Today, Ngāti Rēhia warmly welcomed (in the cold rain) the Associate Minister for the Environment (Biodiversity) & Minister of Climate Change, Hon James Shaw and his team with a pōwhiri at Te Ahurea. We stood together as he announced a significant package of initiatives designed to safeguard Aotearoa’s unique biodiversity.
We were informed that, with over 63% of our native ecosystems under threat, it is clear that we need new, effective ways to conserve and protect our precious natural taonga. A cornerstone of the Government’s proposed solutions is a national biodiversity credit system, incentivizing ‘nature-positive’ actions and conservation efforts.
As landowners, farmers, and fellow members of the Māori community, this proposed credit system opens up new possibilities. It allows us to care for our wild spaces while also generating additional income. We are not just kaitiaki of these spaces, but intrinsic to their future.
The Government is inviting everyone to contribute to the public consultation until 3 November. From 4 August, there will be clearer guidelines for district councils to identify and protect areas of significant biodiversity. The requirement for regional biodiversity strategies also marks a step towards a more cohesive approach to conservation.
Our shared commitment to te taiao and the wellbeing of our natural taonga shone through today and we were so grateful and impressed with the whānau who came along in the pouring rain to represent Ngāti Rēhia at this important hui. Ngā mihi maioha e te whānau!