Queen Elizabeth II National Trust is an independent statutory organisation and a registered charity. It was set up in 1977 to 'encourage and promote, for the benefit of New Zealand, the provision, protection, preservation and enhancement of open space'.
Open Space (as described in the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Act 1977) means any area of land or body of water that serves to preserve or to facilitate the preservation of any landscape of aesthetic, cultural, recreational, scenic, scientific or social interest or value.
Our core objective is to secure long-term protection of natural and cultural features on private land with covenants.
We partner with landowners to achieve this objective. Landowners throughout the country are voluntarily protecting around 180,000ha (at 30 June 2014) of their land with covenants, an area similar in size to Rakiura/Stewart Island.
We act as the perpetual trustee to ensure the covenant remains protected forever.
We work closely with the Department of Conservation, regional and district councils, Heritage New Zealand, Landcare Research, the New Zealand Farm Environment Award Trust, and many other groups, organisation, and individuals committed to protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s landscapes and biodiversity.
The National Trust owns 27 properties, which collectively protect 1396ha of significant habitat. These have mostly been gifted to the Trust. Stewardship of these properties is greatly helped by local communities and management committees.