Councils play a critical role in managing natural resources for the long-term benefit of New Zealanders.

There are a range of environmental challenges facing councils. Councils, especially our regional councils, have a significant role in achieving sustainable resource management and good environmental health outcomes.

We are working to shape environmental policies and reforms, with recent focus areas including protecting and restoring indigenous biodiversity, standardising recycling and improving collection systems across the country/motu, ensuring that freedom camping happens in a way that supports good environmental outcomes, and our work as part of the Joint Forestry Project to support councils/kaunihera in regulating forestry practice.

Our work to date

The timeline below summarises activity to date.

April 2023

We made a joint submission under the Joint Forestry Project regarding to the Government’s inquiry into forestry slash.

Read our submission: Joint Forestry Project – Submission on Land Use Inquiry

April 2023

We advocated for the National Environmental Standard on Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) to be strengthened.

Read our media release

July 2022

We worked with Taituarā and Te Uru Kahika to provide feedback on the draft National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity.

Read our feedback: National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity

May 2022

We published a submission on the recycling system across the country.

Read our submission: Transforming recycling

April 2022

We published a submission on exotic afforestation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Read our submission: Managing exotic afforestation incentives as part of the Emissions Trading Scheme

April 2018

We published a freedom camping resource for councils and tourism operators.

Read publication: Good practice guide for freedom camping

August 2017

We published a think piece on how we could better manage our indigenous biodiversity with a particular focus on the role and work of regional councils.

Read the paper: Addressing New Zealand’s biodiversity challenge: five recommendations for change