The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS IB) has been approved by the Governor-General and will come into force on 4 August 2023.
“This is a great step forward for protecting nature and has been many years in gestation,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.
“The NPS IB is the product of a long collaboration between many interest groups which started under a previous National-led government. It was supported by iwi, Federated Farmers and environmental groups, including EDS, as a way of reducing endless litigation over how to protect indigenous biodiversity on private land.
“The context here is that over 4,000 species are threatened with extinction or are at risk of becoming threatened. Many of those species are endemic to Aotearoa, so if we lose them here, we lose them forever. We simply must reverse what is still a declining trend.
“A huge amount of this country’s biodiversity is found on private property and Māori land. Having national direction should simplify and clarify how Councils are to protect areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna on that land.
“This has been a controversial issue in some quarters and Ministers Shaw and Prime should be congratulated for their leadership in bringing the policy to fruition. It would have been very easy to kick this can down the road given the pending election. My ask of opposition parties is to show similar leadership and support this initiative.
In due course the NPS IB will fold into the Natural and Built Environment Act’s National Planning Framework.
“The parallel announcement of a consultation process on a biodiversity incentives regime aimed at rewarding property owners who protect areas of ecological significance for the public interest is welcomed. There needs to be practical support and encouragement for ecological protection as well as regulation.
“This announcement has been 6 years in the making and finally we have got there,” Mr Taylor concluded.