In this occasional series, David Barnes attempts to unravel and demystify the different types of public conservation land.

I’m going to try to avoid making these pieces too dry and geeky, but I can’t avoid starting with a chat about legislation. We have to look at three main Acts. The National Parks Act 1980 covers (unsurprisingly) National Parks. The Reserves Act 1977 covers a whole range of reserves: recreation, historic, scenic, nature and scientific are the ones we’re most interested in. There are also a few national reserves, some of which are national historic reserves or national nature reserves.   The Conservation Act covers conservation areas (many of which are also describes as stewardship land), conservation parks, wilderness areas, ecological areas and marginal strips. Later, we’ll look at what other land with access rights, some of which make up the mythical Queen’s Chain.

Next time: National Parks

David Barnes is a long serving member of the FMC executive. He is FMC’s nominee to the NZ Conservation Authority, the public representative board which provides advice to DOC and the Minister of Conservation.