Protection of values on Crown-owned land

All agencies, including State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and Crown entities, are expected to ensure significant values on Crown-owned land are considered and protected.

Toitū Te Whenua manages land directly, as well as on behalf of other agencies, so sometimes we look after the protection of these values.

Each Crown agency must fully investigate its land and seek expert advice on any identified values before it enters our disposal process.

What are considered values?

Natural values

Natural values include plants and animals and their actual (or potential) habitats, ecosystems, landscapes, landforms and processes, and geological features.

The significance of a site can be assessed by measuring:

  • the size of the area
  • populations or features that the area contains
  • the biodiversity it contains
  • how natural the site is
  • how representative it is
  • how rare and/or threatened the features it contains are
  • the buffering or linkages the site provides to other sites
  • how viable the site is
  • the ecosystem services it provides.

If you have land with natural values and would like assistance, please contact your local Department of Conservation office.

Recreation values

Existing and potential recreational uses of the land should be considered.

The following questions may help the Crown agency to identify what, if any, recreational use of the land should be protected before its disposal:

  • Is the property used for recreational activities, such as walking, biking, fishing, or horse trekking?
  • What is the level of public access to the property?
  • Is the property close to other recreational facilities that could fulfil the same purpose as the property in question?

If there is existing public use, it can also be useful to contact local recreational groups such as hunting or fishing organisations, tramping or orienteering clubs.

Historic heritage

Government departments, including Toitū Te Whenua, are the stewards of a significant number of New Zealand’s heritage buildings and sites.

Historic heritage is defined in the Resource Management Act 1991 as including historic sites, structures, places and areas, archaeological sites, and sites of significance to Māori.

To find out more, please review the policy that guides our management of historic heritage, published by Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage:

Historic Heritage Policy

Cultural significance to Māori

Māori communities may have a particular relationship to sites on land administered by a Crown agency.

A Crown agency may become aware of such sites during its management of the land and, if so, measures to protect such sites should be considered before disposal of that land.

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