New Zealand Department of Conservation Preserves its National Parks with Wet and Forget

With 14 national parks across the country, the Department of Conservation is dedicated to showcasing New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage to its patrons. Each year, the New Zealand Department of Conservation is able to restore a few more heritage sites and provide improved facilities for visitors.

From historic lighthouses, cottages and stream bridges to forts, hunting and tramping huts and an observatory, the Department of Conservation has a number scenic options for its patrons to explore and learn about the country’s history and culture.

Situation Analysis

With so many national parks, grounds and structures to maintain, the New Zealand Department of Conservation is constantly challenged with regular upkeep. According to Dave Waters, visitor asset program manager, the Department was already using an outdoor cleaning product and was happy with its performance.

Although he did notice that it was harsh on the surrounding landscape and foliage and application was challenging because a pressure washer was required. Overall, they weren’t necessarily in the market to look for another outdoor cleaning solution.

“As the Department of Conservation, it is imperative that we ensure the natural and historic heritage is preserved, while also making certain the surrounding grounds and landscaping are not at risk,” said Waters. “Even though we were happy with our current cleaning solution, it did pose potential harm to the landscaping, as well as the staff and their uniforms, so we considered trying another product that was more environmentally-friendly.”

After six months of considering a new solution, Waters decided to give a bottle of the product to one of his colleagues. “This was just an initial test. When we did examine the results about five months later, we were pleasantly surprised that the test section still looked extremely clean. At that point, we decided to start making a change,” said Waters.

The Path to a Solution

Seven years since the initial test, the New Zealand Department of Conservation now exclusively uses Wet & Forget, an environmentally-gentle solution that safely removes moss, mold, mildew and algae from outdoor surfaces.

Used to clean everything at the department’s Franz Josef Waiau Area Office, including the Visitor’s Center, 10 staff houses and decks to back country hunting and tramping huts, foot bridges, handrails, staircases, concrete paths, patios, picnic tables, fences and benches, Wet & Forget now plays an integral role in cleaning and maintaining many of the national parks.

After using the product, the New Zealand Department of Conservation found that it was easy to use because application did not require a pressure washer. The original product used did, which sometimes caused problems such as driving mold spores deeper into a structure or damaging the surface, as opposed to just cleaning it.

“Once we started using Wet & Forget, we realized it was easy to use and also met our needs in terms of an environmentally-friendly, effective cleaning solution that produced long-lasting results and caused no harm to the surrounding foliage,” stated Waters “Wet & Forget application is simple, meaning we could apply without causing disruption to our patrons with surrounding noise or a strong chemical smell. This was a key benefit to us as the enjoyment of our patrons is our number one priority.”

Waters also noticed a savings in time and money over the course of the last seven years.

“Back country huts that required vigorous exterior cleaning every year now only require about half an hour of application time and stay clean year after year. Additionally, less time is spent painting and staining as the general appearance of assets looks better for longer,” he indicated.

Moving forward, Wet & Forget will be used to clean and maintain any additional structures. For instance, Waters has also begun using the product to clean the boat launching ramps and has experienced very positive results.

“Overall, we are very pleased with Wet & Forget’s results,” said Waters. “In fact, I use it to clean my own home and recommend the product to others in the surrounding business community as well.”

About Wet & Forget:

Used for more than 30 years in both New Zealand and Australia, Wet & Forget is an environmentally-gentle, scrub free; non-caustic, non-acidic cleaner that safely removes mold, moss, mildew and algae stains from a wide range of outdoor surfaces.

Its bleach-free, biodegradable formula has a pH level close to neutral, making it safe to use on virtually any outdoor surface. Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner is applied with one application using a simple pump garden sprayer and requires no scrubbing, rinsing or pressure washing. Once applied, the wind and rain take care of the rest.

For more information, visit

Photo By Phillip Capper