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Nats welcome completion of Biodiversity Strategy

National has welcomed the completion of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy saying it will provide a consistent policy framework for issues spanning the management of parks and protected areas, resource management on private land and management of the marine environment over the next twenty years.

“National put a huge amount of work into developing the Biodiversity Strategy last year and we are pleased that the new Government has made negligible changes. The vision, goals and principles are exactly those developed and approved by National Ministers last year.

“That bipartisan support between National and Labour has been built around biodiversity, New Zealand’s most pervasive environmental issue, is excellent news. Biodiversity issues won’t be solved over a year or two, but rather decades. This consensus enables DoC, Regional and District Councils to plan ahead without political uncertainty in their work. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for the Government over the equally difficult issue of superannuation – develop an open, consultative approach with options and it is possible to get a bipartisan approach.

“National rejects the criticism that the Biodiversity Strategy is an attack on private property rights. We National specifically made respect of private property rights one of the principles of the strategy. The document heavily promotes the use of non-regulatory measures as the best way of gaining landowner support. That is why National also initiated the “Bio-What?” process, which is now underway, to find better ways of protecting biodiversity on private land and to integrate this into the Biodiversity Strategy.

“We commend the Government for seeing the Biodiversity Strategy through to a conclusion and approving the realistic Level Three pathway adopted by National. This approach will require a very substantial investment of $45 million per annum. Without the funding, the strategy is meaningless. I am confident that with this robust piece of work, and with the Greens support needed for the passage of the Budget, the Government will make the required investment to put this Biodiversity Strategy into place,” Mr Smith said.

Ends

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