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[53] In 2010, in terms of ecosystem effects on water quality New Zealand scored 40.3 points out of 100 for ecosystem vitality for freshwater and was ranked 43rd out of 132 countries. [51], The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a method of quantifying and numerically benchmarking the environmental performance of a country's policies. Students call for climate action restart after Covid-19 The scale of what is being lost is impossible to accurately gauge, as only about 20% of New Zealand’s species have been identified and recorded. • Replace fossil fuels with locally-produced and owned renewable energy. Our ocean ecosystems need better protection and management. [15] Black Beech (or Hard Beech) forests are found in the warmer lowlands of the North Island and northern South Island. These landscapes can effect the local climate, such as the 2.5 °C temperature rise in Christchurch from the urban heat island effect[28] or the decreased transpiration from farmland.

As with many other countries there are a number of environmental organisations that are working towards addressing various environmental issues in New Zealand. Environmental Regulation. We need to make progress towards net zero and some of the Covid-19 infra projects can help. New Zealand's most prized asset - its famous environment - is under more pressure than ever. Should the government increase environmental regulations on businesses to reduce carbon emissions? New Zealand has a richly varied flora of imported and native species, the indigenous varieties having developed quite significantly due to the geographic isolation of the country before human migration and plant imports became common. The Nature Heritage Fund is a New Zealand Government funding body set up in 1990, and administered by the Department of Conservation, for the purchase of land which has significant ecological or landscape features. We need to accept in the last 20 years that the public has seen successive governments support Federated Farmers, Fonterra and DairyNZ's aspirational goals and promises. In September, WWF's Living Planet Report revealed a 68 per cent decline in monitored populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish since 1970. [39] In September 2020, The labour party promised to advance a target of 100% energy from renewable sources by 2030.[40]. Environment Aotearoa is the first major environmental report in four years, and was compiled using data from Statistics New Zealand and the environment ministry. Around 30 species are listed as endangered. [1] The main islands of New Zealand span two biomes, temperate and subtropical, complicated by large mountainous areas above the tree line. That could prove challenging, with the report finding that groundwater failed standards at 59% of wells owing to the presence of E coli, and at 13% of the wells owing to nitrates.

Multiple species of tussock are present and dominate at different elevations and climates, with the maximum size of the species decreasing with increasing altitude.

Currently there are 72 recognised rare terrestrial ecosystems in New Zealand.

New Zealand also has nine wilderness areas where air access is limited,[44] numerous "mainland islands"[45] and marine reserves.[46]. Some 57% of monitored lakes registered poor water quality, and 76% of native freshwater fish are at risk of or threatened with extinction. Conservationists recognised that threatened bird populations could be saved on offshore islands, where, once predators were exterminated, bird life flourished again. A third of freshwater insects are also in danger of extinction. [31] Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is also of concern. Economic levers should encourage sustainable decisions and discourage unsustainable ones. Birds (Moa) and invertebrates were the main browsers until the introduction of sheep, goats and deer in the 1800s. See our top reports on environmental issues like electric vehicles, free-range eggs, organic claims, carbon offset schemes, e-waste and more. There has never been a greater need to transform our economy and society so that they work in harmony with nature.

Red Beech are found in direr foothills, while Silver Beech occupy a similar elevation but prefer a wetter environment. So it's crucial that we get it right, do it once, not politicise the options and proceed in a calm, measured and intelligent way but with pace. The minister for the environment, David Parker, said the report offered “no big surprises” but reinforced the importance of cleaning up the waterways and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. [19] The damming of river can greatly change the sediment content and water flow.[20]. The world faces complex threats to the natural environment.

Environmental Issues. New Zealand should further develop international environmental cooperation. A 2009 study tested 300 rivers and streams around the Western world and found the Manawatu River was loaded with the highest gross primary production (GPP). [54][55], In 2007, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted an environmental performance review of New Zealand. [27], Farmland and urban environments are marked by the high number of introduced species, that have not evolved to interact with each other in the same ecosystem. The electricity sector is in flux with Tiwai closing, improved transmission capacity, potential stored hydro helping to reduce reliance on coal and gas and provide faster deployment of low carbon transport solutions.

Superficially New Zealand's sub-antarctic islands are similar to the sub alpine zone. Public polling shows that most New Zealanders want a green recovery and there is no shortage of ideas for how to do it.

[38], New Zealand pledged to reach zero GHG emissions by 2050. A number of marine mammals are found on the coast and waters of New Zealand. New Zealand has many natural disturbances to its environment which endemic species have evolved to tolerate. Environmental issues - Consumer NZ … – Soils – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand", "Plant‐available elements in soils and their influence on the vegetation over ultramafic ("serpentine") rocks in New Zealand", "Summary of New Zealand climate extremes", National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, "New Zealand's remaining indigenous cover: recent changes and biodiversity protection needs", "NZ's forests second most endangered in world", "Deciduous plants in New Zealand | New Zealand Plant Conservation Network", "An Introduction to New Zealand's Temperate Rain Forests", "2. “We need an economy that nurtures and restores our environment, not one that trashes it.”, Available for everyone, funded by readers. ), Two people seriously injured in Bay of Plenty crash, MAGS students 'not required' for last day of school after prank, 'The Govt doesn't care': Food waste for grower who can't get pickers, Witness describes 'massive explosion' as man falls on tracks near Britomart, Motorcyclist dies in central Auckland crash, All you need to know: Late change for All Blacks.

In the past 800 years of human occupation New Zealand has lost 75% of its forests due to deliberately lit fires and land clearance. Now with the recovery from Covid-19, there has never been a greater opportunity either. The kiwi, a national symbol, is also under threat.

[18] As the Southern Alps were uplifted relatively recently far from other mountain chains the New Zealand biota has quickly adapted to the new environment. Less than 1% of the area has been surveyed in detail and about 150 new species are discovered every year.

New Zealand's territorial waters cover a much larger area than its landmass and extend over the continental shelf and abyssal plateau in the South Pacific Ocean, Tasman Sea and Southern ocean. Those reforms will reshape the way we manage our natural and built environments for another generation.

Deforestation, pollution, overpopulation, hazardous waste, and oil spills are huge environmental concerns. Pine tree migration from plantations is also an environmental change. This page was last edited on 9 October 2020, at 17:02. “If, with all our advantages, New Zealand can’t overcome its environmental problems, then the world won’t,” Parker said. All rights reserved. The move to carry out genetic engineering in New Zealand is opposed by environmentalists on economic and environmental grounds and the release of genetically modified organisms now has a strict regulatory regime under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. Failure to strengthen implementation will risk bad plans and continued pollution. This is not achievable if we fail to act as kaitiaki.

A proposed soapstone mine in the Cobb Valley has also raised environmental concerns.[32]. The increasing environmental awareness of the 1960s led to a specific body of environmental law that developed in many Western countries including New Zealand. More strategic planning, fewer plans, faster and more focused decision-making and continued integrated management of resources are important deliverables, as is a shift away from environmental effects towards outcomes subject to bottom lines and limits. The unsustainable nature and the deterioration of the quality of the urban environment are key issues for New Zealand. Plus, our entire marine environment is under threat, only 10 per cent of our wetland habitats remain, and we currently don't have a strategy to protect our forests. To build an Aotearoa New Zealand where native forests are rebounding, where we power our homes with clean energy and our streets are safe for walking and biking. The roots of New Zealand environmental law can be traced to the common law of Britain. New Zealand environmental issues. A report on the state of New Zealand’s environment has painted a bleak picture of catastrophic biodiversity loss, polluted waterways and the destructive rise of the dairy industry and urban sprawl.