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Diversity in Conservation Board membership sought

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Nominations for Conservation Boards have been reopened to ensure they reflect the diverse communities they serve, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.

The Department of Conservation re-opened the nomination process for recruiting a broader cross-section of members from the different communities each board represents on the Minister’s recommendation.

The nomination process for the 2018 appointments was undertaken late last year and may have been affected by the Christmas holidays. The Department received 143 nominations for a total of 45 positions on 15 conservation boards.

"Conservation Boards are an important way for people to have their say and influence how public conservation lands and waters are managed. Their voice and role really matter. Membership of the boards should reflect the strong and diverse public interest in conservation and protecting New Zealand’s natural and historic resources," Ms Sage said.

"I want to cast the net wider, using online and media channels, to ensure a wide range of people know about the roles and how to apply."

The new process opens today with nominations closing on Saturday 14 April 2018. Ms Sage will consider nominations and decide appointments by 30 June. People who already put their names forward will still be considered.

"Anyone in the community who is passionate and knowledgeable about conservation should put their hands up," said Ms Sage.

"Think about who you know with knowledge of nature conservation, natural earth and marine sciences, cultural heritage, recreation, tourism, the local community and a Māori perspective.

"On any one board there may be students, teachers, farmers, fishers, scientists, builders, tourism operators, home makers and retired people."

Background information

What do conservation boards do?

The functions of boards are set out in Section 6M of the Conservation Act 1987 and in the National Parks and Reserves Acts. The boards focus on planning and strategic direction, not the day-to-day operational details of the Department's work.

Board work includes:

overseeing the Conservation Management Strategy for its region.

developing and reviewing national park and other management plans for lands administered by the Department;

advising on proposals for marine reserves;

considering the impact of concessions for tourism and other activities on conservation land;

looking at the range of recreational opportunities in the region;

advising on proposals to change the protective status or classification of areas of national or international importance.

What is expected of a board member?

An interest in conservation and enough capacity to do the work.

Most boards meet four-five times a year and meetings take a full day, sometimes longer particularly if inspection visits are needed.

There will also be committee meetings, time required for researching issues and working on reports or submissions, preparation time spent reading briefing material before meetings, and time for liaison and public consultation.

Do board members get paid?

Conservation boards members are paid $180 per day for meetings and fieldtrips. They can also claim for preparation time, and for fair and reasonable expenses (e.g., petrol and mileage if they use their personal vehicle for fieldtrips, car parking etc).

For further information please see the Departments Conservation Board pages for info on the process and the roles themselves.

Feel free to contact myself or Rick McGovern-Wilson if you have any questions.

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