Stop Your Unlawful SNA Landgrab

Stop Your Unlawful SNA Landgrab

30 October 2021
Signatures: 2,118Next goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Barbara McKenzie

SNAs: Wellington City Council's Plan to Expropriate and Rewild Home Gardens

 Wellington City Council has designated some 160 "Significant Natural Areas" in the District Plan.  This policy will give protected status to part or all of 1693 private properties, mostly the back gardens of suburban homes.  As a consequence of this high-handed action, homeowners:

  • Lose the right to use and enjoy their property as they wish;
  • Suffer a loss - often dramatic - in the value of their property.
  • Are experiencing extreme distress as a consequence.

The Council's SNA policy is:

  • Counter productive: Council's weaponising of native bush provides a huge disincentive to encourage native regrowth.
  • Undemocratic: there has been no public debate; this was not a declared policy by any candidate at the last local election.  Efforts to inform affected owners or the public at large have been inadequate.
  • Dishonest: native plants regenerating on former farmland, toxic weeds, camellias and agapanthus do NOT constitute significant indigenous biodiversity of national importance under the RMA.
  • Unlawful: The Council claims authority from the Resource Management Act, Section 6 (c). There is nothing in the RMA that justifies the forced rewilding of environmentally insignificant land in private ownership.
  • Unconstitutional:  Legislation Guidelines adopted by Cabinet in 2021 recognise respect for property as a fundamental constitutional principle: "People are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their property".
  • Totally contrary to New Zealand values, and the values of a modern democratic society.

The purpose of the policy is to forcibly rewild private property, riding rough-shod over the rights, wishes and interests of Wellingtonians, and to normalise land expropriation.

Furthermore, by overlaying existing reserves with an SNA designation, there are  implications for the use, management and development of public parks and open spaces.

Wellington City Councils SNA policy is unworkable on multiple levels.  The Council must:

  • Remove all reference to SNAs in the district plan;
  • Apologise to landowners for unjustifiably causing angst and expense.

Is your property affected? You can view the online Significant Natural Areas map at the Council's "Backyard Taonga" webpage.

Support now
Signatures: 2,118Next goal: 2,500
Support now