This page lists government agencies with key maritime responsibilities and outlines their roles. It also lists other government agencies the Ministry for the Environment engages with on marine issues.
Who does what in New Zealand's offshore waters?
Government agencies with key maritime responsibilities
Ministry for the Environment
The Ministry for the Environment is responsible for:
- the Environmental Protection Authority
- administering the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (EEZ Act) and regulations under the Act
- administering the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act and coordinating the Fiordland Marine Area Communication Plan.
Environmental Protection Authority
The Environmental Protection Authority is responsible for consenting, monitoring and enforcement under the EEZ Act.
Ministry for Primary Industries
The Ministry for Primary Industries is responsible for:
- fisheries management
- leading the development and implementation of the Fiordland Marine Area Biosecurity Plan.
Department of Conservation
The Department of Conservation is responsible for:
- marine reserves and threatened species
- the implementation of the Fiordland Marine Area Monitoring Plan.
Ministry of Transport
The Ministry of Transport is responsible for the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
Maritime New Zealand
Maritime New Zealand is responsible for managing maritime transport and its effects.
Regional councils are responsible for managing the territorial sea.
Environment Southland (Southland Regional Council) is also primarily responsible for managing the natural and physical resources of the Fiordland Marine Area.
Regional councils [Local Government New Zealand website]
National Maritime Coordination Centre
The National Maritime Coordination Centre is responsible for managing New Zealand's maritime surveillance. It is part of the New Zealand Customs Service.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is responsible for health and safety in the marine environment.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is responsible for managing permits and licences for oil, gas and minerals. It is a branch of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Other government agencies the Ministry for the Environment engages with
The Ministry for the Environment also engages on maritime issues with the following government departments:
- Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Te Puni Kōkiri
- Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- New Zealand Defence Force
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Justice
- Land Information New Zealand
Find out more
Resource Management Act 1991 [New Zealand Legislation website]
New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 [Department of Conservation website]
The Statement guides local authorities in their day to day management of the coastal environment.