Restoring Natural Character

Restoring natural character

Policy 14 states that restoration or rehabilitation of the natural character of the coastal environment should be promoted. Councils are directed to undertake a number of tasks to achieve this. First they are required to identify “areas and opportunities” for restoration and rehabilitation. Secondly, they must include provisions in their policy statements or plans “directed at” restoration or rehabilitation. Thirdly, they are to consider imposing restoration and rehabilitation conditions on resource consents and designations.

Policy 14 sets out a number of approaches which may be used to restore and rehabilitate the coast. These include:

  • Restoration planting (which should be undertaken with local genetic stock of indigenous species where possible)
  • Weed and pest management (which can help encourage natural regeneration of indigenous species)
  • Restoration of important coastal features such as dunes, saline wetlands, intertidal zones and riparian areas (which can help increase natural character values)
  • Reducing or eliminating the discharge of contaminants into the coastal environment
  • Removal of human influences where they are having a negative impact on the environment, such as inappropriate structures

Effective catchment management will be required to address the discharge of nutrients and sediment from land. Such discharges can significantly reduce the natural character of the coastal marine environment.

Policy 18 indicates that areas of open space in the coastal environment should be provided with appropriate protection. It will, therefore, not always be appropriate to restore all areas with indigenous vegetation. Open pastoral landscapes can be highly valued and this may outweigh the imperative to increase natural character through replanting.

Last updated at 2:14PM on February 25, 2015