The natural environment is important to residents and a drawcard for visitors.

Urban growth, agricultural activities, and exotic/pest species have reduced indigenous biodiversity. It is important that the Council is proactive in working with the community to protect our unique landscapes and biodiversity.

What this means for our district

  • Indigenous biodiversity and ecosystems are protected
  • Significant landscapes and natural features are enhanced
  • The range of indigenous habitats and species we have are improved
  • People feel a connection with, and responsibility towards the natural environment

How we are contributing

We are working on initiatives to support landowners protect and enhance biodiversity on private land. We also have an environmental programme which helps to protect Council-owned land and promotes revegetation efforts.

How you can help

Try planting indigenous plants in your garden which support native birds and biodiversity. Consider the impact of planting introduced species at home, as some can quickly spread to other areas. Volunteer for a conservation group or join a Council or community planting day(external link).

How we are doing

Status What do we want to achieve? What has happened?
Positive result
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QE 2 covenants

Since 1985, a total of 965 hectares of private land has been covenanted, averaging 28 hectares annually. Further information.

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State of native bush, forests, nature reserves and open space

In 2018, around half of respondents believed the city's parks/reserves and native bush/forests were in good condition. Further information.

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State of the wetlands, surface water, groundwater and coastlines

In 2018, around one third of respondents believed coastal waters and beaches were in good condition. Only 5% believed surface water (e.g. rivers and lakes) was in good condition. Further information.

Negative result
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Satisfaction with condition of waterways Satisfaction with the condition of the city's rivers, streams and waterways has continued to decline, from 77% in 2006 to around 35% in 2018. Further information.
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Residents' actions to protect and enhance the local environment Almost 90% of respondents reported they live sustainably in order to protect and enhance their local environment. Further information.
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Residents' decisions to reduce their impact on the environment Recycling and being energy efficient in the home are the top day-to-day decisions people make in order to reduce their impact on the environment. Further information.
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 Volunteering or donating to natural environment causes Less than one third of respondents had volunteered or completed unpaid work for a local conservation organisation or group. The most common task carried out was maintaining natural environments. Further information.
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Importance of landscape to identity of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula 95% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that having native bush, tussock land and wetlands is an important part of the city's identity. Further information.
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Protection of native plants, birds, animals and landscapes for future generations 97% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that our native plants, birds, animals and landscapes need to be protected for future generations. Further information.
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Council's role in protecting and encourage biodiversity Only 18% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Council was doing enough to protect and encourage biodiversity in the city. Further information.

QEII national trust covenants

Since 1985, almost 1000 hectares of private land within Christchurch City has been covenanted with the QEII National Trust(external link) to protect the habitat of threatened animal and plant species in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

Protected land ranges in size from 1000 square metres to 77 hectares. On average, 28 hectares of land has been covenanted each year.

State of native bush, forests, nature reserves and open space

The Council's 2018 Life in Christchurch survey found around half of respondents thought that the city's open spaces (parks and reserves) were in good condition, with 16% believing they were in poor condition.

Results were the same for the city's native bush and forests, with 48% believing they were in good condition and 16% thought they were in poor condition.

State of the lakes, rivers, harbours, and coastlines

The Council's 2018 Life in Christchurch survey found lower ratings of the city's rivers, harbours and coastlines, compared to the areas of native bush and open space referred to above.

Coastal waters and beaches had the highest proportion of respondents who believed they were in a good condition, at 34%. A similar proportion (33%) believed they were in a poor condition.

Wetlands were rated as being in a good condition by 28% of respondents, and also had a similar proportion rating them as being in a poor condition (25%).

Three quarters of respondents believed surface water – such as streams, rivers, springs and lakes – to be in poor condition, compared with only 5% who believed them to be in good condition.

Satisfaction with condition of waterways

Resident satisfaction with the condition of the city's rivers, streams and waterways has been declining since the mid-2000s, when around three quarters of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their condition.

Satisfaction with the condition of the city's waterways dropped to around 50% between 2013 and 2017. It dropped to 35% in 2018, the lowest in the time series. This decrease can partially be explained by the large increase in those who were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (increasing from 14% to 27% between 2017 and 2018).

The level of dissatisfaction has been increasing over this time, with fewer than 10% of residents dissatisfied in 2005 and 2006. Since 2016, over 30% of respondents have been dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the condition of the city's rivers, streams and waterways.

Residents' actions to protect and enhance the local environment

The majority of respondents to the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey indicated that they lived sustainably in order to protect and enhance the natural environment where they live. This included measures such as reducing electricity and water consumption, recycling, and limiting use of plastic bags.

Around two thirds of respondents reported that they removed rubbish left by other people in the natural environment, and/or tried to ensure that only clean water entered storm water systems.

Residents' decisions to reduce their impact on the environment

Almost all (98%) of respondents to the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey indicated that they recycled on a day-to-day basis in order to reduce their impact on the environment. Being energy efficient in the home was a decision made by 90% of respondents, while 84% limited their use of plastic bags from shops.

Fewer than 1% reported that they did not try to reduce their impact on the environment.

Importance of landscape to city identity

Almost all (95%) of respondents to the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey agreed or strongly agreed that having areas of native bush, tussock land and wetlands is an important part of the identity of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

Over three quarters strongly agreed, while 19% agreed. Fewer than 1% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Protection and enhancement of native biodiversity

Almost all (97%) of respondents to the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey agreed or strongly agreed that our native plants, birds, animals and landscapes need to be protected and enhanced for future generations.

Almost 80% strongly agreed, and 18% agreed. Two percent were neutral and fewer than 1% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Council role protecting and encouraging biodiversity

One third of respondents to the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey do not agree that the Christchurch City Council was doing enough to protect and encourage biodiversity in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

Only 18% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Council was doing enough, with 38% neither agreeing nor disagreeing.

Volunteering or donating to natural environment causes

In the previous 12 months, 29% of respondents to the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey had volunteered or completed unpaid work for a conservation or environmental organisation/s or groups in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula

Of those who had volunteered, two thirds had been involved in maintaining natural environments, such as picking up rubbish or weeding. Around 57% had helped with an organised community planting activity

Just over 30% of all respondents to the survey had donated towards an organisation working to protect native plants and/or animals.

Further information

Please email monitor@ccc.govt.nz for further information.

Liability statement

Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in processing, analysing and reporting the information provided in these web pages and reports. However, the Christchurch City Council gives no warranty that the information in these web pages and reports contain no errors. The Council shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered consequent upon the use directly, or indirectly, of the information supplied in this publication.