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Revamp for DOC permit process

The process for handling permit applications for activities on Department of Conservation (DOC) land is being revamped to give consistency and timeliness, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson announced today.More than 4500 permits, or concessions, exist f

NZPA
Fri, 14 May 2010

The process for handling permit applications for activities on Department of Conservation (DOC) land is being revamped to give consistency and timeliness, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson announced today.

More than 4500 permits, or concessions, exist for activities on DOC land -- including boating, filming, bungy jumping and skiing. At least 1100 applications for activities are received each year, and the process for handling them has been labelled inconsistent.

"Concessions provide opportunities for thousands of local businesses, many of whom support the $20 billion-a-year tourism industry," Ms Wilkinson said.

"It's important that there is a consistent approach to handling these permits and that applicants and the department know exactly what is expected of each other."

The new procedures include:

* More consistent assessment of conservation impacts across DOC's 12 conservancies;

* appointing a lead conservancy overall responsibility when more than one conservancy is involved;

* processing routine, non-notified applications within 45 days;

* discounting application fees if timelines are exceeded.

Permit criteria would not change, with all applications having to show they respected conservation values. Public input would continue to be sought if an activity would have significant impacts.

"I expect the recommended changes will provide more certainty to the application process and make it more efficient," Ms Wilkinson said.

NZPA
Fri, 14 May 2010
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Revamp for DOC permit process
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