We are proud to present Environment Aotearoa 2022, our triennial report on the state of the environment (te taiao) in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Vicky Robertson and Mark Sowden
Secretary for the Environment Vicky Roberston and Government Statistician Mark Sowden.

One of the greatest motivations for change that we hear from people is wanting to ensure Aotearoa New Zealand is a great place to be for our children and grandchildren.

Just three years on from the previous state of the environment report, our environmental indicators do not register much change. But the way in which we have approached and compiled this report has changed.

We have explored the evidence in a different way, starting with the importance that nature plays in our lives and to our livelihoods. We have pulled together a diverse set of evidence drawing on Māori knowledge (mātauranga Māori), environmental science, health science, and economics. In using a more diverse evidence base, we have consulted a wider network of scientists and experts, and put in place a broader independent peer review process.

To organise the evidence, we have used the Matariki star constellation. As a signal of the Māori new year, it commemorates loss and celebrates hope for the future. Bringing this Māori world view (te ao Māori) recognises the interconnectedness of all that is living, and speaks to something that connects us all to Aotearoa. It also supports our commitment as a public sector to build genuine partnerships with Māori for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

This report also helps to transition us towards a new system of reporting shaped by recommendations of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment about how we can improve the environmental reporting system.

So, what comes next? Well, this is up to all of us.

We hope Environment Aotearoa 2022 will help us reflect on our impact and the state of our environment. We believe the integrated approach and wellbeing focus of this report will urge and empower us to create the future we want, for ourselves and for future generations.

Vicky Robertson                                                      Mark Sowden
Secretary for the Environment                   Government Statistician