Conservation Policy

The Green Party will protect Aotearoa's wild places and the unique animals and plants that live there.

Our kiwi, our albatross, and our mountain kea are amongst some of the greatest living treasures on earth and shape our national identity. But our iconic birds and wildlife are in serious trouble with more than 3,000 species at risk of extinction.

The Green Party will properly fund DOC to protect nature and ensure our birds and wildlife thrive and flourish. We will support conservation practices to extend beyond the DOC estate so that it is an integral part of communities we live in, our farms, cities, rivers, and the sea.

Caring for nature also creates worthwhile jobs for New Zealanders. By looking after our natural environment, we look after our water, soil, air, and food resources.

Key Principles

  • Aotearoa New Zealand's indigenous plants, animals and ecosystems must be protected.
  • Community enthusiasm for protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous plants, animals and ecosystems will be fostered.
  • Support must be given to whānau and hapū in carrying out kaitiaki responsibilities in conservation management.
  • The health of natural areas must not be compromised by economic activity.

Specific Policy Points

Improve DOC Funding

  • Develop DOC’s core capacity.
  • Increase funding to the Nature Heritage Fund to purchase private land under threat.

Protect Threatened Indigenous Species

  • Ensure there is a connected network of protected areas with all ecosystem types represented; this means conserving the areas we have already protected and providing greater protections to new areas.
  • Ensure all threatened species have a recovery plan in place.
  • Establish new, larger ‘mainland islands’ for intensive pest management.
  • Research the impacts of climate change on indigenous biodiversity and develop strategies for adaptation.
  • Prohibit new prospecting, exploration, and mining on or under conservation land.

Te Tiriti

  • Return conservation areas of significant value to whānau, hapū and iwi.
  • Implement co-governance and other power sharing arrangements with whānau, hapū and iwi.
  • Support customary use by tangata whenua within the conservation estate.

Conservation on Private and Māori Land

  • Increase funding to help private and Māori landholders actively manage and protect indigenous habitats and ecosystems.
  • Support the use of the Resource Management Act (RMA) to identify and protect important habitats on private land.
  • Foster and support local urban and rural nature conservation initiatives by community groups and local authorities.

Reduce Pest Threats to Biodiversity

  • Develop and fund national pest management strategies.
  • Significantly increase funding for pest eradication and control.
  • Support replacing poisons with humane and safe biological and physical animal pest controls wherever practical.

Public Access

  • Support walking right of access along waterways.
  • Ensure paper roads remain open and adequately marked.
  • Ensure that DOC has sufficient resources to protect and maintain back country huts and bivs.


  • Introduce a levy on overseas visitors to help fund pest control work and new regional tourism infrastructure.
  • Reduce the impact of high tourist numbers in some areas.

Marine Conservation

  • Identify and protect areas of the marine environment for conservation purposes, including through the development of a network of marine reserves and sanctuaries.

Read our full policy here