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Aquaculture 2004 reform
The Aquaculture Reform Act 2004 was passed in late 2004. The Act amended five existing statutes and introduced two new ones. The legislation signifies the beginning of a new regime for managing aquaculture – work that has been underway since the late 1990s.
The main features of the new regime are that:
- It creates a single process for aquaculture planning and consents through the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) - every marine farmer now holds a resource consent for his or her farm
- Existing marine farm leases and licences are being eased into the new regime by transitional provisions
- Regional and unitary councils have clearer roles and responsibilities for managing all the environmental effects of marine farming, including any effects on fisheries and other marine resources
- New marine farms can only occur in areas specifically zoned for that use, known as Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs)
- A new AMA can be initiated by regional and unitary councils, or privately
- Councils will be given more powers to allocate new space to the most efficient users
- When applications for new marine farms are assessed, their effects on fishing activity will be taken into account through a test under the Fisheries Act 1996
- When resource consents come up for review, the reform provides greater protection for existing consent holders
- More certainty is provided with Treaty claims to commercial aquaculture after 21 September 1992 being settled.
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Last updated: 10 June 2013