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National Policy Statement On Biodiversity Welcomed

Forest and Bird Protection Society today welcomed the Government's decision to proceed with a national policy statement on biodiversity under the Resource Management Act.

Society spokesperson, Barry Weeber, said that a national policy statement on indigenous biodiversity was long overdue.

"The previous government failed to move on this key issue since the Act was passed in 1991 and it is pleasing that the decision has been made to progress a policy statement."

Mr Weeber said a national policy statement would result in major gains for conservation, including a more co-ordinated approach between councils and a clear national direction on biodiversity conservation.

"New Zealand has lost to much of its indigenous vegetation and has an alarming number of species threatened with extinction".

Mr Weeber said that New Zealand has the worst record of all countries when comparing the percentage of bird species which are threatened with extinction.

"A national policy statement could also reduce the conflict between parties over the scope and application of rules in plans for the protection of biodiversity. The current high costs involved in preparing and progressing plans could be significantly reduced."

Mr Weeber said the Society supported the package of measures being announced by the Government to conserve biodiversity on private land.

"These measures are overdue and we are hopeful that the draft strategy will be available for submissions by the middle of next year."

For further information contact Barry Weeber (04)385-7374 or (025)622-7369.

Barry Weeber Senior Researcher Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society PO Box 631 Wellington New Zealand Phone 64-4-385-7374 Fax 64-4-385-7373 www.forest-bird.org.nz


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