Restoring Banks Peninsula
19 February 2021
Te Pātaka o Rākaihautu/Banks Peninsula is a unique and iconic landscape, quite different to anywhere else in Aotearoa. Its very steep and deeply incised terrain has created a vast array of microclimes which support rare and endemic species. It has a fascinating history which is closely intertwined with the rise of Ngāi Tahu in the South Island, early encounters between Māori and Europeans, and the formation of New Zealand as a new nation. It has experienced the worst excesses of an exploitative approach to nature, with over 99 per cent of its forest being destroyed by humans. A wide array of forest species have suffered as a result. But Banks Peninsula is also the location of a range of innovative initiatives aimed at healing the land and regenerating the forest.
The case study explores the history of this landscape, current and future pressures on it, and how the management system has responded. It investigates the impacts of farming, forestry, urban development, tourism and marine farming. It charts how central and local government policy has impacted land use, often in unintended ways. It finds that there is considerable potential to continue to heal the land on Banks Peninsula and create a thriving, biodiverse and sustainable working landscape that supports the community and nature. But to achieve this, government policy needs to be aligned to this end. The report contains a set of recommendations on how to achieve this.