Auckland Council staff say that two government policies council is navigating have tensions between them.
At the Environment and Climate Change Committee on July 7 the committee agreed to develop a submission on the government’s National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB).
National Environmental Standards senior analyst Simon Fraser presented to the committee and said currently the policy appears to aim at no decreases in biodiversity.
Fraser said the policy does not provide councils with the ability to adopt more stringent measures to protect indigenous species.
He also acknowledged that council needs to “do more work identifying taonga species,” with the help of mana whenua.
Cr Wayne Walker asked Fraser how the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) which would allow further intensification across Auckland aligned with the NPS-IB.
“There is tension between enabling development and growth while protecting indigenous species,” Fraser said.
Plans & Places planning manager Jenny Fuller echoed Fraser’s sentiment that there was a tension between the policies and said it would be an ongoing challenge for council.
“The devil’s in the implementation – it is about the integration of the two tools,” Fuller said.
Chair Richard Hills said overall the NPS-IB was “a really good thing” and would help council in work they were already undertaking.
Implementing the NPS-IB is expected to require significant resourcing and the committee will receive an update on budget requirements from council staff at a later date.