This page provides information about the roles and responsibilites of our Ministry, other government agencies, and the community in protecting and managing biodiversity.
Initiatives to protect and manage New Zealand's biodiversity are being implemented in accordance with the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy [Biodiversity website]. To read the strategy and find out about government funded programmes to support the strategy visit the New Zealand biodiversity website.
Our Ministry's biodiversity work
We work with other government agencies to protect and manage New Zealand’s biodiversity. We are working on the following issues:
- proposed National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity
- pests, weeds and diseases (biosecurity)
- marine biodiversity.
We also administer the Resource Management Act, which includes specific provisions about indigenous biodiversity.
Other government agencies' biodiversity work
Other areas of government work include:
- biodiversity on public conservation lands and waters (including marine reserves and mammals) – led by the Department of Conservation [Department of Conservation website]
- biosecurity – led by Biosecurity NZ, part of the Ministry for Primary Industries [Biosecurity New Zealand website]
- marine biodiversity and biosecurity – led by the Ministry for Primary Industries [Ministry for Primary Industries website]
- support for matauranga / knowledge of Māori about biodiversity – contact the Department of Conservation [Department of Conservation website] or Te Puni Kōkiri [Te Puni Kōkiri website].
Several Crown research institutes are also involved in research on biodiversity:
Research is also undertaken by other Crown research institutes, universities, and other agencies.
Community action on biodiversity
Local government has responsibilities under the Resource Management Act 1991 for maintaining indigenous biological diversity. Regional councils also have some biosecurity duties for pest and weed management. Visit your council’s website through New Zealand Local Government Online. Guidance for local government is available on the Quality Planning website.
Environmental care groups throughout the country do things like:
- control pests and weeds
- plant native species
- fence stream edges
- grow local native plants from seed
- remove barriers to migratory fish from streams.
Information about some of the activities of individuals, community and iwi groups is available from:
- your local and regional council, through New Zealand Local Government Online
- Landcare Trust who encourages sustainable land management through community involvement
- The New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network, a network of conservation groups and community-led conservation projects
- Queen Elizabeth II Trust who protect ‘open space’and indigenous habitat on private land through covenants
- Nature Heritage Fund [Biosecurity New Zealand website]
- Nga Whenua Rahui [Biosecurity New Zealand website].
Community groups are also making a difference in the marine environment. For example, the Fiordland Marine Guardians look after one of New Zealand’s most majestic areas.
Funding for community biodiversity initiatives
The New Zealand Biodiversity website contains information about the contestable funds that are available for community initiatives on biodiversity.
Some community initiatives can apply for funding through the Community Environment Fund.
New Zealand's contribution to international initiatives
Loss of biodiversity is a global concern. New Zealand signed the international Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 and ratified it in 1993. In doing this, we showed our support for international action to protect biodiversity.
The International Convention on Biological Diversity has three objectives:
- the conservation of biological diversity
- the sustainable use of its components
- the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.
For more information visit the Convention on Biological Diversity website.
When New Zealand ratified the Convention, our country promised to prepare a national strategy to set goals for conservation and sustainable use of our biodiversity – the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy.