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Resource Management Act and biodiversity

This page explains how the Resource Management Act relates to managing biodiversity.

The Resource Management Act 1991 gives both district/city and regional councils responsibilities for maintaining indigenous biological diversity (sections 30 and 31). A definition of “biological diversity’ is contained in section 2 of the Act.

The Act also provides for the management of aspects of indigenous biodiversity through the following sections:

  • safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems (section 5(2)(b))
  • protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna as a matter of national importance (section 6(c))
  • having regard to the intrinsic values of ecosystems (section 7(d)). In this case, intrinsic values include genetic and biological diversity (section 2(1)).

Local authorities provide for these matters through district and regional plans, and regional policy statements (under the Act).

Find out more about the Resource Management Act.