The Draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB), which was released by the government in late 2019, sets targets and guidelines to ensure indigenous biodiversity on both public and private land is maintained in New Zealand.
It recognises the critical role of landowners as guardians, kaitiaki and managers of nature and biodiversity. The NPS-IB stresses the need to balance economic, social and cultural wellbeing along with maintaining biodiversity for today and future generations.
Northland Regional Council’s Biodiversity Roles and Responsibilities
The role of regional council in the maintenance of biodiversity can be described in terms of supporting environmental and habitat management interventions which can occur in the marine, terrestrial and freshwater environment.
The following actions are all part of regional council roles:
- Management of adverse effects on resource use on the terrestrial environment through the resource management act and the coastal marine environment out to the 12 nautical mile (22.2 km) limit.
- Habitat protection and restoration including:
- Soil conservation and river control
- Direct and third-party funding of projects e.g. fencing
- Pest management
- Support of community driven projects
- Indirect support of species protection through direct and third-party funding of habitat protection projects
Northland Regional Council’s Regulation – Plans and Policies
The Regional Policy Statement (RPS) is a document which provides a broad direction and framework for managing Northland’s natural and physical resources out to the 12 nautical mile (22.2 km) limit.
It identifies significant resource management issues for the region and sets out how people, businesses and industries can use and develop resources such as land, water, soil, minerals, plants, animals and structures. The RPS gives weight to both long-term economic and environmental considerations and one of the guiding principles is that a healthy environment underpins a healthy economy.
Addressing New Zealand's Biodiversity Challenge
Our native flora and fauna does much to define us as a nation and there are big questions to tackle the around its future management. Good progress is being made in some areas, aided by effective new technology and greater public, corporate and philanthropic attention to and investment in the environment. But business as usual will not be good enough if we are to maintain our irreplaceable indigenous biodiversity.
Our biodiversity is special; we want Northlanders to recognise, take pride in and assist in looking after it. It will take many of us working together to reverse the current decline in the number of threatened plants and animals. Nature needs us and we need nature!