The Government is currently consulting on a new draft National Policy Statement (NPS) for Indigenous Biodiversity with consultation closing on 14 March 2020. National Policy Statements are a tool the Government uses to set regulatory requirements across the country. The NPS for biodiversity is of particular relevance to sheep and beef farmers given the significant stands of native vegetation on our farms – some 2.8 million hectares according to research by the University of Canterbury.
There is a lot in the NPS on Indigenous Biodiversity that we agree with, including its intent, but there are some areas of concern that require changes if farming is to coexist with biodiversity. B+LNZ is working with officials to clarify the intent of the policy.
- Local Councils will be required to map all significant natural areas (SNAs) within five years against a new standard criteria, whereas previously there was more flexibility for how this was defined by each community.
- Given the proposed criteria, it’s possible that these SNAs could cover most, or all of, entire sheep and beef farms in some areas.
- A range of measures in the statement could then severely restrict activities farmers could undertake within or adjacent to those SNAs.
- This would then have the effect of creating a grandparenting approach, where farmers who have protected indigenous biodiversity, or encouraged regeneration of it, wear the greatest costs and potential limitations to the ongoing use of their land.
Indigenous Biodiversity Workshops
Throughout February B+LNZ is running a series of workshops (in collaboration with Federated Farmers) to help farmers understand the implications from the NPS on Indigenous Biodiversity and to provide advice on writing a submission. You can find the current schedule of meetings available below:
Factsheet on the draft NPS for Indigenous Biodiversity
Federated Farmers and B+LNZ have also produced a joint factsheet about the NPS for Indigenous Biodiversity which summarises the key changes and their likely impacts for farmers.
We will be providing farmers with additional information, including submission templates, in the following weeks, as given the likely impacts of the current draft NPS for Indigenous Biodiversity it is vital that farmers make submissions to highlight issues with what’s proposed so that we can help the Government to find a practical and workable solution that meets all our objectives.
Find out more
- Ministry for the Environment's draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity consultation website
- Ministry for the Environment's draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity discussion document
- Ministry for the Environment's draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (full document)