Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Nature is paying the price for poor economic strategy

Nature on land is paying the price for poor economic strategy

Forest & Bird says a major environmental report out today confirms nature is in serious trouble in New Zealand, and is paying the price for an economic strategy that prioritises the production of low value commodities.

The report confirms New Zealand’s native plants and animals on land are continuing to decline across the country, with 83% of our land-based birds, bats, reptiles and frogs in trouble. Our native forests, bush and tussocklands are continuing to shrink, and our soils are deteriorating due to erosion and intensive farming.

“This is what happens when we direct the economy towards low value commodity markets like milk powder, raw logs, and bulk tourism. Our land, soils, water, and native species are taking the hit,” says Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague.

“Our forests and wildlife are the country’s treasures, and taonga for Māori, and we’re seeing them decline and degrade during our lifetime."

The Our Land 2018 report was released this morning by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, as part of their environmental reporting series.

“In many areas nature appears superficially intact, but wildlife is disappearing and forests are being degraded by pests. In other areas, tiny fragments are struggling to cling on and are at risk from extreme climate-driven events,” says Mr Hague.

The report also reveals there is little or no information about the state of many of our native plants and animals, and key areas lack any proper management.

“Nature in many parts of New Zealand appears to have been forgotten."

“Rātā has all but disappeared from the Aorangi Range near Wellington because of browsing by possums. The Department of Conservation will need a major boost in funding in the coming Budget to protect these forgotten places.”

Mr Hague points out the report shows investment in conservation works.

“Twenty land-based bird species are doing better because of intensive management, showing investment really works. But the vast majority of our native land birds, reptiles, and frogs are in trouble and the Government will need to substantially increase investment to protect them.”

Mr Hague says the report shows native habitats in our lowlands have dramatically decreased over time and nature is often reduced to small, disconnected fragments on private land.

“Stronger action by local and regional government is needed to reverse the decline in nature in the lowlands.”

Necessary initiatives include releasing a National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity, and making sure forestry regulations are up to the task of protecting nature in the face of the Billion Trees rollout.

“As the report highlights, climate change is making all of these problems worse. More intense rain and drought events intensify pressures on our land, such as erosion, wildfires, and pest invasions.”

The report also finds that our soils, which underpin our economy, are deteriorating due to erosion and intensive farming.

“Intensive farming has major consequences for the environment, but it also has impacts on our ability to farm in the future. Compacted soils, with high phosphorous content, are bad for water quality but they’re also not productive,” says Mr Hague.

“This approach to land use is a lose-lose for both the economy and the environment.”

“This report should act as a call to action for the new Government. Our land-based nature in New Zealand urgently needs investment, stronger rules to reverse the tide of loss we are seeing in our lowlands and forgotten places, and an economic approach that works with our natural environment rather than against it.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ardern Speech: Justice Summit Opens

If we want to talk about an effective justice system, we shouldn’t start with a discussion about prisons, but a discussion about New Zealand...

We believe in a ‘fair go’. We are fair minded and like to give people a chance. Ensuring everyone is treated fairly is part of the fabric of our culture.

And equally, we are defined by what we don’t believe ourselves to be – and we certainly don’t feel like the kind of place that would have one of the highest incarceration rates in the western world, and yet we do. More>>


Christchurch Quake: New Red Zone Payment For Uninsured

The Government will pay former residential red zone owners 100% of the 2007/08 rateable value for uninsured homes, Minister Megan Woods has announced today. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On MP Pay And The REAL P.C. Danger Zone

There has never been anything remotely credible about the way parliamentarians would paint themselves as the helpless victims of the Remuneration Authority when it came to their pay increases... More>>


Repatriation: Remains Of NZ Service People Return Home

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Veterans Ron Mark say they were honoured to be with the families of service personnel as they welcomed their loved ones home. More>>


Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>


Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>


Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>


TOP Still Going, Actually: New Leader For Opportunities Party

New leader Geoff Simmons' aim as the leader of TOP is to take the party into Parliament at the next election where it can advocate and implement progressive reform in areas including fair taxation, cannabis legalisation, affordable housing, and environmental protection. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case... More>>




Featured InfoPages