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Protecting biodiversity

Last updated: 24 May 2024
Reporting frequency: Quarterly
Portfolio: Biodiversity and biosecurity

We are protecting, enhancing and regenerating priority habitats and wetlands in collaboration with the community. We are doing this by creating a shared regional approach to biodiversity – enabling, leading, and supporting partnerships that will protect and restore Canterbury’s indigenous biodiversity.

We do this through a programme of biodiversity initiatives, which deliver on the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy and Canterbury Water Management Strategy criteria to protect and regenerate priority habitats and investment in creating corridors and linkages to connect these habitats.

We are continuing work to revitalise the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy through a coordinated regional approach to biodiversity that identifies regional priorities, including marine ecosystems, and reflects the roles of all partners and stakeholders. In doing so, we are engaging with mana whenua to ensure we identify and protect kaitiakitanga roles and valued places.

This work includes:

How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?

Level of Service 13: Lead a shared regional approach to biodiversity.

To achieve this Level of Service we will: 

  • 13.1: Revitalise the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy, ensuring it identifies regional priorities and the roles of all partners and stakeholders 
  • 13.3: Develop and implement a regional biodiversity monitoring framework. 

How are we doing:  

13.1: This target is now on track with work progressing well with the direction that came with release of the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity in July 2023. The Biodiversity and Biosecurity Committee provided guidance on the revitalisation process and a stakeholder discovery session was held on 10 April 2024. 

13.3: An update on biodiversity monitoring was provided to the Mayoral Forum in quarter one, with another due in quarter four. Scoping the regional biodiversity monitoring framework will continue in the coming months. A second update will be prepared in the second half of this financial year. 

On track
Level of Service 13: Lead a shared regional approach to biodiversity.

As part of this Level of Service we will:

  • 13.2: Work with Ngāi Tahu on decision-making relating to indigenous biodiversity and provide Ngāi Tahu with the roles sought for developing and implementing the regional biodiversity strategy.

How are we doing: This work has been impacted by the delays last year with the release of the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. Engagement is now underway with ngā Papatipu Rūnanga.

At risk
Level of Service 15: Work with landowners, Ngāi Tahu, the community and agencies to protect, enhance and regenerate priority habitats including wetlands.

As part of this Level of Service we will:

  • 15.1: Work with partners to implement priority habitat protection and restoration projects
  • 15.2: Increase understanding of the effectiveness of Environment Canterbury-funded biodiversity projects
  • 15.3: Work with landowners to protect and maintain natural wetlands

How are we doing: The delivery of biodiversity protection and restoration projects undertaken in priority habitats and their effectiveness is reported via the annual Biodiversity Projects Snapshot. Funding has been allocated across 39 projects and reporting will be done through the Biodiversity Snapshot Report at the end of the financial year. Staff will continue to focus on the delivery of these projects throughout the financial year.  

Wetland management plans are on track for all funded projects, with some older plans being updated.


On track

How are we doing on our key initiatives?

Marine biodiversity

How are we doing: Marine pests are species that have been introduced to our waters and have the potential to severely damage our marine ecosystems by outcompeting native species for food and space. One of the threats in Canterbury is Mediterranean fanworm, which often attaches itself to solid structures like wharves and vessels, or other marine creatures like oysters and mussels. Previously, it has only been detected in Lyttelton Port. A survey in Whakaraupō /Lyttelton Harbour is complete, and this confirmed there is limited occurrence of Mediterranean fanworm outside of the inner harbour.

Surveillance has also been completed in Kaikōura, this being the last of the four Canterbury ports being surveyed. A report has been shared with Councillors and stakeholders. 

A further survey and removal operation occurred at Te Ana Marina in Lyttelton in February 2024, resulting in the removal of 592 fanworm from the marina. The inner harbour (including Te Ana Marina) is known to have fanworm. We, alongside Lyttelton Port Company and Ministry of Primary Industries undertake works to keep fanworm numbers to a minimum and reduce any chance of spread from the inner harbour. 

On track

Recent highlights and updates

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