We know Aucklanders love our natural environment. From our beaches to our regional parks, they want to ensure it is being cared for and protected for years to come.
Targeted rates are ring-fenced for the purpose they are collected and the Natural Environment Targeted Rate is one of the ways we protect our environment.
“With strong support from Aucklanders, Auckland Council, through the 10-year Budget 2018-2028 approved $311 million for a natural environment targeted rate for council and community-led action to protect and restore priority native ecosystems and threatened species," says Councillor Richard Hills, Chair of the Planning, Environment and Parks Committee.
“To lock in environmental gains, the targeted rate was extended another three years in the 2021-2031 10-year budget.
"A huge thanks and acknowledgement must be extended to our communities, mana whenua, local organisations, and volunteers – I thank them for the amazing mahi they have contributed this year to achieving our environmental aspirations.”
Key highlights and successes for 2022/2023, for this targeted rate as well as the water quality targeted rate, were recently presented to the Planning, Environment and Parks Committee.
“Over the last year we’ve seen some truly great outcomes that demonstrate our targeted rates working to protect the environment,” says Councillor Angela Dalton, Deputy Chair of the Planning, Environment and Parks Committee.
“There’s been 4.7km of track upgraded in local parks, 12.1km of track upgraded in regional parks and 12 new kauri dieback hygiene stations were installed in our local parks.
“Two million dollars has been provided to community groups to support 457 community-led conservation initiatives, and many more eradication initiatives are underway, including eight pest detection dogs and their handlers working to target pest species – Argentine ants, rodents, stoats and kauri dieback.”
Natural environment targeted rate
The natural environment targeted rate (NETR) provides substantial additional investment, along with business-as-usual funding from general rates, to protect and enhance our natural environment. This funding enables us to deliver on our Regional Pest Management Plan, the council’s Indigenous Biodiversity Strategy, and our responsibilities under the Biosecurity Act, Local Government Act and other legislation, plans and strategies.
Some of the work enabled by the NETR includes:
- Significantly increasing weed and pest animal control in and around local and regional parks to enable indigenous species to thrive.
- Reducing the spread of kauri dieback disease and other plant pathogens.
- Providing greater protection for indigenous ecosystems and species, including on the mainland, on islands and in marine and freshwater environments.
- Developing better systems and support to empower community-led stewardship of the natural environment.
What has been achieved with the natural environment targeted rate?
This year, key programmes included a baseline survey of kauri health in Te Ngāherehere o Kohukohunui / Hunua Ranges, controlling mammalian pests and pest plants across the region, protecting our pest free islands, supporting new marine biosecurity activities, deepening our understanding of threatened species in the region and enabling and partnering with mana whenua and communities on survey and biodiversity management activities.