Key Native Ecosystems

One of the Council’s priorities is to work with farmers and landowners to protect and enhance those areas that have significant biodiversity values—our Key Native Ecosystems (KNEs).

What is a KNE?

While all remnant bush areas, wetlands, coastal turfs and dunelands in the region are important, since 2006 the Council has identified the ‘jewels in our biodiversity crown’ that have significant indigenous biodiversity values for the Taranaki region.  Collectively known as KNEs, these sites are significant because:

  • Bush cover is representative of original indigenous vegetation now much depleted.
  • And/or they are home to threatened or regionally distinctive flora and fauna.
  • And/or they connect or buffer other sites of value.

Qualifying KNEs are recorded in our ever-expanding Inventory of Key Native Ecosystems, which has baseline information about each site, used to prioritise support offered to the landowner.

Since 2009, there has been a substantial increase in the number of KNEs identified in the region, a process that is ongoing as more landowners become part of the programme.

Where are all the KNEs?

Use our GIS program, Taranaki Regional Xplorer, to find KNEs. After launching Xplorer, click on the 'Map Layers' tab at bottom right of screen, then go to the menu and select 'Key Native Ecosystems' under 'Ecosystems and Land Use'. Use the pan and zoom functions to navigate to your particular areas of interest.

Launch Taranaki Regional Xplorer

The KNE programme

Protecting the region’s KNEs primarily involves working with landowners to prepare and implement Biodiversity Plans.

Biodiversity Plans usually include recommendations for fencing and planting and pest plant and animal control. Typically, sites that are covered by a Biodiversity Plan also have formal protection such as a QEII covenant.

Farmers and other owners interested in identifying and protecting a potential KNE on their property may be eligible for Council assistance with measures that protect and enhance ecological values associated with the site. 

Making progress

As of July 2017, we had 240 remnant native habitats in the KNE programme. Of these, 193 were either wholly or partly on private land.

To date, 115 of the KNEs in the region are covered by a biodiversity plan with management recommendations.

Interested in protecting a native habitat on your property?

Call the Council on 0800 736 222 and ask for an Environment Officer, or email