|dc.description.abstract||The natural landscapes of New Zealand are diminishing. The causes are complex. The result disturbs many of us. Over the next generation we will have to decide which landscapes we will retain in a natural state and which we will develop for economic ends. These decisions will be made by a host of individuals representing themselves, groups or the public. It is proposed that these individuals, particularly those representing the general public good, apply a rational and comprehensive planning process to the issues of diminishing natural landscapes. This planning process should be guided in part by resource management principles. The result should be a series of guidelines that will govern discussions concerning the protection or destruction of natural landscapes. Their most urgent use will be for those areas currently lying outside a protective status. It is likely a new social structure will be needed to debate the application of the guidelines in any particular situation. This forum should be judicial in nature and function rather like the Maori Land Court when it deliberates on the 'best' use of Maori lands.
The National Parks Authority is one of the key actors concerned with the issue of diminishing natural landscapes. Its membership also contains the heads of the Department of Lands and Survey and the New Zealand Forest Service; the two largest land-owning bodies in New Zealand. Between them they control directly, are adjacent to, or are involved with the vast majority of the remaining natural landscapes.
The aims of this report are: one, to help all those individuals concerned with decisions that will affect natural landscapes to understand the complexity and scope of the issues; two, to help the National Parks Authority to adjust its orientation and policy to the challenge that it is the diminishing of natural landscape nationwide that is the main issue to which they should direct their efforts, not ephemeral discussions involving status changes or pseudo-scientific questions of ‘representative’ land forms and 'unique' features.
To satisfy these aims, the following objectives we set: firstly, to describe the philosophical relationship between rural land, rural planning and resource management; secondly, to show the scope and complexity of the resources and issues involved in questions of diminishing natural landscapes; thirdly, to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the aids commonly available to help decide issues such as diminishing natural landscapes; fourthly, to undertake a practical exercise for the National Park Authority to exemplify the weaknesses in their approach to National Park assessment and the need for them to involve themselves in the broader issues of diminishing natural landscapes; and, finally, to discuss the prospects of using a 'forum' to help promote co-operation, co-ordination and a rational approach in deciding issues pertaining to the destruction of natural landscapes. Each of these objectives is approached in order in the report, beginning with Chapter One and ending with Chapter Five.
The technique used to join these diverse objectives is focusing them on a common area, hence a case study of the Cape Palliser area in the Wairarapa.||en