DemoSite HB Enviro Centre

Hawke's Bay 

Natural resources

In New Zealand, we have abundant natural resources:

  • water
  • land
  • forestry
  • fisheries
  • energy (wind, wave & tidal, solar, biomass, oil & gas, coal)
  • minerals

We have to be careful about how we use these natural resources - we don't want to deplete them or to contaminate them. If we do, future generations might not be able to benefit from them, and we could cause sickness in our current or future communities and our ecosystems if we don't take care of how we manage our natural resources. 

In Hawke's Bay, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council is charged with oversight of our natural resources. You can find more information on their website

Golden Cross Mine - Coromandel, NZ

Carl Walrond. 'Gold and gold mining - Recent mining', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 16-Nov-12 

In addition to the resources listed above, we rely on natural resources from all over the world for our lifestyles. There are two main types of resources - renewable and non-renewable. Renewable resources are sustainable provided we don't take more than nature can naturally replenish (or in some cases what we can help nature replenish). Water, sunlight, wind and wood are examples of renewable resources. 

Non-renewable resources are either never going to be naturally replenished or will take such a long time that once we've used them they're pretty much gone for good. Mined minerals, oil and other fossil fuels (like coal and natural gas) are non-renewable because it takes millions of years to produce them. Once we've burnt the coal, petrol, and gas we can't reuse them - eventually we won't be able to find new sources that can be economically mined and will have to go without these altogether. The good news is that if we recycle, we can keep the products produced by some of these non-renewable resources in the system. For example, once a metal ore is refined and gives us copper, we can keep recycling that same copper in new electronic items again and again and again. It's cheaper, easier and WAY better for the environment than trying to find new sources of raw copper ore.