Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Biodiversity Funding Pre-Budget Announcement

Biodiversity funding aims to prevent extinction and promote restoration of endangered species

A $187 million (GST incl) package of measures will be funded during the next five years to implement the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy to prevent the extinction and promote the restoration of our endangered native species.

The funding package has been unveiled in a joint pre-Budget announcement at Parliament today by three of the key ministers implementing the Strategy:
* Conservation Minister Sandra Lee (Lead Minister)
* Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson
* Environment and Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs.

Ms Lee said the funding, to implement the Biodiversity Strategy launched in March, was "the most substantial commitment ever made by a New Zealand Government to the conservation of our native species and their ecosystems."

"The additional funding will be boosted year-by-year with $18 million extra in the first year," she said. "The year two extra funding is set at $28 million, with $38 million extra allocated for the third year, $48 million extra for the fourth year and $55 million extra in year five." Ms Lee said the Government had now put on the table its share of the funding over the first part of the Strategy's time line. "We will be working to gain additional local authority and private sector support, to complement voluntary community efforts and help make the Strategy goals a reality."

Ms Hobbs said the Biodiversity Strategy's main goals were to restore and sustain a full range of our dwindling species and their habitats, safeguard our most important introduced species, and also safeguard tangata whenua interests in the protection of indigenous plants and animals. She said the funding would assist communities by improving information, and help landowners and others to improve the condition of biodiversity on private land.

Mr Hodgson said much of our threatened biodiversity was in our oceans which have little protection, but that was about to change. He said funding for an oceans' management strategy to increase the understanding and protection of New Zealand's marine resources would support critical future decisions, such as how species should be managed. "It will help to identify and assess both potential opportunities from our ocean resources and threats to the marine environment," Mr Hodgson said.

Ms Lee said conservation highlights in today's package included a significant funding increase for animal pest and weed control—$57 million over five years. "This significant portion of the $187 million Biodiversity Strategy package is necessary as animal pests and weeds pose the single greatest threat to conserving biodiversity on land, " she said. “Our native species are being attacked by 'armies' of introduced predators like possums, goats and strangling weeds. This additional funding means we can step up our defence – invasive weed control will be increased by 150% and areas of possum control will increase.”

She said other highlights included the Government commitment during the next five years to spend an additional $10 million on enhancing the Kiwi Recovery programme to fund five new kiwi sanctuaries, and an extra $11.5 million towards increasing the number of marine reserves around New Zealand.

The Conservation Minister said New Zealand was unlike most other developed countries because the most pervasive environmental issue we faced was the decline in our biological diversity. "Some 85 percent of our lowland forests and wetlands are now gone, and with 1000 species and sub-species under threat, the Government has seized the initiative and set realistic goals we hope will be over-achieved, " she said.

Ms Lee is leading a Ministerial Group on biodiversity that also includes
the Minister of Finance, Dr Michael Cullen, the Biosecurity and Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs, the Minister of Fisheries, Pete Hodgson and the Minister of Agriculture, Jim Sutton. It will report to Cabinet annually, beginning October this year, on overall progress being made to implement the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news