Concession: an authorisation granted by DOC, usually with operating conditions and charges, to conduct private or commercial activity on public conservation land. These can be for non-recreation and recreational purposes. A concession (such as a permit, license, easement, or lease) is required for all commercial activities operating on public conservation land.
Operator: a concessionaire conducting private and commercial activities on public conservation land.
Limitations of the data
Some concessions are called ‘unidentified’ where the concession is a genuine ‘other’ activity that does not fit into the other categories. Note, while these unidentified concessions are shown in the figures and included to calculate total numbers of concessions and concessionaries, they are excluded from the proportions of each concession activity.
Some types of concessions are excluded, such as marine mammal watching and marine mammal research, scientific research, permits related to Wildlife Act 1953 authorisations, and handling of animals or fish.
One-off (short-term) concessions of less than three months are excluded. These are low-impact activities, as well as short-term trials to establish the commercial viability of an activity.
One-third of our land area is held as public conservation land managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to protect natural and cultural heritage, retain areas of wilderness, and enable recreation opportunities. The use of public conservation land makes an important socio-economic contribution at the local, regional, and national level, but increasing human activities on our protected areas can put pressure on these environments and degrade their cultural and aesthetic value.