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Department of Conservation to crack down on rogue tour operators

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 June 2019, 10:01AM
Funding will allow DOC to potential prosecute tour operators. (Photo / Getty)

A crack down on tourism operators breaching regulations in some of our most beautiful places.

The Department of Conservation has released figures from a compliance programme run at high volume tourist sites in the South Island this summer.

It's found a quarter of the operators at popular sites like Wanaka, Te Anau and Punakaiki were breaching their conditions.

DOC Southern director Aaron Fleming told Mike Hosking some tourism companies are taking more people than the number they're allowed on guided public conservation land trips, or more trips in general.

Fleming says they now have funding to police this.

"It's the first time in recent times we've got a coordinated response and are starting to send a strong message, that if businesses are operating on conservation land, we expect them to follow the rules."

He says that the first step will be to send operators a letter stating the breach of conditions, but they can go further.

"If there is a more severe case, then there are penalties, such as suspension, termination, or, in really extreme cases, we can look at prosecution."


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