Project overview

EDS is investigating our system of laws, policies and institutions designed to conserve nature. Our first report highlights the many issues with its operation. The government has since announced a programme to modernise the country's conservation laws.

EDS’s Conservation Reform Project is undertaking an independent and detailed examination of Aotearoa New Zealand’s conservation management system. The results of Phase 1, that focused on identifying issues with the current system, were published in the July 2021 report Conserving Nature: Conservation Reform Issues Paper. This concluded that there was a compelling and nationally significant need to rethink how we manage our conservation estate, threatened species and biodiversity.

Phase 2, which is continuing during 2022, is solutions focused and will be exploring how the conservation system can be modernised. We are applying a first-principles approach to identify aspirational and forward looking options for reform.

While we are considering international best practice, the objective is to be innovative – to envision and craft a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand based response to conservation governance, management and delivery.