A new National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL), aiming to enhance protection for our most productive land, will have major implications for Hawke’s Bay.

Hawke’s Bay has seen more than its share of versatile soils consumed by conversion of land to residential and industrial use. Our local Save the Plains group has been lobbying councils and the Government on this threat to valuable soils for several years.

Our video journalist, Patrick O’Sullivan reports.

Key features of the National Policy Statement include:

  • Enhanced protection for Aotearoa New Zealand’s most productive land;
  • Councils required to identify, map, and manage highly productive land;
  • Subdivision for housing on highly-productive land could still be possible in very limited circumstances.

Making the announcement here in Hawke’s Bay recently, Environment Minister David Parker commented:

“The National Policy Statement will greatly improve how we protect highly-productive land from inappropriate subdivision, use and development. We need to house our people and to feed them too. Our cities and towns need to grow but not at the expense of the land that’s best suited to grow our food. The NPS-HPL will help protect our best growing areas…”

Agriculture and Trade Minister Damien O’Connor noted: “Over the last 20 years, about 35,000 hectares of our highly productive land has been carved up for urban or rural residential development, while 170,000 hectares of this land has been converted to lifestyle blocks.”

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.


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