Success in community conservation partnership initiatives on public conservation land : a case study of a successful West Coast community-based conservation trust : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Environmental Management at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The New Zealand Department of Conservation administers 8.5 million hectares of public conservation land and is focused on growing conservation by increasing partnerships with the community. Limited research exists on the Department’s engagement with the community and, more specifically, on what enables successful conservation partnerships. This research aims to change that and provide a greater understanding of the characteristics underpinning success in conservation partnerships on public conservation land. By identifying these characteristics favourable conditions for success can be established increasing the likelihood of success. Success is defined as achieving predetermined conservation outcomes. The characteristics found to underpin success were: early engagement with the local community; the Department having the flexibility, expertise, and capacity to assist the community group; the preconditions identified by Plummer and FizGibbon (2004a); building capacity within the community group; strong trusting relationships; and open communication. The challenge for the Department is to develop these underpinning characteristics when the Department is not integrated into the community and where there is resistance from the community.
Nature conservation, Natural areas, Citizen participation, Management, West Coast, New Zealand