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To: The New Zealand Government

Put nature at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery

Put nature at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery

Photo credit: Judi Lapsley Miller

Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi.
The old net is cast aside, while the new net goes a-catching.

To the Prime Minister and the New Zealand Government, we are calling on you to adopt these principles as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery, for the benefit of our environment and our people:

1. Invest in nature-friendly, low carbon, and resilient assets and infrastructure
- Prioritise active and accessible public transport, and electrification of existing infrastructure.
- Increase funding for DOC to increase its capacity to maintain our biodiversity.
- Accelerate maintenance on DOC land, as well as habitat restoration and invasive species control across the country.
- Reposition the trajectory of urban development from sprawling to compact cities and incorporate nature into urban development projects.
- Prioritise waste minimisation, reducing the effects of toxic dumps and cleaning up legacy landfills and old mining sites.

2. Clean up and protect our freshwater ecosystems
- Encourage a transition from volume to value in the primary sector, and support farmers to protect biodiversity on their property.
- Invest in freshwater restoration projects.
- Restore urban waterways and marginal habitat.
- Back up these programmes with regulations to protect biodiversity and freshwater.

3. Transition to ecosystem-based management of the marine environment
- Fund initiatives to achieve zero bycatch in the fishing industry.
- Identify, protect and restore depleted fish stocks.
- Place more of New Zealand’s territorial seas under no-take Marine Reserve protection.

4. Uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi & ensure Tangata Whenua engagement
- Ensure that the authority of mana whenua as kaitiaki is upheld, using Mātauranga to complement western science in restoring our natural places.
- Undertake more in-depth consultation with iwi and hapū.
- Prioritise projects led by tangata whenua.
- Empower tangata whenua to protect nature on their lands and in their rohe.

5. Focus on the connection between people and nature; empower local communities
- Recognise that nature has a distinct role in the wellbeing of people; mental, physical, and spiritual.
- Invest in community-based initiatives, e.g. trapping, composting, green spaces.
- Ensure accessibility is taken into account when connecting people with nature

6. Give youth a voice
- The decisions made today will place economic, social, and environmental debt onto future generations. Decision-makers need to engage with youth so they have a say in the recovery effort.

Why is this important?

Nature is on the verge of collapse. New Zealand has 4000 species in trouble, polluted waterways and a damaged marine environment; only transformative economic and policy decisions can restore and sustain our planet and our people. The rebuilding of our society after the impacts of COVID-19 provides us with a chance to restore our natural environment for both current and future generations.

Updates

2020-05-10 11:02:58 +1200

100 signatures reached

2020-05-09 09:57:55 +1200

50 signatures reached

2020-05-08 14:57:27 +1200

25 signatures reached

2020-05-08 06:37:17 +1200

10 signatures reached