Our wild places, plants, and animals are taonga to be cherished and protected.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) should be well funded to protect and advocate for nature
- All threatened species should have a recovery plan in place.
- DOC’s core capacity should be improved by hiring and training more scientific and technical staff, field workers, rangers, educational officers, and locally based volunteer initiatives.
- DOC’s capacity to work constructively with tangata whenua should be improved.
- Government should purchase and protect land that’s under threat through increased funding for the Natural Heritage Fund.
Conservation is not just about the conservation estate
- Landowners should be supported to undertake conservation activities including restoration of native vegetation, streams, and wetlands, and establishing habitat corridors.
- Conservation planning should extend to the entire natural environment. The National Policy Statement on indigenous biodiversity should provide clear direction to councils.
- The conservation potential of islands should be enhanced, and mainland conservation “islands” created.
Conservation operates within te Tiriti o Waitangi
- Co-governance and other power sharing arrangements should be encouraged.
- Conservation land of significant value to iwi and hapu should be returned.
- Customary use within the conservation estate should be allowed.
Pests should be controlled and eradicated where possible
- DOC should retain primary responsibility for pest control on conservation land.
- Community and tangata whenua involvement should be encouraged, in addition to professional and publicly funded efforts.
- Government should promote, support, and fund ground-based methods of pest control by a properly trained workforce in preference to aerial poisoning. We should aspire to a minimum use of poisons until feasible to stop all use.
Public access and tourism is important
- Walking access along waterways should be protected and paper roads remain open.
- Government should support the work of the Walking Access Commission.
- Overseas tourists should be levied, with revenue funding conservation work. Strategies should be in place to reduce the impact of tourist numbers in the conservation estate.
The health of natural areas must not be compromised by economic activity
- The export of indigenous timbers and timber products should remain banned, and harvesting of windblown tress prohibited. Planting of indigenous forest outside the conservation estate specifically for harvest should be permitted.
- Grazing concessions on conservation land should be phased out, except where they protect ecological values such as light sheep grazing to control weeds.
- Guidelines should be in place for the farming of pest species (deer, goats, etc) to avoid escapees establishing new wild populations.