"Native plants deserve more than a bit part role on our working lands," said Dr Morgan Williams the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment said to today. "New Zealand has to stop treating native plants as charity and put them to work on our privately owned lands."
Dr Williams is at the Mystery Creek fieldays to launch his latest report Weaving Resilience into our working lands: recommendations for the future roles of native plants.
Dr Williams reported that the public feedback on his discussion paper, released in June last year, was overwhelmingly supportive. "There is a strong feeling that we are at a turning point. If we really want to protect our indigenous biodiversity and improve the sustainability of our land uses we have to move beyond a purely conservation approach."
Dr Williams sees the sustainable use of native plants as providing ecological, economic, social and cultural benefits to landowners and the public.
"We just need to start thinking innovatively and look for win-win solutions across all these areas. We cannot expect landowners to actively protect, and more importantly extend native ecosystems, if there is little incentive for them to do so"
To help achieve these goals the report makes a number of recommendations including: