahu, and in accordance with section 6P(2) and section 4 of the Conservation Act. The Minister is not bound by this protocol to accept the Department’s advice or the views of Ngāi Tahu.

13. The Minister’s recommendations will then be considered by the relevant Cabinet Committee, in accordance with the Cabinet Manual.


14 The Department will write to all nominees (appointed, re-appointed, retirees, sitting members not re-appointed, and unsuccessful) to advise of the outcome of the appointment round. The Department is required to notify the appointments in the Gazette. The Department will then advise Papatipu Rūnanga chairpersons of the Minister’s decisions.

15. Where this protocol:

  1. refers to a Papatipu Rūnanga chairperson this includes a person authorised to act on behalf of the Papatipu Rūnanga chairperson
  2. refers to the Ngāi Tahu takiwā it has the meaning set out in section 5 of the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Act 1996.

Dated at Wellington on this 16th day of February 2022.

Hon KIRITAPU ALLAN, Minister of Conservation.