Hon David Parker
Minister for the Environment
Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Rural Communities
14 August 2019
PĀNUI PĀPĀHO MEDIA STATEMENT
New Zealand’s most fertile and versatile land will be given new protection under proposals released today by Environment
Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.
“Our land is a precious taonga – an irreplaceable treasure and a source of life and wellness for our country,” Damien
“One of the greatest challenges facing the world right now is the need to feed a growing population. We have a
well-earned reputation for producing some of the best food in the world.
“Continuing to grow food in the volumes and quality we have come to expect depends on the availability of land and the
quality of the soil. Once productive land is built on, we can’t use it for food production, which is why we need to act
“We cannot afford to lose our most highly productive land. It brings significant economic benefits including employment
for nearby communities, and adds significant value to New Zealand’s primary sector,” he said.
Environment Minister David Parker said the Government’s draft National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land
(NPS-HPL) proposes a nationwide approach to protecting our most productive land for future generations.
“This stands alongside the new National Policy Statement for Urban Development, which will be released soon, to ensure
we get the balance right and that the development we need is in the right place. We need to house our people and to feed
About 14 per cent of New Zealand’s land is categorised as highly productive.
“It’s under increasing pressure from expanding urban areas and the growing number of lifestyle blocks,” David Parker
“The National Policy Statement introduces a clear and consistent policy that councils must follow when making decisions
on land use.
“It proposes that councils be required to ensure there’s enough highly productive land available for primary production
now and in the future, and protect it from inappropriate subdivision, use and development.
“Councils would need to do a full analysis of alternatives, benefits and costs when considering whether urban expansion
should be located on highly productive land used for growing food and vegetables and for other primary production.”
The NPS-HPL also supports other important government priorities, including freshwater management.
“We appreciate the input and expertise of many organisations and individuals to the development of the discussion
document and proposed National Policy Statement.
“A two month consultation period starts today and I encourage everyone with an interest to share their views.”