The Green Party will protect Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity using a whole ecosystem, mātauranga Māori-based approach that extends beyond parks and reserves to become an integral part of planning and resource management. We will support and resource landowners, hapū, and local communities to care for and regenerate our native biodiversity, particularly in the light of climate change. We will also adequately resource the Department of Conservation and other government agencies to protect and restore healthy native ecosystems and manage human activities that take place within them, such as tourism, and undertake biosecurity measures.
Indigenous biodiversity thrives in distinctive and varied ecosystems that are protected, restored and connected.
Values and Principles
Policy decisions that relate to conservation must be consistent with the following values and principles:
- Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi: The kaitiaki role of tangata whenua to protect taonga species and significant places should be upheld, including through the return of whenua.
- Ecological Wisdom: Nature has innate value, and our quality of life is underpinned by the health and well-being of the natural world. All native ecosystems and plant and animal species should be safeguarded and restored, especially those that are unique to Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Social Responsibility: ∙ All New Zealanders should be able to enjoy, understand and care for indigenous ecosystems, and benefit from a clean, healthy natural environment.
- Appropriate Decision-Making: The restoration and management of our native ecosystems should be based on a holistic, ecosystems-based, mātauranga Māori-informed framework that recognises the rights and mauri of every native species. Local communities and hapū should be encouraged, resourced and empowered to regenerate and care for their local ecosystems.
- Non-Violence: There should be no further loss of natural ecosystems or species extinction, including from predicted harms such as climate change.
- Regenerative activity: All human activity should support and regenerate the wellbeing of natural ecosystems, indigenous species and habitats.
The Green Party’s strategic goals include:
“Human interaction with the rest of the natural world needs to be based on the principles of ecological sustainability and circularity, underpinned by mātauranga Māori and giving life to our international commitments on indigenous knowledge and rights.”
“All native species and their habitats will be thriving or on a path to recovery in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.
Our laws and practices will respect the biological integrity of all life, while prioritising the health of indigenous species and ecosystems.
The customary and decision making roles of whānau, hapū and iwi will be integral to decisions about resource use."
Actions in this policy that work towards these goals include:
- Uphold and resource the kaitiaki role of tangata whenua, and work with them to protect taonga species and significant places, including through the return of whenua. (1.1)
- Establish a complete linked network of ecologically representative areas - terrestrial, marine and aquatic - under protective management. (3.2)
- Work with local government and communities to ensure a minimum 5% of the land area of all ecological districts in Aotearoa New Zealand is in native vegetation or set aside for the restoration of nature. (3.3)
- Establish legal protection for indigenous plants and ensure legal protections for indigenous wildlife are robust enough for all threatened species. (3.8)
- Implement strategies for climate-change adaptation of native ecosystems and species (...). (4.1)
- Manage human activity outside of public conservation land in a way that supports the wellbeing of natural ecosystems, indigenous species and habitats (...). (5.1)
This policy is highly connected to our Environmental Protection, Marine, Land Use and Soil, and Freshwater Policies. See also our policies about Mining on public conservation land and our Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy for our full biosecurity policy.