Planned biodiversity rules critiqued

Mapping Central Otago’s biodiversity poses a of host issues that would stretch resources, the district council says.

A submission on the Government’s draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity was presented to a meeting of the Central Otago District Council on Wednesday.

National policy statements are a mechanism for the Government to set regulatory requirements across the country.

Under the draft statement local councils would be required to map all significant natural areas within five years against a new standard criteria; previously there has been more flexibility for how this is defined by each community.

The Central Otago District Council submission takes issue with the mapping requirement set out in the draft national policy.

It states: "The mapping requirement poses logistical, resource, cost and relationship issues.

"For this to succeed, there either needs to be a more co-ordinated approach across the country or regions."

The submission says the ecological resources to carry out the mapping will be severely stretched in Central Otago, let alone nationwide.

"We doubt that there is the ability to achieve the mapping within the required five years, noting that a larger South Canterbury Council took 10 years to achieve this."

The council advocates using resources from the Department of Conservation, Landcare Research and universities.

Failing this, the council considers a regional council-led mapping would be preferred.

Deputy Mayor Neil Gillespie said the council supported a joint submission with other councils on the issue of a national mapping project rather than it be delegated locally.

Cr Martin McPherson labelled it "another of Wellington’s dictates without checks and consideration of the cost".

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter