News and events

Reviewed:
22/06/17
16 November 2018

The Ministry for the Environment has today released the National Monitoring System (NMS) data for the year ending 30 June 2017.

The NMS requires councils, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Department of Internal Affairs to provide detailed data each year on the functions, tools, and processes that they are responsible for under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). It provides transparency for the New Zealand public on how agencies are fulfilling their roles under the RMA, and also provides important insights into what RMA processes are working well, what can be improved, and where further policy development is needed.

In addition to the complete dataset, summary statistics are available on the following topics.

  • Plan-making
  • Resource consents
  • Complaints, compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Māori participation
  • Council resourcing for plan-making processes, processing resource consents, monitoring, compliance and enforcement

View the 2016/17 National Monitoring System data

09 November 2018

Environment Minister's media release:

A two stage process to improve the resource management system was announced today by Environment Minister David Parker.

The changes are separate from the legislation to set up an Urban Development Authority to fast-track housing and urban development projects.

“The Resource Management Act is underperforming in some critical areas and needs fixing,” David Parker said.

Stage One will reverse some objectionable changes made by the previous government in 2017 that were widely criticised.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about the policy proposals on this website

 

 

09 November 2018

Amanda Moran and Natasha Lewis have been appointed to the Ministry’s Te Purengi leadership team. 

Amanda takes up the role of Deputy Secretary responsible for the Natural and Built System and Natasha the Deputy Secretary responsible for Strategy and Stewardship.

The appointments recognise the significant contribution Amanda and Natasha have been making to lead in the Ministry’s transformation and in key areas of our work programme, Chief Executive Vicky Robertson says.  

“Senior leadership roles such as these are keenly sought after. I am proud that Amanda and Tash demonstrated excellence in the leadership qualities the Ministry needs to have the impact that New Zealand needs us to make.”

The appointments are effective from 12 November 2018.

 

Read more about Amanda and Natasha on our Leadership team web page

06 November 2018

Our long-serving librarian is among the first to be awarded a new commendation for meritorious public service.

Ailsa Parker was presented the State Services Commissioner’s Commendation for Frontline Excellence at the inaugural awards ceremony at Parliament last night.Ailsa Parker receives her award

The commendation is awarded to public servants who demonstrate exceptional care and commitment to New Zealanders, a ‘higher purpose' motivation, the highest standard of integrity, kaitiakitanga, the right attitude and generate pride in the Public Sector.

“Ailsa has become almost iconic in this Ministry—she embodies so much of what we are about and continues to make a remarkable contribution every day,” says chief executive Vicky Robertson.

01 November 2018

Media release from Minister Mahuta

A new report released today by an independent Urban Water Working Group is a great step toward integrating urban and infrastructure design with improvements in environmental, social and cultural wellbeing, said the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

The group’s ten urban water principles set a vision for reducing the negative affect that our cities and their design can have on water ecosystems.

“I want to see sustainable cities that have urban spaces designed for people and nature, and the principles laid out in the report by this Group are a great first step,” said Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out about the urban water principle and read the report

 

29 October 2018

New Zealand has today signed an international declaration to cut plastic waste from our economy and environment.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment focuses on addressing the root causes of plastic waste and pollution by looking at the whole system of how plastic is imported, produced and used. It is a commitment to a ‘circular economy’ approach to plastics, where ultimately plastics never becomes waste.

So far 250 organisations have signed the global declaration – including many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers. More than 15 financial institutions with in excess of $2.5 trillion in assets under management have also endorsed the global commitment and over $200 million has been pledged by five venture capital funds to create a circular economy for plastic.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment.

 

Read the media release from Minister Sage on the Beehive website

See our web pages:

25 October 2018

Media release from Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta:

A new report recommending improvements to biodiversity management will build on communities’ good work to protect our biodiversity, says Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

The Report of the Biodiversity Collaborative Group outlines a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) for Indigenous Biodiversity and provides complementary recommendations, to help halt the decline in biodiversity.

“Our biodiversity is a taonga, important to New Zealand’s environment, culture, society and economy. However, it is in rapid decline from pressures like land-use change, invasive species, and climate change, and we need to do more to ensure that it is protected,” said Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

 

Read the report of the Biodiversity Collaborative Group on the Biodiversity Collaborative Group New Zealand website

19 October 2018

A new initiative to halt and reverse the decline of New Zealand’s natural assets was launched in Auckland today.Aotearoa circle

The Aotearoa Circle is a unique and voluntary initiative bringing together senior leaders from across the public and private sectors. The founding members of The Aotearoa Circle share the fundamental belief that by contributing, benefits will flow to New Zealand, its environment, its people and our economy – and that prosperity comes through recognising the connection of people to nature and our responsibility to safeguard this for our mokopuna.

 

Read more on the The Aotearoa Circle website

18 October 2018

An environmental report released today shows that air quality in New Zealand is generally good.

Our air 2018, produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, shows that while some previously known issues persist, progress has been made and levels of some pollutants are declining.

“The report shows that using wood and coal burners to heat homes in winter continues to cause issues in some places. This remains the largest single cause of human-generated poor air quality in New Zealand,” Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said.

