Technical jargon for nature based tour guides

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Technical Jargon for Nature based Tour Guides

Operator The generic name for any business operating an activity in the tourism industry


The Department of Conservation (DOC) is the central government organisation who is responsible for conserving the natural and historic heritage of New Zealand on behalf of and for the benefit of present and future New Zealanders. DOC’s mission is "to conserve New Zealand's natural and historic heritage for all to enjoy now and in the future". See Te Papa Atawhai

Te Papa Atawhai is the Maori name for DOC. The department's responsibilities are encapsulated in its Maori name - Te Papa Atawhai; Te papa signifies a box or container (for the taonga or treasures) and atawhai the act of caring, nurturing or preserving.


A concession is an official authorisation or license to operate your commercial activity in an area managed by the Department of Conservation.


The “concessionaire” is the operator holding the concession to operate the activity.

The Crown

The Government is regarded as the “Crown”.

Crown Land

Crown land is land that is owned by the people of New Zealand, guarded and managed by a variety of different organisations such as DOC, Maori or high country farmers.

Front Country

The areas of DOC managed land that is easily accessible from the road between 2 minutes to 4 hours walk away from a car park. The front country is visited by the majority of visitors. For example 99% of visitors to Fordland National Park visit the front country areas only.

Back Country

The areas of DOC managed lands which take considerably more effort and skills to reach. It is generally more than 4 hours walk from the road.


Walking is an easy walk on a foot path or a well defined track, where few skills are required to undertake this activity. Walks take place in New Zealand’s front country.


Hiking is an internationally used term for a longer walking trip which involves foot travel on defined trails. Hikes can be several hours or several days in duration. Some skills are required for hikes; a reasonable level of fitness and some prior walking experience are the minimum skills required for hiking. Hikes can be in both front country and back country.


Tramping is the colloquial New Zealand word for hiking. It is used no where else other than in New Zealand and is often considered amusing by international guests!


A route is a known way through a back country area which maybe marked by poles or cairns (small piles of rock). There is generally no trail on a route. Good map reading skills are necessary when using a route.


Guests are those paying people who take part in your activities. They maybe domestic (from New Zealand) or International ( from another country).


Voluntourism is the combination of a volunteer conservation experience within your tourism activity. An example maybe having your guests take part in checking stoat traps at a wild life refuge or removing pine tree seedlings from a conservation area.

Geo tourism

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.

Flora Includes all living plants like flowers, fungi, lichens, moss, ferns, shrubs and trees.


Includes any animals like birds, insects, mammals, marine animals, fish.


Means found naturally in the country of origin only. New Zealand has many endemic species of flora and fauna. No fewer than 80% of New Zealand's native plants and trees are endemic. Many species of New Zealand’s birds are endemic to New Zealand.


Means found naturally in the country of origin as well as other places in the world. For example the Australasian Crested Grebe.


United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organisation.

World Heritage

An area given “world heritage” status is an area of extreme beauty or off extreme cultural or scientific significance in the world. There are 851 UNESCO world heritage sites in the world to date (2007). Some examples are The Grand Canyon in the USA (scientific), Pyramids of Egypt (cultural), and Te Wahi Pounamu of the South Island, New Zealand (extreme natural beauty and scientific).


SAR is an acronym for Search and Rescue. SAR teams exist throughout New Zealand and are made up of volunteers. SAR teams assist in rescues of people who encounter trouble in New Zealand’s great out doors. The police generally manage Search and Rescues.


New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA) sets standards and runs course to give people qualifications to instruct people in the outdoors in a variety of activities. Some of the activities NZOIA offer courses in are bush craft skills, kayaking and rock climbing. See

AA – Automobile Association

The AA Business Solutions department is a good organisation to belong too if you are a commercial vehicle operator. They can assist with vehicle breakdowns and repairs throughout New Zealand.


Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ) is the Government department who handles all matters relating to vehicles and licensing on the roads in New Zealand.

P Endorsement

A “P” endorsement on your driver’s license means you are allowed to drive a vehicle which carries paying passengers. All taxi, van and bus drivers will have a “P” endorsement.

Driver’s Log Book

A driver’s log book is completed by all drivers while on driving duty. It is a LTNZ rule. If you were a guide doing some driving duty, you would need to fill out a log book.

Passenger Service Operator License

A Passenger Service Operators License is a license that a company holds if it owns any vehicle where paying passengers will be transported in. Most commercially operated vehicles will have a name and number printed on the bottom of the driver’s side of the vehicle indicating the holder of the license.

National Parks Act 1980

The New Zealand national parks system aims to preserve in perpetuity for their intrinsic worth and for the benefit use and enjoyment of the public those parts of the country that "contain scenery of such distinctive quality, ecological systems, or natural features so beautiful, unique, or scientifically important that their preservation is in the national interest".

Conservation Act 1987

The Conservation Act was developed to promote the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historic resources. The Department of Conservation was formed at the same time as this act.

Wild Life Act 1953

The Wildlife Act deals with the protection and control of wild animals and birds and the management of game. Permits are necessary to deal with certain wildlife. There are several parts to this act.

Reserves Act 1977

The Reserves Act has three main functions, including preservation and management of special areas for recreation, education or wild life habitat, survival of indigenous species and the preservation of access for the public to the coastline, islands, lake shore and riverbanks. For more on these Government Acts see key word Legislation.

CMP Conservation Management Plan An important tool in caring for a heritage item can be a conservation management plan (CMP). This document provides a guide to future care and use, including any new development.

CMS Conservation Management Strategy

An alternative to a full CMP is a conservation management strategy (CMS). A CMS is a briefer version of a CMP that will provide a broad overview of conservation approaches and management guidance.