Academic journal article E - Journal of Social & Behavioural Research in Business

A Biodiversity Jigsaw: A Review of Current New Zealand Legislation and Initiatives

Academic journal article E - Journal of Social & Behavioural Research in Business

A Biodiversity Jigsaw: A Review of Current New Zealand Legislation and Initiatives

Article excerpt


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the current legislation and initiatives surrounding biodiversity management, protection and sustainable use related to the New Zealand local government sector.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper takes the form of an archival review of the academic databases, legislation and biodiversity related websites to ascertain the current legislation and initiatives in place in New Zealand surrounding biodiversity.

Findings: The paper found biodiversity to be managed through a combination of legislation, national policies, strategies, trusts and contestable funds. The majority of biodiversity protection on private land is the responsibility of the 78 local authorities that comprise the local government sector through their administration of the Resource Management Act 1991. Despite the legislative requirement to protect and manage biodiversity the paper confirmed that no statutory framework currently exists to guide biodiversity reporting.

Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to New Zealand biodiversity related legislation and initiatives. As such it may not necessarily be applicable to any other jurisdictions.

Practical implications: This review illustrates the difficulty that exists in navigating the disjointed legislation and other initiatives relating to biodiversity. This currently hinders the development of framework for reporting on biodiversity by local government. However the development of such a framework is crucial to the conservation and sustainable use of New Zealand's unique biodiversity for the benefit of current and future generations.

Originality/value: This paper adds to the limited literature in the field of biodiversity reporting and extends it to the local government sector in New Zealand.

Keywords: biodiversity; biological diversity; local government; New Zealand; legislation; Resource Management Act; reporting framework.

JEL Classification: K10; N50

PsycINFO Classification: 4050; 4070


ANZLIC Spatial Information Council

CBD Convention on Biological Diversity

CCAMLR Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980)

CMS Convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals - Bonn Convention (1983)

CCSBT Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna 1993

CITES Convention of International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 1973

D°C Department of Conservation

GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility

GEF Global Environmental Facility

IUCN World Conservation Union

LGA Local Government Act 2002

NRMMC Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council

NZBS New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy

RMA Resource Management Act 1991

PNAP Protected Natural Areas Programme

RPMS Regional Pest Management Strategy

SEA Social and environmental accounting

SPREP Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme

UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

WCMC UNEP World Conservation and Monitoring Centre


There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that human activity contributes to planetary devastation, species stress and extinction, eco-system destruction, poverty and social dislocation (Gray & Laughlin, 2012; Meadows et al., 2004; Tilman, 2000; UNEP, 2002; United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Vitousek et al., 1997; WWF, 2008). Media interest, driven by international environmental law making and scholarly research has led to increasing global awareness of environmental issues. Interest in sustainability accounting, which incorporates human, economic and environmental concerns, is becoming an increasingly important area of research. This is evidenced by the number of academic journals dedicated to the research area such as Sustainability; Journal of Sustainable Development; Environment, Development and Sustainability and Journal of Sustainability and Green Business as well as the number of articles on sustainability and environmental issues published in reputable journals including but not limited to Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal; Accounting, Organisations & Society and British Accounting Review. …

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