Natural Resources Cluster
The Natural Resources Cluster is made up of the Ministry for the Environment, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries. These agencies hold a core stewardship role over our natural environment and resources, and are responsible for transformational change underway across the natural resource system. They share a collective goal to invest in a way that supports our economy, environment, te ao Māori, and wellbeing today and for generations to come.
In developing their funding proposals, the Cluster identified eight priorities for the system over the next three years:
Budget 2022 provides $1 billion of total operating (reflecting three Budgets' worth of decisions, counted across multiple operating allowances) and $12 million capital funding to the Cluster agencies to progress these priorities. These investments are complemented by a range of initiatives funded from the Climate Emergency Response Fund, which will contribute to a number of the Cluster's goals, especially enabling climate resilience across the sector.
Our natural resources system faces a range of pressures, including threats to our biodiversity and biosecurity, the economic impacts of COVID-19, and the need to adapt the system to better address the effects of climate change. The Cluster package includes a range of investments that ensure the sector's regulatory and stewardship responsibilities can continue to operate effectively in the face of these challenges. These investments include $179 million of total operating funding for the Department of Conservation to address critical cost pressures and support the effective stewardship of our natural environment and taonga, and $32 million total operating and $2 million capital funding to strengthen our animal health and welfare regulatory system.
The Cluster package invests $92 million total operating and $2 million capital funding to protect our indigenous species and forests from pests and other threats, through the implementation of the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020. We have also set aside $19 million to increase incentives for private landowners to support biodiversity on their land.
The Government is committed to reforming the resource management system to deliver better outcomes for our natural and urban environments. Budget 2022 provides $179 million of operating funding to support the successful implementation of these reforms, with a focus on providing funding for central and local government and Iwi/Māori following the adoption of the Natural and Built Environments Act and the Strategic Planning Act.
New Zealand's primary industries play a significant role in generating export revenue and income for the country. Budget 2022 invests in helping our industries adapt to current and future environmental challenges, including:
- $118 million total operating and $5 million capital funding for a permanent network of advisory services to support more sustainable and productive use of rural land, and
- $40 million total operating funding to progress Industry Transformation Plans for our primary industries, including the Fisheries, Forestry and Food and Beverage sectors.