Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries
New Zealand First strongly supports Government proposals released today which will offer new protection for some of our most productive land.
About 14 per cent of New Zealand’s land is categorised as highly productive, but is under increasing pressure from expanding urban areas and the proliferation of lifestyle blocks.
The Government’s draft National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) introduces a clear and consistent policy that councils must follow when making decisions on land use. It seeks to get the balance right between housing New Zealanders and being able to feed them too.
Under the proposals, councils would be required to ensure there is enough highly productive land available for primary production now and in the future, and to protect it from inappropriate subdivision, use and development.
“This is a great initiative, and long overdue,” says Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries.
“It is madness that highly fertile soils on the outskirts of New Zealand’s cities have been paved over to make way for housing. These precious lands are food baskets on the doorstep of our main centres of population.
“Once the land is turned over to development, it is lost to food production forever. I am proud to be part of a Government taking action to protect our most productive land and the communities which it supports.”