To: Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation
Date: 6 May 2020
At the Authority’s April meeting, there was considerable discussion around the effects and challenges of COVID-19. The Authority are primarily concerned about the possibility of seeing a knee-jerk reaction to the impending economic impacts of COVID-19; that New Zealand may seek quick resolution in a pressurised environment, thus squandering the unique opportunity to reprioritise the wellbeing of our nature and our people.
We anticipate that the regions most affected by the devasted tourism industry, will be the regions most pressurised to engage in industry that is counter to conservation values. In the months to come, there will likely be increased pressure on the legislation that is in place to protect the environment. As such, consideration must be given as to whether these areas of limited industry are given priority in strategies moving forward.
The Authority are committed to identifying opportunities and ensuring positive action in response to this crisis. We support the call for nature-based employment, and a re-evaluation of our societal priorities, that will ensure wise and considered investment in our future generations’ wellbeing.
E noho ora mai
Edward Ellison ONZM