13 March 2012
This year Queen Elizabeth II National Trust jointly celebrates its 35th anniversary and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Named to mark the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s 25th Jubilee in 1977, the Trust’s main purpose is to help landowners permanently protect special natural and cultural features on their land with covenants.
The Trust acts as a perpetual trustee to ensure the covenanted areas remain protected forever. Trust Chair James Guild says QEII's unique partnership approach is now recognised as a very successful formula in changing landowner perceptions and is extremely cost effective in bringing a wide variety of previously vulnerable open spaces on private land under permanent protection.
“ At a time when environmental sustainability has become an increasingly important factor in consumer decisions, the QEII model demonstrates that production and protection can co-exist very comfortably on New Zealand farms”, Mr Guild said.
A key instigator in establishing the QEII National Trust, Gordon Stephenson, says he is pretty happy with the progress QEII has made since 1977.
“QEII needed to establish itself and prove it could work.
“People now have confidence in the system and that is reflected in the growing number of covenants. It’s wonderful that QEII has reached more than 3,500 covenants in its 35th year and that that number continues to rise,” Mr Stephenson said.
Many of New Zealand’s most rare and threatened ecosystems, species and cultural sites are found on privately-owned land. Mr Guild says the permanent protection secured through covenants is crucial for their survival.
“This year we salute the vision and drive of QEII’s instigators and acknowledge the philanthropy and hard work of QEII covenantors who are voluntarily protecting our natural and cultural heritage”, Trust Chair James Guild said.
More than 100,000 ha of special places are protected in QEII covenants. These areas are largely landlocked within working farms. Around 2,500 ha each year is added to the network of covenants across New Zealand’s productive lands. Some 3590 covenants have been registered since 1977 and another 430 proposals are currently going through the approval process.
More information: Anne McLean, communications advisor, QEII National Trust 04 472 1680