Rescind the policy of creating 'Significant Natural Areas' on private property

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The so-called Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) are areas selected from aerial photography to form protected pockets of land, with the intention, not of protecting important flora and fauna, but of rewilding the suburbs.  Any green space of sufficient size (1 hectare), whether or not on private property, and whether it be covered in gorse, rhododendrons, agapanthus, pine, or regenerating bush, is deemed to be protected.

SNA POLICIES ARE AN ATTACK ON TRADITIONAL NZ PROPERTY RIGHTS.  Homeowners will be obliged to seek permission should they wish to subdivide, build a shed, plant a camellia or create a lawn. Needless to say, the value of the property is reduced.

SNAS HAVE NO BASIS IN LAW:  The policy, emanating from the GWRC, claims authority from the RMA, section 6 (c), which decrees that authorities ‘shall recognise and provide for the following matters of national importance [...]  the protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna'.  Under Section 5, the RMA must be applied in such a way that ‘enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being and for their health and safety while […] avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.

Nowhere does the RMA direct local authorities to claim private property in the suburbs as reserve land, or to claim for the purposes of rewilding gorseland, building sites, agapanthus, rhododendron shrubbery, or low-grade scrub on private land. Nowhere can the RMA be construed as mandating the prioritising of the least claim of 'biodiversity' over human rights and human happiness.