Spotlight on Land

Aotearoa New Zealand's distinctive natural and cultural landscapes are an integral part of our individual and collective wellbeing. However, they are under increasing pressure and are still being degraded.

Since its inception, EDS has placed a strong focus on protecting and restoring the country’s important landscapes. We have litigated to protect sensitive areas such as the Northland and Coromandel Peninsula coastlines, the Mackenzie Basin, the Marlborough Sounds, the Hauraki Gulf islands and Taupo. We have also promoted the public acquisition of important unspoilt places such as Waikawau Bay, Ngunguru Spit and New Chums Beach.

Our policy work has looked at ways to improve landscape management including through strengthening provisions in the Resource Management Act, beefing up the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and developing a new protected landscapes model similar to the approach taken in many other jurisdictions, in order to provide an additional protective layer over private land.

EDS will continue to work with other parties to pursue opportunities to improve outcomes for Aotearoa’s important natural and cultural landscapes through litigation, public purchase and policy support.


Reform of the resource management system

Between 2017 and 2020 EDS undertook a major review of Aotearoa New Zealand's resource management system. We concluded that systemic reforms were needed that went well beyond just another amendment to the Resource Management Act. The system is much wider than one piece of legislation and needs to be approached holistically. The government has now embarked on a reform process that has picked up on many of our recommendations, seeking to create a system that is fit for purpose, not just for modern times but also a future that will look very different to the present.

See project

Landscape protection project

EDS has undertaken a comprehensive review of landscape protection in Aotearoa New Zealand to identify ways to better protect our distinctive natural and cultural landscapes for future generations.

See project

Upcoming land events

Environmental Policy & Law Reform

May 30-31, Ellerslie Event Centre, Auckland (Live or Virtual)

Connecting the dots of Aotearoa’s future conservational legislation. This year’s conference will feature a wide range of topics with a heavy focus on the upcoming NBA bill when the full draft is released in early 2022 along with climate change, infrastructure, urban planning, freshwater and more.

Find out more