Protecting our most important environmental sites
Important ecological sites are being identified and protected in our region. Find out more and about the support available.
Central Government has directed councils to identify and protect areas that contain important native ecosystems. These are generally known as Significant Natural Areas, or SNAs.
In the Wellington Region, Policies 23 and 24 of the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) say how this process must be carried out. This Statement was developed by Greater Wellington in consultation and in agreement with all city and district councils in the region.
“We all want to continue to enjoy clean rivers, land, and air in our region. But we must acknowledge that our own activities have an impact on the state of our environment.
[The RPS] is a guide to how we might best protect our environment for future generations… an opportunity to create a legacy”
– From the forward of the RPS, by Fran Wilde, Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair 2007-2015
The different responsibilities of city, district and regional councils to protect biodiversity through their district and regional plans are shown below.
City and district councils are at varying stages of identifying SNAs in their jurisdictions and contacting affected landowners to work together to protect them. This process must be completed by 2023.
If you are a landowner, you may have been contacted already, or could be in future.
We don’t have a direct role to play in city and district councils’ SNA work, but we do support their efforts.
We have been going through our own process of identifying SNAs through our proposed Natural Resources Plan. This has been years in the making and addresses the parts of our region that fall under Greater Wellington’s jurisdiction, including important freshwater and coastal sites.
We have already contacted any landowners affected by this.
If you want to know more about SNAs and how they might affect you, please contact your local city or district council.
If you are contacted about a SNA on your land speak to your local council about the support they can offer you.
Greater Wellington provides funding for restoring and protecting important sites, including wetlands and waterways.
You can apply for: