Management of New Zealand's natural estate — an introduction
- School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Private Bag, Christchurch
As we move towards the 21st Century, New Zealand nature conservation needs to develop in three directions;
1) identification and protection of the remaining areas with important nature conservation values (primarily through the Protected Natural Areas and QEII National Trust programmes),
2) management of the multitude of protected areas we already have to ensure that the values they were protected for are not lost, and
3) restoration and recreation of modified or lost natural ecosystems, especially in the more developed parts of New Zealand.
These themes run through the symposium; they are not mutually exclusive and we should be working on all three together now.
If nature conservation in New Zealand is to continue to be successful, it needs to be soundly based scientifically. At the same time, it also needs to fully integrate the views of all interested groups (e.g. conservation managers, scientists, land owners and managers, the Maori people, and local community groups.) Furthermore, the long-term viability of nature conservation in New Zealand is likely to depend heavily on the increasing involvement of local community groups at the management as well as the preservation level.