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Visitors urged to show some love

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has launched a Love This Place campaign to encourage responsible behaviour in New Zealand’s great outdoors.

The campaign provides practical, online and on-the-ground information to ensure people know how to keep themselves and others safe, and tread lightly.

Director of Heritage and Visitors at DOC, Steve Taylor said with more people than ever out and about over summer, actions mattered more than ever for the natural environment.

“DOC’s campaign targets the really important behaviour for keeping our impact to a minimum and makes it easy for everyone to do the right thing,” Mr Taylor said.

He said the campaign focused on five areas of visitor behaviour: Littering, toileting, wildlife interaction, safety and drone use.

“It’s simple stuff — give wildlife space, remove all litter, prepare for your visit and poo in a loo,” Mr Taylor said.

“Responsible drone use is another topic that’s really important to avoid distressing and disturbing wildlife, not to mention other visitors.”

He said many people were not aware of the negative impacts drones could have on New Zealand’s birds in particular, and that a permit was required to use a drone over conservation lands and waters. 

Love This Place builds on the success of DOC’s 2018-19 behaviour in nature campaign, Visit the Kiwi Way, which won the Great Journeys of New Zealand Industry Enabler Award at the Tourism Awards in October.

“When people connect to landscapes and heritage, it improves their wellbeing and sparks their interest in protecting our natural environment,” Mr Taylor said.

“It’s important we enable everyone to benefit from visiting our great outdoors while safeguarding New Zealand for generations to come.”

“Like last year, this campaign is part of a nationwide effort to engage domestic and international tourists to behave responsibly while travelling in Aotearoa,” he said.