New DOC report ‘New Zealanders and the environment’


The Department of Conservation’s (DOC) new customer research report provides a snapshot of New Zealanders’ experiences in the outdoors and their interaction with biodiversity and conservation.

The findings provide guidance on how Te Papa Atawhai DOC might support New Zealanders to get more involved in caring for species and places. The report also looks at domestic attitudes towards the outdoors and access to it.

Key findings include:

  • Engaging more New Zealanders in outdoor activities is likely to encourage people to be more proactive in protecting and conserving species and places.
  • New Zealanders have a limited understanding of what biodiversity is and why the health and richness of New Zealand’s biodiversity goes hand in hand with the health and richness of New Zealand’s people.
  • This lack of understanding is a barrier to people taking action for conservation.

Approximately two-thirds (65%) of survey respondents agreed that the preservation and conservation of the outdoors is one of the most important issues in New Zealand today.

More than half (56%) of the survey respondents agreed that the actions they take could have a positive impact on the New Zealand outdoors. Respondents who agreed that their actions could have a positive impact were more likely to be engaged and interested in the New Zealand outdoors.

Only 28% of survey respondents said they had a high level of knowledge of biodiversity.

When the decline in biodiversity was explained, 37% said that they believed they could personally help stop the decline, 29% were unsure and 33% said they could not help.

Read the report New Zealanders and the environment