Here at the Ministry for the Environment, we are working to make Aotearoa New Zealand the most liveable place in the world, so our environment thrives along with our economy and people.
We are the Government’s main advisors on the system of laws, regulations, policies, partnerships and economic incentives that form the framework for environmental management.
We monitor the system to see what’s working and where change is needed.
We support community-led projects and initiatives.
We report on the state of the environment.
We take a long-term view because typically the full impacts of the choices made today only become clear generations later.
Our environmental reports give every New Zealander robust and trustworthy information about the health of the environment. They track the positive and negative impacts of human activities over time and raise significant challenges.
Our policy work shapes the way we manage our impact on the environment and make use of natural resources.
Our current work programme in Environment Aotearoa 2019:
- Better protecting native species and ecosystems through contributing to the Department of Conservation’s work on the New Zealand biodiversity strategy and developing a National policy statement on indigenous biodiversity,
- Considering how best to provide for urban development while protecting the environment and our highly productive land through our work on the Urban growth agenda and the development of a National Policy statement for highly productive land and
- Limiting pollution of our freshwater from both urban and rural sources, through the Essential freshwater work programme and contributing to the Three waters review. Both work programmes have Te Mana o te Wai – the mana of the water – at their core. Te Mana o te Wai is a concept that encompasses the integrated and holistic health and well-being of a water body. When Te Mana o te Wai is given effect the water body will sustain the full range of environmental, social, cultural and economic values held by iwi/hapū and the community.
- Improving how we use our freshwater and marine resources through the Essential freshwater work programme, Proposed marine protected areas reforms, Marine Protection Spatial Planning initiatives (eg, Proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary) and contributing to the Ministry of Primary Industries/Fisheries New Zealand Fisheries change programme.
- Reducing climate emissions and tackling the challenges of adaptation: climate change initiatives including the Zero Carbon Bill, Emissions Trading Scheme reforms, Interim Climate Change Commission, Climate Change Bill and Community Resilience Group.
- Considering longer-term, system-wide improvements through Resource management system review which is relevant across all themes.
Partnerships are key. We work alongside many people and organisations to protect and improve the state of our environment.
Examples of our partnerships include:
Aotearoa Circle, a partnership of public and private sector leaders, unified and committed to the pursuit of sustainable prosperity and reversing the decline of New Zealand’s natural resources.
Good Farming Practice Group, a partnership between primary sector groups and central and regional government to support farmers and growers to improve water quality.
Land Air Water Aotearoa, an environmental monitoring and reporting partnership with regional councils that is improving the data available for national reporting.
On behalf of the Government, we’ve committed over $450 million over the past decade to environmental projects; from major, long term projects such as the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme, to supporting on the ground initiatives through the Landcare Trust, to innovative waste minimisation and freshwater improvement projects. Find out more.