New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme Review 2015/16: Stage two submissions

Summaries of submissions

Submissions on stage two of the review

Consultation on stage two of the review asked stakeholders for their views on a broad range of issues, but did not include any policy proposals. Submissions reinforced that stakeholders want a clear and stable policy direction and continued engagement with the Government on the NZ ETS. We are now focussing on a number of key issues that were raised during stage two.

Overview of feedback

Key themes of the submissions from the consultation on stage two were:

  • the need for regulatory or policy certainty - this was the strongest theme and it was expressed across all sectors
  • the need for a long-term plan for how the NZ ETS will help New Zealand meet its emission reduction targets
  • forestry submitters said that a stable NZU price that incentivises forestry investment is needed, and emphasised that stability in NZ ETS settings is important for their sector.

Key issues under consideration as part of stage two:


Forestry is one of New Zealand’s key abatement opportunities and it is important that the NZ ETS sends the right signals to support investment in forestry. Key issues we are now progressing under the review include:

  • potential changes to accounting approaches for post-1989 forestry in the NZ ETS
  • technical and operational improvements to how forestry is administered in the NZ ETS
  • any opportunities to better align the NZ ETS with other forestry programmes.

The recently announced Forestry Reference Group [Beehive website] will test analysis on these issues and help identify ways to improve forestry in the NZ ETS.

Supply of units in the 2020s

A central issue for stage two of the review is consideration of what unit supply settings the NZ ETS should have in the 2020s so that it can help New Zealand to achieve its target of reducing emissions to 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030. This includes developing proposals on:

  • how NZUs supplied to the market should align with our 2030 target, and whether to sell some of these NZUs by auction
  • whether price stability mechanisms such as a price ceiling or floor are necessary
  • when and how the NZ ETS should re-open to international units, and environmental integrity criteria for any international units that may be accepted into the NZ ETS in future
  • what conditions would warrant reducing rates of free allocation in future and when these circumstances are likely to arise, taking into account that the Government supports keeping current free allocation rates in place until at least 2020.

Improvements to the provision of information about the NZ ETS

A number of submitters identified issues with the limited information that is currently available about the NZ ETS and the overall accessibility and coordination of information between the three coordinating agencies. As such, we are looking at how we can improve the provision of information about the NZ ETS and strengthen coordination between agencies about how that information is presented.

Operational and technical issues

A number of operational and technical improvements are being considered as part of the review. These include looking at the NZ ETS compliance framework, and assessing some sector specific issues.

Next steps

Stage two of the review is different from the first stage, as no policy proposals have been put forward. The Ministry plans to provide advice on in-principle decisions for the NZ ETS in mid-2017. If legislative changes are required to implement these decisions, we expect these changes to be made in 2018.

Background information on stage two consultation

Consultation on the NZ ETS review stage two matters was held between 24 November 2015 and 30 April 2016. During this period information sessions, hui and targeted meetings were held with stakeholders across New Zealand. 

For more information see New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme Review 2015/16: Discussion document and call for written submissions. 


In total, submissions were received from 345 individuals and organisations.

The table below has a breakdown of submitters by sector of main interest 

Sector Number % of total
Agriculture 13 4
Business groups 10 3
Electricity 9 3
Forestry 56 16
Individual 136 39
Industrial processors 12 3
Iwi/Māori 12 3
Liquid fossil fuels (transport) 10 3
Local government 9 3
Non-government organisations (NGOs) and community groups 22 6
Research and tertiary organisation 11 3
Stationary energy (excluding electricity) 9 3
Waste 14 4
Wood processors and manufacturers 2 1
Other 20 6
TOTAL 345 100

View unique submissions (alphabetical order by surname/organisation name)

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