During the 2019 financial year a further 111 covenants were registered and brought the total number to 4640, covering a total of 187,200ha of approved, registered and formalised covenanted land.
The average size of a covenant is 38ha but there is one of nearly 22,000ha in Otago.
Northland has the highest number of registered and formalised covenants with 727, followed by Waikato, 647, and Taranaki, 413.
In its 2019 annual report the QEII National Trust said 300 new covenants are approved but not yet registered and formalised, bringing the total to nearly 5000 in the 42 years the trust has existed.
In his last report after six years, Jebson said New Zealand is second only to the United States internationally in having the most privately protected area.
That is in spite having one of the lowest levels of financial support for the efforts of landowners to protect private land.
“This says a lot about Kiwis as kaitiaki of their land,” he said.
The annual report covered operations of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative, consisting of $1 million of grants made from 2015-18.
It delivered 43 QCC covenants over primary or advanced secondary forests with a closed canopy at least 3ha in size.
Collectively, they protect 2766ha of native forests ranging in size from 3.7ha to 613ha and provide habitats for many endangered species such as kiwi.
The 43rd into the QCC programme was the Carol Whaley Native Bush of 17.3ha at Albany, near Auckland, and was dedicated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in October 2018.
The financial results show the trust spent $7.2m and earned $1.8m from investments along with $5m of revenue, mainly from its government grant.
Former Deer Industry NZ chief executive Dan Coup has replaced Jebson.