2015 media releases



Celebration of bumper whio breeding season

Date:  23 February 2015
The Department of Conservation is celebrating this year’s bumper whio/blue duck breeding season in eastern parts of Kahurangi National Park with a public whio day event.

Think twice before buying wildlife products

Date:  03 March 2015
Source:  Office of the Associate Minister of Conservation
Associate Minister of Conservation Nicky Wagner is reminding all travellers that wildlife crime is serious and they should think twice before purchasing any wildlife products or souvenirs overseas.

Dairy industry with NEXT Foundation and DOC join forces to accelerate investment in predator control

Date:  26 February 2015
Source:  NEXT Foundation
The dairy industry today joins with NEXT Foundation and Department of Conservation to dramatically transform the way invasive predators are managed on mainland New Zealand.

DOC warns against illegal fires

Date:  25 February 2015
Staff and volunteers from 3 different agencies were called in to deal with reports of a potential illegal fire in the Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve this weekend.

Celebrate Children's Day with a Play Date with Nature

Date:  24 February 2015
On Sunday 1 March, the biggest ever Play Date with Nature will take place in Te Anau’s Ivon Wilson Park.

Bumper whio breeding season boost population

Date:  23 February 2015
It’s been a bumper whio/blue duck breeding season both on and off the rivers throughout New Zealand.

Minister announces conservation fund open

Date:  23 February 2015
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has today announced the Department of Conservation’s 2015 Community Conservation Partnerships Fund is open for submissions.

DOC asks for reports of dead whales in Nelson bays

Date:  18 February 2015
The Department of Conservation says dead whales from last weekend’s mass pilot whale stranding on Farewell Spit have been secured but not all the whales have been accounted for and whale bodies could wash up in Golden and Tasman bays.

Kawakawa Bay fire restrictions

Date:  18 February 2015
New fire restrictions have been put in place at Kawakawa Bay following an increase in use of the popular bay west of Kinloch on Lake Taupō.

Sad outcome for Flipper the penguin

Date:  18 February 2015
‘Flipper’, the paralysed little blue penguin who appeared in the media in early January has had to be euthanized despite weeks of care and rehabilitation.

Virtual Great Walker competition connects classrooms with conservation

Date:  17 February 2015
Children from more than 110 schools throughout the country will be spending more time gaining conservation skills outside the classroom this term, as part of a competition being run by the Department of Conservation, with support from Air New Zealand.

Auckland man fined $1000 after his dog killed a protected seal pup

Date:  16 February 2015
A 52-year-old Auckland man, whose dog attacked and killed a protected New Zealand fur seal pup, has been fined $1000 in the Waitakere District Court today.

Pilot whales stranded on Farewell Spit

Date:  13 February 2015
198 pilot whales have been stranded on Farewell Spit.

DOC pilots wasp control programme

Date:  13 February 2015
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is piloting a targeted bait station method to control wasps over the summer.

Canterbury whitebaiter prosecuted

Date:  12 February 2015
A Canterbury man has been successfully prosecuted for breaking whitebaiting rules while fishing on the Ashley River/Rakahuri last spring.

Ruapekapeka Pā Recognised With International Green Flag Award

Date:  10 February 2015
Ruapekapeka Pā has been awarded the international Green Flag Award for the second year in a row.

Tongariro whio adventures

Date:  10 February 2015
Tongariro National Park recently hosted two families on amazing whio adventures won during Whio Awareness Month and Conservation Week.

Lake Wanaka grebes thrive with a bit of help

Date:  05 February 2015
Man-made nesting platforms have boosted Lake Wanaka’s population of endangered great crested grebes/kāmana.

Strategic placement of traps protects Mokoia Island's birdlife

Date:  05 February 2015
Two rats with the potential to decimate bird populations on Mokoia Island were recently stopped in their tracks with strategically placed trapping lines on the island’s shoreline.

DOC fully committed to new structure

Date:  04 February 2015
The Department of Conservation says it is fully committed to its current organisational structure and continuing to develop into a more effective conservation organisation.

