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Department of Conservation, Motueka Area office

The Department of Conservation (DOC) was established in 1987 after a major reorganisation of central government agencies responsible for managing land and natural resources in New Zealand. DOC now manages about 30% of the total land area in New Zealand as public conservation land for the benefit of all New Zealanders. This comprises of national parks, forest parks, scenic reserves and marine reserves including many off shore islands.

For more information visit

The Conservation Act 1987 set up the new government department to:

  • Manage for conservation purposes all land and natural and historic resources held under the Act.
  • Preserve indigenous fresh water fisheries so far it is practicable.
  • Protect recreational fisheries and habitats.
  • Advocate for conservation.
  • Promote international co-operation.
  • Promote the benefits of conservation of natural and historic in NZ, Antarctica, the sub-antarctic islands and Ross Dependency.
  • Provide educational and promotional conservation information.
  • Foster recreation and allow tourism on conservation lands, providing its use is consistent with the conservation of the resource.
  • Provide advice to the Minister of Conservation.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has its National Office in Wellington and six Conservation Partnerships regions across New Zealand. The North and West South Island region covers all of Marlborough, Nelson and the West Coast, including Nelson Lakes, Kaikoura, and Haast.

Offices in the Nelson Tasman area include Whakatu Nelson Office, Motueka Office, Takaka Office, St Arnaud Office, Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre, and Nelson Visitor Centre.

The Motueka Office manages Abel Tasman National Park, Eastern Kahurangi National Park including the Wangapeka, Karamea and the Mt Arthur Tableland plus Mt Owen and Western Mt Richmond Forest Park. It also manages conservation services right across Nelson, Tasman, Motueka and the Waimea Plains. It has 28-40 staff , volunteers and contractors depending on the season, as numbers increase over summer with seasonal roles such as hut wardens in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Local senior staff include:
Mark Townsend, Conservation Services Manager
Al Check, Senior Partnerships Ranger
Kate Steffans, Senior Biodiversity Ranger
Tom Young, Senior Recreation Ranger
Chris Golding, Senior Project Janszoon Ranger

The main work activities include:

  • Maintaining the visitor facilities in the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks and Mt Richmond Forest Park.
  • Rural fire as part of the Waimea Rural Fire Authority.
  • Other programmes include wild animal and plant pest control.
  • Protection of threatened fauna and flora . e.g. whio or Blue Duck protection in Kahurangi National Park.
  • Staff manage two marine reserves at Tonga Island Marine Reserve and Horoirangi Marine Reserve. Marine mammals such as seals, dolphins and whales are also protected by legislation managed by the Department.
  • Staff work closely with the Project Janszoon Trust and Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust in the Abel Tasman National Park.
  • There are a number of community groups also involved in important conservation work including Friends of Flora in Kahurangi National Park.

The Nelson Visitor Centre is the primary provider of Department of Conservation visitor information for Nelson Tasman. The Visitor Centre is located in the Nelson i-SITE on Halifax Street, Nelson.

Contact Motueka Office
Ph 03 528 1810
PO Box 97
Motueka 7143

Nelson Visitor Centre
Ph 03 546 9339
PO Box 375
Nelson 7040

Press releases

  •  Help make a difference in Conservation Week  (9 September 2016)
  •  DOC investigates wheelchair access to park  (29 March 2016)
  •  Abel Tasman islands off limits to protect seals  (23 December 2015)
  •  Get out into nature for Conservation Week  (30 October 2015)
  •  Feedback invited on Abel Tasman foreshore  (25 September 2015)
  •  Meeting to promote conservation of keas  (18 July 2015)
  •  Flora Hut gets an upgrade and spruce up  (15 April 2015)
  •  Youth paddle plastic bottle kayaks in Abel Tasman  (19 March 2015)
  •  Rat and mice found on Adele Island sanctuary  (10 March 2015)
  •  Celebration of bumper whio breeding season  (27 February 2015)
  •  DOC offers week of activities in the great outdoors  (23 October 2014)
  •  Kahurangi Battle for our Birds pest control begins  (25 September 2014)
  •  Aerial pest control and 'nest egg' programme boost whio population  (29 July 2014)
  •  Kahurangi pest control to protect native species  (14 July 2014)
  •  Learning to live with the inquisitive kea  (13 June 2014)
  •  Call to plant cover crops that don't attract pest butterflies  (3 April 2014)
  •  Community snorkelling day at Tonga Quarry on again  (26 February 2014)
  •  Continued Heaphy Track mountain biking recommended  (22 October 2013)
  •  Heaphy Track mountain biking trial report to be considered  (4 October 2013)
  •  Celebrate Conservation Week at Anchorage  (27 August 2013)
  •  New Anchorage hut for Abel Tasman coast track  (19 April 2013)
  •  Eight new arrivals a boost for Kahurangi National Park whio  (12 March 2013)
  •  Nasturtium a focus in pest butterfly eradication  (1 February 2013)
  •  More trapping on Adele Island after stoat caught  (30 January 2013)
  •  Roar hunting in Tasman wilderness  (20 January 2013)
  •  Project Janszoon stoat trapping set up with student support  (18 January 2013)
  •  Call for pest butterfly sightings in Richmond, Tasman and Nelson  (11 January 2013)
  •  Big clean up of Tasman Bay beaches this Saturday  (5 November 2012)
  •  New track around Abel Tasman Coast Track slip  (31 October 2012)
  •  Abel Tasman foreshore management plan approved  (28 June 2012)
  •  Donations from cyclists assist Heaphy Track upgrade work  (1 May 2012)
  •  Chance to ride the Heaphy Track again this winter  (23 April 2012)
  •  Project Janszoon Trust appoints high-profile directors  (21 March 2012)
  •  Tasman Wilderness Area hunting opportunity  (2 March 2012)