DOC funding

The Federated Mountain Clubs said:

FMC President Robin McNeill is elated that New Zealanders have reached into their pockets to buy a piece of land for addition to Abel Tasman National Park. The Givealittle crowd funding campaign was recently successful in its quest to raise $2 million to submit a tender on the Awaroa property.

“I have walked this piece of piece of beach before when tramping the Abel Tasman Great Walk and felt the sand between my toes. It is fantastic that New Zealanders have come together to raise funds to add it to the National Park”.

“People reaching into their own pockets like this just shows how much New Zealanders care about conservation, freedom of access and our network of National Parks and Great Walks”.

“Unfortunately the Department of Conservation was unable to purchase this piece of land because of funding constraints. only receive $315 million dollars from the government to run 1/3 of New Zealand. That works out to be around $35 for every rugby field worth of land area. All things being equal, will only have $260 to control pests, maintain tracks and provide facilities to this new piece of National Park every year”

I’m a fan of DOC and as fiscal conditions allow, support greater funding for them.

However I don’t think the maths here is that helpful. Dividing funding by land area gets an average but not one that means much because not all land under DOC control is the same.

There are vast portions of DOC land that probably never get seen by a human, or even have one come close. They don’t need much money spent on them.

The areas that get more people visiting them tend to get more resources.

And crown funding is not the only source of funds for DOC.  Around 150,000 people a year visit the Abel Tasman Park and those who stay at campsites and huts pay fees. I suspect those who use water taxis also help fund DOC as they water taxis probably pay for a concession.

DOC don’t release exact data on income for the track but based on an economic study a few years ago, a ball park is:

  • 25,000 hut nights x $32 = $800,000
  • 35,000 campsite nights x $18 = $630,000
  • 10,000 Totaranui nights x $15 = $150,000

So that is possible income of around $1.6 million by users.

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