Cabinet paper – Milford Opportunities Project: Initial Policy Decisions

The Milford Opportunities Project is comprised of a Unit and a Ministerial Advisory Board providing advice to a Ministerial Oversight Group (with the Conservation, Transport and Tourism ministers). The Ministerial Group reports back to Cabinet, as the final decision makers on the work, and in June this year, took a paper to Cabinet on Milford Opportunities Project: Initial Policy Decisions.

We’re really pleased to be able to share this Cabinet paper and Minute of Decision, which the Conservation Minister has asked DOC to release on its website.

While it contains some redactions (mainly relating to commercial or privacy withholding grounds under the Official Information Act) the paper is well worth a read. It highlights priority areas for the project, touches on feedback to date (noting it is from June 2023) and next steps for our work.


The paper lays out five key areas for Cabinet to consider when making decisions on the final model for Milford Sounds Piopiotahi:

  1. Appetite to adopt new or novel Treaty partnership arrangements for Piopiotahi in the context of the wider Māori Crown relationship
  2. Whether access to Piopiotahi should be managed including via the Milford Road, and on what basis
  3. The financial sustainability of the commercial, funding and delivery model, including the charging regime that may apply and the level and type of funding the Crown is prepared to approve to implement the changes
  4. How to work with current concession holders
  5. Whether current management and governance arrangements will enable the level of change and pace of change required

It’s located, with the associated Minute of Decision, on DOC’s Milford Opportunities Project web page along with links to other DOC information and documents on the project.