Media Release: EDS welcomes Discussion Document on a proposed NPS on Indigenous Biodiversity

The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) welcomes the release of He Kura Koiora I hokia: A discussion document on a proposed National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB).

“New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity is facing a crisis. If we fail to halt the decline our native plants and animals will face further extinctions,” says EDS CEO Gary Taylor.

“The NPS-IB seeks to address this crisis by providing national direction on how to maintain indigenous biodiversity under the RMA. It sets out a requirement for councils to identify significant vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna and manage their protection through plans and resource consent processes. This will apply to all land tenures: public conservation land, Maori land and private land.

“This process will provide clarity to the way we manage biodiversity in decision-making, reducing the likelihood of repetitive litigation. It will also encourage councils to work closely with tangata whenua, landowners and communities. 

“The document is the result of a two-year collaborative process led by the Biodiversity Collaborative Group. EDS was pleased to have been a member of that group and to have contributed to the outcome. We congratulate other participants especially Forest & Bird and Federated Farmers for their constructive roles in leading the process.

“It represents a near-consensus of those involved as to the starting point for addressing biodiversity decline in New Zealand.

“The proposed NPS-IB is an important new tool to protect indigenous biodiversity. It has been a focus of discussions for nearly 20 years, and EDS considers that the outcome of the Biodiversity Collaborative Group’s work represents a very positive way forward for our precious natural heritage,” Mr Taylor concluded.

Submissions on the document are due on 14 March 2020.

The Discussion Document is available here.

Download full statement (pdf)

Last updated at 12:03PM on November 26, 2019