Developing the proposed National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity

This page has information on the development of the proposed National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity. It is provided as backgound to the development of a new National Policy Statement on Biodiversity. 

About the proposed National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity

The proposed National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS) sets out the objective and policies about managing natural and physical resources to maintain indigenous biological diversity (biodiversity) under the Resource Management Act 1991.

It is intended to provide clearer direction to local authorities on their responsibilities for managing indigenous biodiversity. It outlines policies and decision-making frameworks for identifying and managing indigenous biodiversity found outside the public conservation estate.

The proposed NPS would require district and some regional plans to identify areas of significant biodiversity within five years of the NPS taking effect. It contains criteria for identifying areas of indigenous vegetation and habitats of indigenous animals that have been recognised as being rare and/or threatened at a national level.

These criteria are based on the Government’s Statement of National Priorities for Protecting Rare and Threatened Biodiversity on Private Land [Biodiversity website]. 

Local authorities would be required to manage the effects of activities through district and regional plans and resource consent decisions (or be satisfied that effects are managed by other methods) to ensure there is no net loss of significant indigenous biodiversity.

The proposed NPS seeks to promote the maintenance of indigenous biodiversity while recognising the rights and responsibilities of landowners and the interests of Māori.

The proposed NPS has not passed as legislation, and as such does not have legal effect.


We consulted publicly on the proposed NPS between January and May 2011. We received 426 submissions. The summary of submissions document presents the main issues and themes raised in the submissions.

Read the summary of submissions document.

The submissions raised a number of questions and issues. 

The following links contain further information on the proposed NPS:

  • Read the Minister's media release announcing consultation [Beehive website]
  • Read the explanation of each of the proposed NPS's eight policies [read PDF, 70 KB or DOC, 57 KB]
  • Read the section 32 report evaluates the proposed NPS (as required under section 32 of the Resource Management Act). 
  • See related legisation at the end of this page for the Regulatory Impact Statement and the Cabinet paper and minute proposing to release the NPS for consultation

Policy 2 of the proposed NPS

The following links contain information about the criteria in Policy 2 of the proposed NPS:

  • Find information on Land Environments New Zealand (LENZ) data on the Landcare Research website.
  • Download LENZ Level IV data from the Koordinates website.
  • The Threatened Environments Classification shows how much indigenous vegetation remains within land environments. This, 'joined' with the LENZ Level IV polygons, will give an indication of what is captured by criteria 2d of the proposed National Policy Statement. Threatened environments data is available from the Landcare Research website.
  • Find information on Naturally Uncommon Ecosystems (also known as “Historically Rare Ecosystems”) on the Landcare Research website.

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