DOC supports iwi initiative to protect kauri

Date:  02 February 2015
The Department of Conservation supports the proactive action by a Northland Iwi in placing a rahui over two maunga near Kaiwaka in Northland.

DOC celebrates retirement of long serving Director

Date:  02 February 2015
Chris Jenkins will retire from the Department of Conservation this Thursday after 37 years of public service.

Whales re-buried at Ohope

Date:  30 January 2015
Recent high tides and heavy seas resulted in Department of Conservation staff having to re-bury a number of whales on Ohope Beach yesterday (subs - Thursday).

Youth wetland photos could win world travel

Date:  30 January 2015
Young people from 15 to 24 are in with a chance to win international travel by entering the World Wetlands Day youth photo competition.

Wellington green gecko breeding on Matiu Somes

Date:  30 January 2015
A photo of a young green gecko has helped confirm that a breeding population has established on Maitu Somes Island.

Pike families’ proposals for Great Walk and Park extension welcomed

Date:  29 January 2015
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Proposals by the Pike River Families Group Committee for the Pike River mine site and the surrounding area to be added to the Paparoa National Park and for the establishment of a new Great Walk between the mine site and Punakaiki have been welcomed by the Government, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith said today.

Mouse blitz on Antipodes Island rescheduled

Date:  29 January 2015
The project had been in planning with winter 2015 as a target date but has been delayed for a year until winter 2016. The eradication must take place in the winter when mice numbers are at their lowest and food resources are scarce.

Thermal imaging camera provides invaluable data on day four of the Flock Hill fire

Date:  29 January 2015
Once again temperatures increased this afternoon as fire crews continued to work to ‘black out’ around the edge of the fire area at Flock Hill and control flare ups in hot conditions today.

Molesworth Road to close early due to fire danger

Date:  28 January 2015
Due to extreme fire danger, the Acheron Road through Molesworth Station will be closed to vehicles from 7pm Wednesday 4 February.

Flock Hill fire update

Date:  28 January 2015
Update: Favourable weather conditions aided fire crews to halt the spread of the large wild fire today at Flock Hill near Craigieburn Forest Park in Canterbury.

Sarah’s great Tongariro whio adventure

Date:  27 January 2015
Winning a whio adventure in Tongariro National Park was ”a really amazing experience” according to Conservation Week competition winner Palmerston North student Sarah Ridsdale.

Theo’s great Tongariro whio adventure

Date:  27 January 2015
Banding two rare whio blue duck with DOC rangers in the Tongariro Forest Park was a truly unique opportunity won by ten-year-old Theo Stebbings of Dunedin.

DOC to develop new guidelines

Date:  21 January 2015
The Department of Conservation says it is taking steps to ensure a more consistent approach to its handling of applications for commercial concessions in national parks in response to an opinion released last month by the Ombudsman.

Fire risk triggers partial closure of Matiu/Somes Island

Date:  20 January 2015
Heightened fire risk resulting from a dry, hot start to summer has triggered the restriction of public access to Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington harbour as of 31 January 2015.

Whitebaiters prosecuted for breaches of the regulations

Date:  20 January 2015
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is pleased with the prosecution of two whitebaiters in the Wairoa District Court on January 12 2015 for breaches of the Whitebait Fishing Regulations.

Tides reveal ancient treasure

Date:  15 January 2015
An old anchor briefly discovered on Moutohora Whale Island may have been part of historic sulphur mining activities.

War on wilding conifers in the Mackenzie

Date:  15 January 2015
As part of its war on wilding conifers in the Mackenzie Basin, the Department of Conservation is undertaking extensive pine and larch.

DOC staff under fire from dry weather

Date:  13 January 2015
Spreading the network of pest control traps and bait-stations has taken a backseat for conservation rangers who have been diverted to fight far more imminent threats.

Set netting care urged after Hector’s dolphin deaths in Tasman Bay

Date:  13 January 2015
The Department of Conservation is urging fishers to take care using set nets in Tasman and Golden bays after two endangered Hector’s dolphins were found dead in Tasman Bay in recent days, one in a set net.

New partnership to support Queen Charlotte Track

Date:  13 January 2015
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced a new Yealands Family Wines partnership with the Department of Conservation.