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  • Resource management identifies the natural environment as a resource that needs to be protected and restored.

    New Zealand’s native biodiversity is unique. The high percentage of species found nowhere else in the world makes our native biodiversity both special and highly vulnerable.

    Resource management regards the natural environment as a resource and recognises the need for human impact on this resource to be managed in a way that is sustainable.

    New Zealand has a Resource Management Act 1991 that is there to protect our natural resources so that we will be able to provide future generations with social, economic and cultural wellbeing. The Act also has a role in safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems.

    Management practices

    Resource management affects the way we farm, the way we build, how we deal with our waste and how we prevent pollution. By following sustainable practices, we hope to preserve our natural environment for the future – as highlighted in the articles Deforestation and Waste management.

    Agriculture and the natural environment are very important to our economy. Being a remote group of islands, we can potentially prevent entry of unwanted pests and avoid problems associated with damaging pests and diseases. The articles Biosecurity and Research in biosecurity detail some of the risks the country faces and management practices that help reduce these risks.

    Restoration practices

    Resource management also covers the need to remedy any adverse effects human activity has had on the environment and, where possible, restore the environment to its original state before humans arrived in New Zealand. The articles Restoration and Riparian restoration explain the science behind both Resource Management Act legislation and volunteer restoration practices.

    Take up the challenge

    The student activities covering resource management are split into two broad categories:

    Threats to biodiversity and Biodiversity battleships explore biodiversity risks and potential consequences of species loss. Rabbit control considers the effects of biological pest control.

    Investigating middens is a literacy task using the article Middens. Find out what historic rubbish dumps reveal about people’s daily lives and the resources they used.

    Useful links

    Read more about the Resource Management Act.

    In November 2022 it was announced that there would be a major overhaul of the Resource Management Act with the introduction of the Natural and Built Environment and the Spatial Planning Bills.

      Published 9 September 2008, Updated 15 November 2022 Referencing Hub articles
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