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Conservation - Policy Summary

Kevin Hague MP
Kevin Hague MP
kevin [dot] hague [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

The Green Party will protect New Zealand's wild places and the unique animals and plants that live there.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) manages our conservation estate but currently has only enough resources to actively manage 6 percent of all threatened native species and control pests and weeds on only 35 percent of the conservation estate.

The Green Party would properly fund DOC. Conservation extends beyond parks and reserves and is an integral part of communities we live in, our farms, cities, rivers, and the sea.

Caring for nature and the services it provides creates worthwhile jobs for New Zealanders. By looking after our natural environment, we look after our water, soil, air, and food resources.

Read the detailed Conservation Policy.

Key Principles

  • New Zealand's indigenous plants, animals and ecosystems must be protected.
  • Support given to kaitiakitanga of hapu in conservation management.
  • A network of protected areas of land and water.
  • Public access to the conservation estate.

Specific Policy Points

Improve DOC funding

  • Develop DOC's core capacity.
  • Increase funding to the Nature Heritage Fund to purchase private land under threat.

Saving threatened species and reducing threats to NZ biodiversity

  • Ensure that there is a network of protected areas with all ecosystem types represented; this means conserving the areas we have already protected and providing greater protections to new areas.
  • Develop and fund national pest management strategies.
  • Develop biosecurity systems based on a more precautionary approach.
  • Prohibit new prospecting, exploration, and mining on or under conservation land.

Conservation on private and Maori land

  • Increase funding to help private and Maori landholders actively manage and protect indigenous habitats and ecosystems.
  • Work with local government and communities to ensure a minimum of 5% of the land of each of the 268 ecological districts is in native vegetation or set aside for restoration.

Te Tiriti

  • Reject the use of the conservation estate as a cheap source of land for Treaty settlements, but support the appropriate use of conservation land for Treaty settlements such as Te Urewera.
  • Support customary use by tangata whenua within the conservation estate.

Public Access

  • Support walking right of access along waterways.
  • Ensure paper roads remain open and adequately marked.
  • Ensure that DOC has sufficient resources to protect back country huts and bivs which are used by ordinary New Zealanders.

Marine Conservation

  • Develop a comprehensive marine protection strategy with targets and timetables for putting in place different categories of marine protection, including more marine reserves.
  • Encourage the development of taiapure and mataitai/reserve initiatives searching for win-win solutions that respect both ecosystem protections and customary rights.
  • Oppose all commercial and so-called 'scientific' whaling.
  • Strengthen protections for the Maui's dolphin, New Zealand sea lion and other endangered marine mammals.
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