“The report also shows vehicle emissions as a leading cause of poor air quality in some places.”

“However, information from monitoring sites shows levels of some particulate matters have decreased over the past decade, which is a welcome sign, as is the resulting slight improvement in overall health outcomes,” Ms MacPherson said.

“This report paints a series of separate pictures.  The overall news is good, but we still have some specific issues to address. Progress is being made with those but there’s more to do,” Deputy Secretary at the Ministry for the Environment Amanda Moran said.

18 October 2018

Associate Minister's media release:

The state of New Zealand’s air is generally good says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta after the release of a new report on our air this morning.

Our air 2018, released by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, shows that while some pollution issues still persist, progress has been made and the levels of some pollutants are declining. 

The report shows that the use of wood and coal burners to heat homes in winter continues to cause problems in some cities and towns. The other key finding is that vehicle pollution remains a concern in our major cities.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about Our air 2018

16 October 2018

Air New Zealand has today announced a commitment to swap out its Air New Zealand owned single-use plastic packaging to compostable or recyclable alternatives on all Domestic routes by October 2019.

The Ministry for the Environment has worked collaboratively with Air New Zealand on this initiative, providing advice on lower impact, circular economy alternatives and the recycling and composting solutions that are available in New Zealand for processing packaging after use.  

This is part of the Government’s circular economy work programme, in which we are working alongside New Zealand businesses to adopt circular economy approaches in their supply chains. The goal is to use resources much more efficiently in the economy, to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, while also reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry for the Environment congratulates Air New Zealand on this commitment to reduce plastic waste and its leadership to adopt circular economy approaches in its operations.

11 October 2018

The Ministry for the Environment is now measuring and monitoring its carbon emissions so we can do our bit to transition to a low-emissions future.wind turbines at Makara

MfE has achieved CEMARS (Certified Emission Measurement and Reduction Scheme) certification. Our emissions during the 2017/18 financial year were 1,324.12 tCO2-e.

MFE is now measuring and monitoring emissions coming from electricity, transport (air travel, taxis, rental cars and reimbursed mileage) and waste (paper use). We have also committed to setting targets to reduce emissions each year.

“It’s really important that we’re leading by example, and gaining CEMARS accreditation is an important part of that journey,” Chief Executive Vicky Robertson says.

08 October 2018

Environment Minister's media release

The Government today is announcing its next steps to improve the state of our waterways, promising a noticeable improvement in water quality within five years.

“Clean water is our birthright. Local rivers and lakes should be clean enough for our children to swim in, and put their head under, without getting crook,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

“There will be a focus on at-risk catchments so as to halt the decline. We’re not going to leave the hard issues for future generations.”

 

Read the full media release on the Beehive website 

Find out more about the work programme on this website

08 October 2018

At the Paris climate change negotiations (COP 21, 2015), New Zealand led a Ministerial Declaration on Carbon Markets that has now been endorsed by 21 countries.

This Declaration sends a clear signal that carbon markets, which are included in Article 6 of the new Paris Agreement, will have a strong role after 2020. It states that interested countries will work together to ensure the development of standards and guidelines for using market mechanisms that ensure environmental integrity and avoid any double-counting or double-claiming of emissions reduction units. This gives countries, and investors, more confidence that carbon markets will be underpinned by robust standards in future years.

Following the Paris climate change negotiations officials from Declaration countries have worked to progress the development of standards and guidelines to ensure environmental integrity.

View the Declaration on Carbon Markets

04 October 2018

Ministry for the Environment media release
15,000 submissions on Zero Carbon Bill consultation publicly released

More than 15,000 New Zealanders and organisations have had their say on the Government’s proposed Zero Carbon Bill, and today the Ministry for the Environment publicly released the submissions and a summary of the themes.

Vicky Robertson, Secretary for the Environment, says the information the Ministry received is being taken into account as it develops policy advice for Ministers about how New Zealand should respond to climate change.

“A range of views were expressed, from every part of society, and these are all being carefully considered by Ministers as part of putting together the proposed law and the most appropriate target. Ministers are also considering recent reports on the transition to a low emissions economy from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and the Productivity Commission, along with economic modelling, the latest science and other relevant reports.

16 September 2018

Today is the international day that celebrates the ozone layer, the thing stops the sun burning us to a crisp in summer, or more accurately protects the earth from the UV spectrum of the sun’s rays.

This day is the result of a protocol to protect the layer after scientists became worried in the 1980s that ozone-depleting substances, such as refrigerants in air conditioners and refrigerators, were destroying the ozone layer.

In response to their concern, the UN’s Montreal Protocol under the Vienna Convention was agreed in 1987. It began the phase out of the production and consumption of certain ozone-depleting substances by specific deadlines.

There has since been a 98 per cent decrease in the global production of ozone-depleting substances. And the ozone hole has shrunk. In 2016, the mean maximum size of the ozone hole was 20.9 million square kilometres, a 21 percent decrease from 26.6 million square kilometres in 2006.

04 September 2018

The Productivity Commission has released its final report on the opportunities and challenges for New Zealand on the path to a low-emissions economy.

