EDS Landscape Project



Project Outline and Aims

Pressure on New Zealand’s landscapes is mounting from a number of directions: our population is increasing and becoming more urbanised, agricultural land use has changed, freshwater and ecosystem related environmental concerns are issues of national debate, and Tourism has become a mainstay of our economy with both domestic and internal visitor numbers on the rise.

Despite the significance of landscapes to New Zealanders and our tourism industry, their vulnerability to progressive degradation and the importance of protecting them is still poorly understood by many in business, government and affected local communities. The poor landscape outcomes in the Mackenzie Basin and elsewhere also indicate that there is still significant institutional and regulatory failure in protecting important natural landscapes in the public interest.

To help address these issues, EDS is undertaking a project funded by the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand that will:

  1. Examine how existing legislative and policy tools could be more effectively deployed to protect important natural landscapes; and
  2. Explore new tools and models for achieving improved landscape protection in New Zealand.

The project has two parts. The first part is focused on the Mackenzie Basin as a case study area and will result in a draft report by August 2019 and a final report in October 2019. Other case study areas are being separately funded and are likely to include the Hauraki Gulf Islands (Auckland Council), Banks Peninsula (Environment Canterbury) and Marlborough Sounds. These will be undertaken during late 2019 and the first half of 2020.

The second part of the project will integrate the case study material and address matters of broader relevance to landscape protection throughout New Zealand. It will develop firm recommendations on a future approach to landscape management. This will draw on the findings from the case studies as well as from an international study tour of landscape protection in a range of countries here. The findings will be set out in an Integrated Landscape Report to be published by 31 July 2020.

Project Context

Project Design


Raewyn Peart, Policy Director

Cordelia Woodhouse


Last updated at 6:01PM on March 2, 2021