Everyone who visits our parks and forests has a role to play in looking after these precious resources. You can get involved through volunteering and look after parks when you are visiting.
Parks are special places, please share with care for the environment and other people:
Leave no trace. Most of our parks do not have rubbish bins, so take your rubbish home with you and recycle it where you can.
Be courteous. On trails, keep left, slow down and make space to pass.
Do not take or damage any cut plants or animals.
Check to make sure dogs are allowed at the park you plan to visit and keep them under control at all times.
Where parks have farm animals - please respect them and leave them alone.
Use gates and stiles, and leave gates as you find them.
Poison can be laid in parks to control possum numbers, and traps can be set to control other pests. If you find a trap or poison, don't disturb the baits, lures, trapping lines or carcasses.
Most parks do not allow fires - check information on parks to find out if fires are allowed and where.
Follow any specific requirements for each park - check information on parks for these.
For more information on how to share with care and minimise the impact of your visit, see Leave No Trace NZ.
You need a permit to collect any material and/or carry out research within our parks and forests. Each application received is carefully assessed by our Terrestrial Ecosystems and Quality team and Tangata Whenua, and takes up to 3 weeks.
Types of permits:
High impact - the activity involves large volumes/numbers of material, commercial use, collection of DNA samples (except for exotic species and/or purely taxonomic classification purposes), genetic modification, material being removed from New Zealand, rare or endangered species, significant adverse effects on a species or its habitat, any other invasive collection methods or any other effect deemed significant. $100 (GST inclusive) must be included with this application.
Download the application form.
(PDF 153 KB)
Fill out pages 1-4 of the Low Impact application form or pages 1-5 of the High Impact application form and drop or send to:
Attn: Advisor, Biodiversity Monitoring Greater Wellington Regional Council PO Box 11646 Manners Street Wellington 6142
If your application is successful, you will be sent a Permit and must sign it. Any permit that is not signed by a GW Biodiversity staff member and the Applicant is invalid.
You must carry the Permit with you at all time when conducting the activity.
The Toitū Te Whenua Parks Network Plan is a combined plan for our regional parks and forests. It provides directions for the use and management of parks under the Reserves Act 1977. Parks and forests included in the plan are:
Battle Hill Farm Forest Park
Belmont Regional Park
East Harbour Regional park (including Northern Forest, Baring Head and Parangarahu Lakes)
Queen Elizabeth Park
Kaitoke Regional Park
The Plan was approved by Council in 2011 and there were amendments in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The Reserves Act requires that management plans are kept up to date so an overall review is now underway.
We closely monitor the environment within parks and forests to determine the health of the communities of plants and animals living in the parks and forests.
Surveys are also regularly conducted to help us to learn more about the indigenous ecosystems in these areas. Monitoring techniques used include assessments of bird abundance, tree growth, seedling growth, changes in forest composition, flowering and fruiting abundance and the impacts of pests.
Surveys for introduced insects and pathogens are done regularly, as the forests are close to international transport routes. Pest numbers are also monitored to determine the success of pest control operations.
Research projects are also undertaken to help our management of the indigenous ecosystems.
The Local Government Act (2002) allows Regional Councils to create and uphold bylaws in relation to forests, parks and reserves and other Council owned land such as water collection areas.
Greater Wellington Regional Council's Toitū te Whenua Parks Network Plan provides guidance for identifying the activities which should take place in our regional parks and the broad parameters for park management.
Bylaws enable enforcement of the rules identified in our Parks Network Plan. They assist in providing protection from damage or loss through human activity to natural and cultural values, as well as safe enjoyment of parks, reserves and other areas. They enable formal enforcement of authorised officers when other methods of park visitor management have not been effective.