Feds: Biodiversity budget support falls woefully short

9 June 2022

While the latest draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB) is a significant improvement its success is undermined by woeful funding in Budget 2022 to assist private landowners, Federated Farmers says. Only $20 million of the $150m needed over the next four years was allocated.

Keys to Federated Farmers’ support of the new biodiversity policies will be sound criteria on what are truly ‘significant’ natural areas, and protection of existing land use rights where they are not degrading native biodiversity.

"Implementation of the new rules also needs to be accompanied by a comprehensive and well-resourced financial support package," said Chris Allen, the Feds national board member who was part of the cross-sector Biodiversity Collaborative Group (BCG) that made recommendations to the government.

An exposure draft of the long-delayed NSP-IB has just been released, another step in the long journey of this policy.

"Federated Farmers endorses the goal of improving New Zealand’s biodiversity management, including maintenance, and where needed, protection of biodiversity values," Chris said.

"Much of New Zealand’s biodiversity remains because landowners have done the right thing, and second-generation planning processes across the country are either already embedded or starting to become so. The NPS-IB needs to build on and support this impetus, not derail it."

On an initial read Feds is concerned about some aspects of the NPS-IB exposure draft where it departs from the BCG’s recommendations, "but we need time to fully study it.

"Given the importance of this National Policy Statement and the two years since the last draft was put out, six weeks’ consultation will be tight to do it justice."

Success of the NPS-IB hangs upon the government’s commitment to the partnerships, support and other key measures recommended in the BCG’s report," Chris said.

"Without these non-regulatory support measures, and significant resources for partnerships, catchment group processes and landscape-scale initiatives, the success of an NPS-IB process is either jeopardised or significantly weakened.

"The budget of $20m million over five years will not scratch the surface of what is needed. Federated Farmers is calling for ten times that and believes this deserves the full attention of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the Minister for the Environment."


ENDS

For more information contact:
Chris Allen, Federated Farmers national board member and biodiversity spokesperson, 021 251 0016
Simon Edwards | Communications Advisor, Federated Farmers
Email: sedwards@fedfarm.org.nz, Mobile: +64 (0)27 484 8892