A sustainable future
New Zealand's success depends on an economy that is both environmentally sustainable and improves the wellbeing of our people.
Environment Minister David Parker says the way we live and make a living is having a serious impact on our environment.
The Productive and Sustainable Land Use package
The Wellbeing Budget provides more support for farmers and councils to make positive land use changes.
Improving the way we use our land can have significant benefits for the health of our waterways, contribute to our climate change goals and increase the productivity of our land.
The $229.2 million package invests in projects to protect and restore at-risk waterways and wetlands and provides support for farmers and growers to use their land more sustainably.
"We want to ensure that farmers and growers have the tools and data they need to understand their impacts on the environment and make informed decisions," David Parker says.
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor says the Government is delivering economic, environmental and social benefits that will flow through to all New Zealanders.
"The primary sector is fundamental to that. It's a major contributor to our economy – delivering more than $43 billion in export revenue last year.
"This Government wants to help get more value from the primary sector, in a sustainable way that means our natural resources will be there for future generations. That is why we are investing $229.2 million this Budget," Damien O'Connor says.
It is our goal to create a proper legacy for future generations by developing a fair and enduring system for sustainably managing our freshwater.
It is more cost effective to stop catchments from deteriorating rather than to restore them once they are degraded. Many communities, landowners, Māori and stakeholders are ready to protect waterways, but need initial assistance to make this possible.
The Sustainable Land Use Package provides funding to accelerate actions that improve water quality in at-risk catchments and wetlands.
The Wellbeing Budget also addresses capability gaps and inconsistent practices across regions in relation to the development and implementation of freshwater rules. This includes support for improving consistency between councils, better compliance and enforcement, better engagement with Māori, and improving scientific knowledge to inform plan development.
"In key catchments across New Zealand, freshwater resources have been allocated well in excess of environmental limits," David Parker says.
"Driving this change efficiently and effectively, while providing for the wide range of interests involved, is one of the most challenging environmental issues facing New Zealand."
It is also of profound importance to Māori, and is central to the Crown's recognition of Māori rights and interests in freshwater.
"It's a birth right of all New Zealanders to pop down to their local river in summer for a swim and put their head under without getting crook," David Parker says.
The wellbeing approach in action – The Productive and Sustainable Land Use Package
Ministers and agencies from across government worked together on what would make the greatest difference to improving New Zealand's land use practices.
The Finance Minister Grant Robertson says so much of what New Zealand relies on for wellbeing is derived from the land – revenue from exports and tourism, health benefits from outdoor recreation and play and learning for children.
Ministers involved in this package: David Parker (Environment), Damien O'Connor (Agriculture), James Shaw (Climate Change), Megan Woods (Research, Science and Innovation), Eugenie Sage (Conservation, Land Information), and Shane Jones (Forestry).