Co-management : kanohi ki te kanohi : options for Egmont National Park : a thesis presented in part fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Resource and Environmental Planning, Massey University
Egmont National Park is a very special place for those who live near or around the park. Many people, Maori and European, openly acknowledge a spiritual relationship with the mountain. Its importance cannot be underestimated. The functioning of the park ecosystem is increasingly being placed under pressure from various threats. The management of these threats is being strained due to insufficient resources from the Department of Conservation. The complexity of these threats means there is a need to look at new and innovative solutions for park management. In order to achieve the conservation outcomes the local, regional and national communities of interest seek for Egmont National Park, there is a need to examine management arrangements. One significant outcome of such an examination is the desire for these communities to be more closely involved in park management. The Department of Conservation must begin to form such partnerships with Maori. Traditional Maori knowledge can be utilised in conjunction with western knowledge, in order to provide the best management for the park. Consideration is given in this thesis to empowering these local communities so that they can be involved in park management. While a range of conflicts and differences within communities in Taranaki exist, there are a number of common threads. The concept of establishing consensus and co-operation to work towards a common goal is therefore by no means impossible or futuristic. This concept is termed co-management. This thesis develops options for co-management in Egmont National Park. Developing a co-management agreement within the New Zealand context of enormous conservation threats, high interest in recreation, public access and ownership issues, means these processes must be based on a series of common principles. Therefore, this thesis builds on elements of the theory and application of co-management from overseas experience and literature and the broader New Zealand context for conservation planning. A range of principles for co-management are presented and used to develop structures and processes to enable co-management in Egmont National Park.