How Forest & Bird defended New Zealand conservation
New Zealand conservation group Forest & Bird has recently celebrated a major win in the Supreme Court. The new ruling states that the country’s publicly owned conservation lands and forest parts are safe from being disposed of for the interests of private developments.
The case stems from an earlier decision from August 2016 when the Department of Conservation decided to downgrade the conservation status of a section of the Ruahine Forest Park in Hawke’s Bay. The change would have meant that this part of the park would have been swapped for private land and flooded, but Forest & Bird managed to successfully challenge the move.
This new win is a continuation of that case, after the Minister of Conservation went to the Supreme Court to overturn the 2016 decision and allow the downgrade of status in the park. Forest & Bird once again successfully defended the conservation land.
The section of land in question was a 22-hectare plot that is home to the New Zealand falcon, long-tailed bats, the fernbird, and other species. By keeping the land out of the hands of developers, these species, and the rare wetlands they live in, can continue to flourish.
Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague was at the forefront of the fight to defend the conservation land.
“This decision is wonderful news for Ruahine and all Forest Parks around the country. New Zealanders have fought for generations to defend our conservation land and now we have legal confirmation that are protected from private development interests,” he explained.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court acted on behalf of all those who love to get out and enjoy the country and its wildlife, whether that’s with us on New Zealand nature tours or with friends on a hike through any of our stunning landscapes.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist