Protected Natural areas of the Lakes A Zone
What is being monitored?
Anticipated Environmental Result:
- Protection of areas with natural or cultural heritage.
- To maintain a register of areas containing natural or cultural heritage that have protective instruments or reserve status.
Purpose of monitoring
A protected natural area is a defined area of land that has legal status to protect indigenous vegetation, habitat, ecosystem or species. These types of areas are of particular importance in the Lakes A Zone, contributing to its natural character and biodiversity. The intention of the Lakes A Zone is to retain indigenous vegetation. Formal protection can help ensure these areas are not lost over time.
The report above describes the changes to Protected Natural Areas (PNA) in the district in general. However here we discuss the changes to PNA within the Lakes A Zone.
In 2006 there were a total of 34 PNA, increasing by 11 to 45 in 2011. Some of this increase is due to new PNA being created, in particular two Queen Elizabeth II Trust covenants and two consent conditions. Despite an increase in the number of PNA, their extent decreased by almost 1800 ha from 17,762 ha in 2006 to 15,963 ha in 2011. This is due to the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act 2006 which saw the return of Tarawera and Okareka lake beds to Te Arawa, where previously some of this area was administered by the Department of Conservation under the Conservation Act. Department of Conservation also undertook a rationalisation and reclassification of PNA which contributed to the overall increase in the number of PNA, but a decrease in extent. For example one large PNA may have been broken down into three smaller ones, covering less than the original area. Figure 1 shows differences between 2006 and 2011 PNA areas.
The most popular protection mechanism for private land are QEII covenants, while Nga Whenua Rahui Kawenata are most popular on Maori owned land. Publicly owned land can be protected under a range of legislation according to their purpose and use. In particular the most common protection legislation for public land are the Reserves Act 1977 (20) and the Conservation Act 1987 (12).