Lower North Island regional councils and the Department of Conservation are developing an action plan to look at a more collaborative approach to the management of natural resources and hazards.
Representatives from the Hawke’s Bay, Horizons and Greater Wellington Regional Councils and the Department of Conservation met recently to consider opportunities for strategic alliances to improve natural resource and natural hazard management in the lower North Island.
The group agreed to identify initiatives where they could work together on gaps and opportunities that would benefit from a combined approach. The initial areas being looked into include science and technical information and capability sharing, biodiversity and biosecurity, regional park management and community engagement.
“The aim is to make it easier for all involved in natural resource management to act collectively in the best interests of the region and New Zealand as a whole, “says HBRC Chief Executive, Andrew Newman.
“The group believes effective strategic alliances will deliver better results and more value to the community with increased social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits across the region.”
Those attending the meeting say they recognise that investment in caring for the natural environment underpins the overall state and wellbeing of the economy. But they are also aware natural resource management is complex and expensive, and solutions don’t always fit within administrative boundaries. Therefore they believe they need to look more closely at ways they can solve problems together that can’t be solved separately.
The discussions come after comments to the Chief Executives’ Forum from DoC Director General Al Morrison highlighting the opportunities and benefits for natural resource and natural hazard management from a more collaborative approach between Regional Councils and DoC.
He sees the initiative as an exciting step towards greater cooperation between regional councils and DoC, leading to better conservation and environmental outcomes.
“Together we can work more effectively and efficiently and achieve better results and we need to explore every potential avenue to do so,” says Al Morrison.
“This partnership plan signals recognition that all our land and water, whoever is the steward of them, need to be managed in a way that acknowledges that our prosperity depends on our ability to live in harmony with nature. Nature does not respect boundaries, and that means we have to manage our precious and scarce natural resources together for the best outcomes,” Mr Morrison concluded.