Community views about the region’s biodiversity
In 2006, we surveyed people living in the Waikato to find out their awareness of, attitudes to and actions about environmental issues and what they valued about living in the Waikato region. Find out what the Waikato community thinks about the region’s native plants and animals (biodiversity).
We asked some questions to find out more about what people thought about our native biodiversity. Most people surveyed were primarily concerned about water pollution (43 per cent), waste disposal (13 per cent) and air pollution (9 per cent). Two per cent of the people asked thought that the most important environmental issue facing the region today is erosion/deforestation, with another half a per cent naming native trees and birds and fencing off waterways and native bush. Find out more about what Waikato people thought were the most important environmental issues facing the region.
Two out of three people agreed that urban sprawl and subdivisions threaten the natural environment. Six out of ten people, however, thought that there is enough protection given to local significant natural sites.
Three out of five people were concerned about the state of native bush and wetlands on private property. Livestock entering streams and waterways is one of the major threats to the health and biodiversity of these areas. Our survey shows that a large proportion of Waikato people disagreed with livestock being allowed to enter streams and waterways on farms (75 per cent). Fencing off areas helps keep stock out. The pie graphs show what rural people think is happening with the fencing off of areas of native bush or wetland on private property and the fencing off of streams, rivers and lakes - half the people asked think there is more fencing off of areas of native bush and wetlands, and 46 per cent think that the fencing off of waterways is getting better.
Pests are also a threat to our native biodiversity. Find out more about plant and animal pests in our region and check out how Waikato people feel about them.
What people are doing
More people told us they're doing a greater range of activities to help the environment than they have in the past. Below are the activities people are doing to help protect and enhance our native plants and animals:
- Plant or care for trees - 12.7 per cent
- Kill animal and plant pests - 4.6 per cent
- Reduce chemical use - 3.9 per cent
- Fence off native bush or streams, look after watercourses - 2.4 per cent
- Pick up rubbish - 1.7 per cent
- Protect or feed birds - 1 per cent
- Donation of land to environmental organisation - 0.1 per cent.
People’s environmental attitudes
Our survey shows that Waikato people generally have strong positive attitudes towards the environment:
- There's strong community support for regulations and for the protection of the environment over the economy.
- Most people support the statements that 'government restrictions on the use of private property are necessary so that the environment will not be harmed' and that 'council should enforce its rules and laws to make sure that the environment is well looked after'.
- Fifty-three percent of Waikato people do not believe that landowners should be able to do what they want on their land.
Find out more about the views of Waikato people on the region’s:
For more results from this survey check out our indicators of communities and their views or contact us if you’d like more information about our survey.
Learn how to create, maintain, and enhance forest fragments or wetlands.
You can also order free printed copies of our forest fragment or wetlands factsheets.
Find out more about actions you can take that help the environment.