New Zealand is part of a global ecological crisis. The World Wildlife Fund for Nature Living Planet report 2020 found there has been a 68% average decline of birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and reptiles since 1970.
Forest & Bird has documented in this report an important part of New Zealand’s failure to prevent the rich diversity of life on Earth from being lost. It shows that nature on private and council owned land is being deliberately destroyed, and that most councils are not able or willing to protect it. This failure of governance and management is allowing large areas of native habitat to be illegally destroyed with impunity.
Using data provided by regional, district and city councils under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, Forest & Bird has documented huge blind spots, inconsistencies, and ineffectiveness in the country’s ability to protect native forest, wetlands, and coastal and river margins. The findings depict hundreds of instances of damage to native habitat, some of it large scale or of high importance and identified as a Significant Natural Area. This occurs in the context of dozens of local and regional governments with little ability to detect illegal habitat destruction, let alone proactively protect the natural environment for which they are responsible.
Text & image: Forest & Bird