Protecting our biodiversity.

We protect open space, landscape and biodiversity through parks and reserves, covenants, sites of ecological significance, consents, land, waterways and coastal restoration programmes.

There is a growing awareness of the need to maintain our biodiversity, and we have an active programme of protection and restoration to address this need.

In the Biodiversity Strategy the Council has set about to protect, maintain and restore our natural environment with the help of organisations, groups and individuals ensuring our environment and natural resources are here not only for us but for our children and future generations.

Biodiversity funding

Looking for financial assistance with fencing, planting or pest plant and animal control, then you may like to consider applying to the Christchurch City Council Biodiversity Fund.

Christchurch City Council Biodiversity Fund

The Christchurch City Council Biodiversity Fund is designed to support and encourage initiatives that protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity on the Christchurch Plains, Port Hills and Banks Peninsula.

Projects must be on private land, and sites must meet the criteria for ecological significance. The Council can provide more information on whether a site is likely to meet criteria, and may be able to provide an assessment by a professional ecologist.

Other organisations that fund biodiversity projects

The list is not complete, so if your organisation can fund biodiversity projects for landowners or community groups, and you would like to be listed here, please contact us.

Pest plants and animals

Pest plants and animals

Pest plants and animals must be controlled to protect our native plants and animals (biodiversity).

To bring back native birds, animals and plants into your garden, neighbourhood and city.

You can

Sites of ecological significance

Lyttleton Harbour, volcanic crater of an extinct supervolcano: Photo Terry Green

A site of ecological significance is an area that has been assessed for its high biodiversity value.

There is no requirement from landowners to fence or provide public access.

The area may be subject to rules in the District Plan that require consent.

Contact the Christchurch City Council Duty Planner.

Christchurch District Plan(external link)


A covenant is a voluntary legally binding protection agreement that is registered on the title of the land that binds the current and all future landowners.

The Christchurch City Council, QEII National Trust, Department of Conservation and Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust can covenant land. A covenant means you can access funding to help with survey, legal and fencing costs.


Any work within areas of high biodiversity or landscape value, whether it is planting, fencing or building may require consent.

Contact both Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council Duty Planner

View Chapter 9 of the Christchurch District Plan(external link)

McLeans Island, Rodney Chambers inspects the threatened Olearia adenocarpa protected from grazing. Photo: Brenda Greene

Treasured Plants of the People - Nga Taonga O Nga Iwi

cover of Nga Taonga O Nga Iwi - Treasures Plants of the People booklet

A booklet looking at a small selection of the plants found in Canterbury and how Maori traditionally use them.

Nga Taonga O Nga Iwi - Treasured Plants of the People [PDF, 16 MB].

Maori respect for the natural world and the importance of place and of native plants in their lives is reflected in many

  • waiata (songs),
  • whiti (poems),
  • korero tipuna (traditional tales), and
  • pepeha (proverbs).

This resource is primarily designed for intermediate and secondary students.

All Canterbury schools have been sent a copy of the booklet.

Groups involved in biodiversity

Volunteer in groups around Christchurch to restore biodiversity.

The list is not complete, so if your organisation would like to be listed here, or if your web details have been updated, please contact us.

Banks Peninsula

Akaroa Harbour:
Photo Brenda Greene

Banks Peninsula

Port Hills

Travis Wetland, Emma Williams and endangered bittern Botaurus stellaris, one of 20 in Christchurch: Photo Brenda Greene

Christchurch city




Biodiversity and biosecurity

Scaup, New Zealand’s only diving duck: Photo Brenda Greene

Pest plants

Native plants


Iridescent plumage, kukupa, kereru or native pigeon Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae: Photo Terry Greene

Native species


Reptiles and frogs