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Thompson, A, Lovelock, BA, Reis, AC, Jellum, C, Sides, G, Wright, R & Kjelsberg, M 2009, 'Traditional livelihoods, conservation and recreation: reflections on managing visitation in New Zealand conservation parks', Tourismos, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 163-179.

Tourismos is an open access journal, therefore the article is reproduced here in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Please follow this link for information on how this article may be used.

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This article discusses the findings of research conducted in protected natural areas in the South Island of New Zealand over three consecutive summers between December 2005 and May 2008. The primary purpose of the research was to gather perspectives and data about local community members' and visitors' recreational experiences and aspirations for future management of the conservation parks. Since 2005, 'high country' conservation parks have been designated by the country's protected natural area manager, the Department of Conservation (DOC). The three South Island parks involved in this study - the Ahuriri, Ruataniwha and Hakatere Conservation Parks - were, prior to designation, leased and managed since the nineteenth century by multiple generations of farming families for agricultural purposes, primarily farming merino sheep and beef cattle. Thus the landscape has undergone transition from a farmed environment coexisting with natural features that have high conservation values to one where tourism and recreation activities dominate.

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