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We need nature, and nature needs us to make a change for the better.
The Government is proposing to spend billions to get New Zealand working again after the COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) lockdown ends. At the same time New Zealand faces rising greenhouse gas emissions and an ecological crisis with 4000 species at risk of extinction.
New Zealand can help both nature and ourselves, to recover if the Government makes smart investments and avoids mistakes of the past.
Self-isolation has been a reminder of how much New Zealanders love nature. People have missed their local beaches, swimming in the sea, and walking in the bush. Nature is essential for our physical and mental health and we can do a better job of looking after it.
New Zealand’s economy is nature-based. We rely on clear air, clean water and healthy seas for our economic wellbeing. Our incredible landscapes and wild places will bring visitors to New Zealand again once the threat of COVID-19 abates. Now is the time to make the investment in our land, sea and freshwater to help our economy become more resilient for the long term.
Forest & Bird has a range of proposals the Government can adopt to help New Zealand recover from the economic and social impact of COVID-19, and to build a stronger economy and more resilient environment.
This briefing note provides suggestions for investment the New Zealand Government can make as part of an economic stimulus that will enable New Zealand to emerge from this crisis more resilient and with an improved environment.