New Zealand’s aquaculture industry has considerable potential to contribute to sustainable economic growth.
This page describes the Government’s 2011 aquaculture reforms which are part of its efforts to streamline and simplify the regulatory regime for marine-based aquaculture. The Government wants to support industry to fulfil its economic potential, while protecting the environment and the interests of other users of the coastal marine area.
Aquaculture 2011 Reforms
Legislative reforms for Aquaculture came into effect on 1 October 2011. The changes aim to foster environmentally sustainable aquaculture in New Zealand.
- amend the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) [New Zealand Legislation website]to streamline aquaculture planning and consenting, including removing the requirement for aquaculture management areas (AMAs) to be established before consent applications can be made,
- amend the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004 [New Zealand Legislation website] to bring existing marine farmers and applicants into the new law, and provide for the AMA in Waikato and an interim AMA in Tasman to be completed
- amend the Tasman Regional Coastal Plan to allow applications to be made to farm a wider range of species, including finfish
- amend the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan to:
- allow applications to be made to farm a wider range of species, including finfish
- allow applications to be made for small extensions to existing farms
- establish the Coromandel Marine Farming Zone, within which applications can be made to farm finfish species
- amend the Fisheries Act 1996 [New Zealand Legislation website] to streamline the undue adverse effects on fishing (UAE) test, better integrate the UAE test with consent processes, and balance the interests of commercial quota holders with those of aquaculture, and
- amend the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 [New Zealand Legislation website] to enable the settlement to be delivered on a regional basis, through agreements between the Crown and iwi.
The Ministry of Fisheries’ Aquaculture Unit is the Government’s principal advisor on aquaculture issues and an important resource for local authorities, iwi, environmental interests, the aquaculture industry, and others. With the legislative reforms in place, the Aquaculture Unit will develop a national strategy and action plan to foster environmentally sustainable aquaculture in New Zealand.
Last updated: 5 October 2011