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HomeGeneral TourismViews sought on iconic view – Kawarau/The Remarkables

Views sought on iconic view – Kawarau/The Remarkables

The Department of Conservation is seeking your knowledge on Queenstown’s most iconic vista – Kawarau/The Remarkables.

The status of the lands and waters in the Remarkables Conservation Areas are about to undergo a review to ensure their values are properly recognised.

But first, DOC is seeking the input of the community to see what knowledge is held of this iconic part of the Whakatipu area.

The Remarkables Conservation Areas are currently managed and protected under the generic category of 'stewardship land'. The process to reclassify stewardship land involves firstly gaining a better understanding of the values that are present.

The outcome of the process will be to propose a new classification or classifications next year that better reflect these values.

The Remarkables Conservation Areas extend from Whakatipu-wai-Māori in the west over to the Nevis valley floor in the east. It is mostly made up of two large discontinuous land parcels that total just over 33,000 ha. The area does not include the Remarkables Ski Area which is in the Rastus Burn Recreation Reserve.

DOC southern South Island operations director Aaron Fleming says the land has meaning to many in the region.

"Kawarau/ The Remarkables area is of special significance to Ngāi Tahu, which must be acknowledged. It's an incredible landscape, which was at the edge of the ice at the last glaciation.

"It's the backdrop to Queenstown. Its botany and historic heritage are outstanding, and it is much enjoyed by backcountry enthusiasts and climbers."

Aaron Fleming says the relationship with mana whenua is vital in progressing this work and DOC has been working closely with Papatipu R≈´nanga.

"This is important mahi, working with our Treaty Partner to understand the cultural and conservation values of the whenua.

"DOC staff have been attending hui over the last year seeking advice and working with Papatipu Rūnanga. From there, DOC staff and contracted experts have compiled five reports. These detail Ngāi Tahu values, practices and associations alongside reports on the landscape, ecological, historic heritage and recreational values."

The 2016 Otago Conservation Management Strategy directs DOC to do this work and the Otago Conservation Board will be providing advice to DOC throughout the process.

As an early step DOC is seeking submissions on these reports and any other information that the public may hold on the values of the area.

"We have done some initial work and have a produced a suite of values reports. It is really important for DOC to get public input now as many others will hold knowledge about the area. These are public lands, and it is vital that the public tell us what they know about the whenua.

"We would really like to hear from you. Submissions about the values here will help to inform any proposed new classification to be developed next year."

Once there is a proposal for a new classification (or classifications) there will be a second round of consultation planned for 2021, which will likely include public hearings.

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