14 January 2021: Read the NZCA's advice to the Minister of Conservation in relation to the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao / Aotearoa NZ Biodiversity Strategy 2020.

To: Hon Kiritapu Allan
Date: 14 January 2021

At the December 2020 meeting, the Authority received an introduction to the Department’s initial planning to implement the Te Mana o te Taiao / Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy. As discussed with you at the meeting, the Authority consider the successful implementation for this strategy to be of high priority for all of Aotearoa; particularly considering the imminent nature of the climate crisis, and the looming consequences for Aotearoa’s unique flora and fauna.

The Authority note that the Department of Conservation is the lead agency to implement this strategy, however, it is crucial that it be understood in Cabinet that this is an all-of-government strategy. There is an immediate need for other government departments, ministries, and agencies to ringfence the budget required to complete their implementation responsibilities. This action must be taken immediately to ensure the necessary resources are acknowledged in the budgeting process for these entities.

The Authority is acutely conscious of the failure to fully implement the previous Biodiversity Strategy, a reality that has risk of repeating itself; after all, without adequate funding there will not be implementation.

The Authority will receive a further update at its February 2021 meeting, and have requested the Department to clearly communicate the timeframe for implementation, and its strategy for engagement with iwi, council, and fisheries; all of which are to be active components in the implementation plan.

No reira
E noho ora mai

Edward Ellison ONZM
Chairperson NZCA

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