May 28, 2017

Our Story

Our story

We are a collective of people and communities who want to restore the integrity of conservation land throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

It all began one warm autumn evening early on in the year, in a cosy home in the Karangahake Gorge, tucked away at the bottom of the Coromandel Peninsula, when a bunch of friends got together for a cuppa. We were feeling pretty upset; the mountain right across from where we were having our catch-up, a precious and iconic part of conservation land, was about to be opened up for gold prospecting. Our situation, we came to understand, was not the only one; right across Aotearoa New Zealand, conservation land was – and continues to be – under threat from extractive industries such as mining, logging and road-making. Meanwhile the department in charge of our wild and beautiful places is losing funding year by year at an alarming rate and being driven, instead, to make dirty business deals with corporations from the same industry it is meant to protect nature from.

We realised how living near these precious places is a blessing that comes with responsibility; because the fact is we are losing the mana of our Conservation land.

We decided we needed to reach out to the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand

The conversation we had together that afternoon needs to be happening everywhere, in every living room in Aotearoa New Zealand – and the government needs to hear this conversation growing louder, until it cannot be ignored. Our conservation land is the most precious thing this country has to offer the world and each other. It was recently voted by New Zealanders to be one of the most important parts of our identity. We need to protect it for the future; for our water supply catchment areas, for our tourism-based economy, for our kid’s playground, for our treasured endemic wildlife, for our tramping, camping and outdoors culture.

It’s time we talked about what’s happening to our precious conservation land.

As guardians of this land; as mums and dads; as people who deeply care about keeping Aotearoa NZ beautiful – it’s time we made our voices heard.

It’s time we had a conversation about conservation.

We invite you to:

Sign the pledge

Share your story

Engage in the campaign on our Facebook page and share it with others

Take action in your community

What’s going on?

Our conservation land is under threat from all sides. As the Department of Conservation has its funding cut almost every year, it is forced to make dirty business deals with the very same industries it ought to be protecting nature from. Important conservation lands across New Zealand are being opened up for industry, and we are losing precious habitats for wildlife, beautiful forests and wetlands, and delicate ecosystems. If we don’t take action to let our government know we will not accept this destruction, we risk losing some of our most precious and wild places, and open up the gates for our conservation land to be further exploited and dishonoured.

So what’s all the fuss –  what’s really going on in our conservation land? Here are a few things you need to know:

DoC had its funding cut by more than $40 million in the 2017 Budget.

DoC recently classified 3000 native species as ‘threatened’.

Beautiful forests are being mined and logged.

Right now plans are being made to build a road through Kahurangi National Park; to re-open the west coast to logging; to turn the MacKenzie basin into an intensive dairy-farming area; to mine pristine Coromandel Peninsula forests and mountains.

Tell your story

Share a story about a place that is special to you, why you love it, special memories and experiences you’ve had there, about how you look after it or how you want it to be protected.

Sign the pledge

As someone who treasures Aotearoa New Zealand, and the unique ecosystems, native plants and animals it is home to, I call for integrity to be restored to our conservation land.

We want our conservation land to be protected from extractive industries and we demand the financial restoration of the Department of Conservation, so it doesn’t rely on funding from companies with vested interests.

We want our precious, wild places to be honoured, not exploited.

We want our conservation land to be enjoyed, not destroyed.

We are calling on Aotearoa New Zealand; let’s restore the mana of conservation land together.

5 ways to bring Enjoy not Destroy into your communities

1 Email your MP and ask if they would be willing to sign the Enjoy Not Destroy declaration.

2 Hold a #conservationconversations evening! Get people together in your lounge to share their favourite memories from New Zealand’s precious conservation areas. You can then jump on our website and share some of these stories and pictures, this means our voices can grow louder together and we can be heard all across Aotearoa NZ!

3 If you are lucky enough to have some conservation land in your area, why not organise a short tramp? Send us the photos hello@enjoynotdestroy and tag us on Facebook!

4 Share your own favourite conservation experience or memory on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Don’t forget to hashtag it #enjoynotdestroy

5 Ask your MP to meet you at their favourite local conservation spot and write up their story for our Enjoy Not Destroy stories page!

Join us  

We would love you to join our informal yet mighty alliance. We welcome both large and small organisations to sign the declaration, share stories on our website and work with us on restoring the mana of Conservation land.

In the run up to the election and beyond we will feature the stories of individuals and groups and their incredible efforts to honour and treasure New Zealand’s conservation land. We will point people to the websites and campaigns of those doing fantastic work to protect conservation land, and we would like to ask organisations and individuals who share our ethos and kaupapa to spread the word about what we’re doing too.

This could include sharing stories on our website story-telling platform, promoting our website and Facebook page with friends and networks, and contributing koha to help fund our campaigner.

Please get in touch to find out how we can support each other in our kaupapa to restore the mana of conservation land in Aotearoa NZ.

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