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New Zealand’s total land area is approximately 26.8 million hectares, of which 8.5 million hectares are administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC). DOC recognises that it needs to partner with others to achieve its outcome statement. The purpose of this paper is to present three case studies where DOC is partnering with community groups so that the local community can gain environmental, social and economic benefits in line with the Department’s outcome statement. The authors had previous knowledge of the three case studies and received a small amount of funding from DOC to allow some follow-up interviews with key stakeholders in each of the case studies. The paper is presented in four main parts. Part 1 describes the research questions asked in the stakeholder interviews and explains their purpose. Parts 2, 3 and 4 present the three case studies: The Oparara Valley Project Trust; The Otago Central Rail Trail; and the Kiwi Ranger programme. The paper finishes with a summary of the major common themes revealed through these case studies.


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