New alliance and strategy to back nature in northern South Island launched

A new alliance of councils, iwi and the Department of Conservation in the northern South Island and its strategy for working together across the region has been welcomed by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.

“The northern South Island is home to distinctive landscapes and special species such as the Powelliphanta snail (giant land snail), kawau/King shag, and Cook Strait tuatara which are found nowhere else in the world. They need the best support possible. The partnership and the collaborative working arrangements which the strategy encourages can help achieve better outcomes for nature.”

“Thousands of people are drawn to the stunning landscapes across the northern South Island each year. I congratulate the region’s councils, iwi and DOC on this new collective approach to restoring ecosystems to a naturally-functioning state and enabling native species within them to thrive.

“The northern South Island is a special place for New Zealanders and tourists alike with its beautiful beaches in Abel Tasman, complex cave systems, ancient rock formations, the scenic Buller Gorge, and dramatic Marlborough Sounds. I’m pleased this landscape scale strategy will help protect these precious landscapes and the species within them for generations to come,” she says.

The Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance strategy was launched at a dawn ceremony in Nelson today. It aims to achieve significant conservation outcomes in natural landscapes from the mountains to the sea through local councils, iwi and DOC working collaboratively, and with community groups.

Alliance members include the Buller, Tasman, Marlborough and Kaikōura district councils, Nelson City Council, the West Coast Regional Council, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu, Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and DOC.

“The people who live in the region are at the heart of the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Strategy. It seeks to encourage people to work together across the district and regional boundaries to care for nature using Mātauranga Māori values and scientific knowledge.

“New Zealand has a biodiversity crisis with more than 4000 of our native plants and wildlife threatened or at risk of extinction. More can be done to turn around the biodiversity decline so that natural areas and species flourish, by people working together than individual organisations can do on their own.

Eugenie Sage says the Alliance will provide leadership and coordination in identifying priority places to work, advice and support to conservation projects, assist with obtaining funding and resources, and in connecting people and projects.

“The Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance and its strategy seek to achieve more conservation across larger areas so that nature benefits.”

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