The report is extremely useful, coming now when the Government’s formulating policy on the Zero Carbon Bill. It confirms early action is needed

and that delaying it is likely to make the transition more costly, more of a shock for communities, and will limit our options.

 

View the report

See the Climate Change Minister’s media statement

 

 

20 August 2018

Minister's media release

More than $3 million of funding will help divert 40,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste from landfills in Auckland every year. 

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announced a Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) grant of $3.1 million to enable Auckland recycling firm Green Gorilla to divert the waste and allow materials to be reused.

 “In Auckland, construction and industrial waste makes up about 85 per cent of what is sent to landfill every year which is a significant loss of resources.

 “This innovative project will reduce waste across the region and provide opportunities for new businesses that utilise the recovered materials.

 The WMF provides financial support to projects that reduce environmental harm and provide social, economic and cultural benefits. It is funded from a levy charged on waste disposed of at landfills to discourage waste and to support waste minimisation initiatives. More than $92 million has been awarded to more than 150 projects to date. 

19 August 2018

Minister's media release

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage has announced a programme of work to take action on New Zealand’s long-neglected waste problems.

Minister Sage announced a work programme approved by Cabinet to tackle waste by looking at options to better manage waste going into landfills, how to improve gathering of  data on waste and options to expand product stewardship schemes.

Minister Sage said the Ministry for the Environment would lead work on:

17 August 2018

What does wellbeing mean to you as a kiwi? How do you think we should measure New Zealand’s wellbeing?

Stats NZ is developing a set of “wellbeing” indicators that go beyond economic measures to track our progress as a country and is seeking people’s views on what those indicators should be.

It’s an effort to take a more holistic approach to measuring how we’re doing. It might be that you value sustainability, safeguarding our environment, or our infrastructure, or looking after our mental health.

The Stats NZ video describes the work like this: “We’re looking beyond the economy to include wellbeing and sustainable development in decision-making so that current and future generations of kiwis can enjoy a healthy environment and vibrant communities. We want to talk to you about how we measure and treasure our taonga now and in the future and our impact on other countries.”

14 August 2018

Minister for Youth Peeni Henare presents Injy Johnstone with the New Zealand Youth Supreme Award. Injy Johnstone, who has been working at the Ministry for the Environment as a climate change policy analyst, has taken out the supreme award in the New Zealand Youth Awards 2018 for 12-22 year olds.

Injy achieved the title for her leadership in environmental work, advocacy for foster children and disability matters and being the New Zealand representative on two United Nations groups.

The Minister for Youth Peeni Henare presented the awards at a celebration event in Parliament.

At the age of 14, having immigrated to Dunedin as a young child, Injy was fostered out and learnt first-hand the challenges of that label.

13 August 2018

Ministers' media release

Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have today opened consultation on improvements to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS); New Zealand’s main tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The ETS encourages businesses to reduce their emissions by putting a price on them. The fewer emissions they create, the fewer ETS units they have to pay for.

“The ETS has a vital role to play in New Zealand meeting its climate change targets, but the way it currently operates means it’s not doing that,” Shane Jones said.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

 

Find out about the consultation and have a say

 

 

10 August 2018

Media release from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage 

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.

“We’re phasing-out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” said Jacinda Ardern.

“We’re listening to New Zealanders who want us to take action on this problem. This year 65,000 Kiwis signed a petition calling for an outright ban. It’s also the biggest single subject school children write to me about. 

“Every year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags – a mountain of bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life, and all of this when there are viable alternatives for consumers and business.

20 July 2018

Workshops are being held around the country to support the implementation of the updated guidance.

12 July 2018

Ministry for the Environment welcomes Climate Leaders Coalition

The Ministry for the Environment welcomes the new Climate Leaders Coalition of 60 businesses pledging to reduce emissions and play a leadership role on New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy.

Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson says the strong stance from the CEOs of businesses, that together contribute around 50 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions, is a significant step forward for New Zealand as we move to address climate change and meet our national commitments under the Paris Agreement.

This announcement follows the Farming Leaders Group commitment to work alongside the government to achieve net zero emissions from agriculture by 2050.

“If we are going to tackle the big environmental challenges that we face as a country, we need everyone playing a part – business, our farmers, government and individuals. 

09 July 2018

The PIF is a framework designed to enable State Service leaders to identify
opportunities for improvement, building positive outcomes for New Zealand. The PIF review is conducted by independent leaders and in our case we were grateful for the work conducted and thinking delivered to us by Jenn Bestwick and Lester Levy. Our review was completed in 2017.

Traditionally a PIF takes a four-year horizon but in this case we asked our reviewers to really test us as to whether we can make a long-term difference over a longer period. They therefore gave us guidance and recommendations on both a four year and 10 to 15-year horizon to better equip us to meet our stewardship role.

You can read the full PIF on the SSC website.

06 June 2018

Environment Minister's media release:

Plans that are easier to use and prepare under the Resource Management Act (RMA) have taken a step closer with the release of the first set of draft National Planning Standards.

“The aim is to make plans simpler and more efficient to prepare, and easier to understand and comply with,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

“Standardising plan format and definitions is long overdue. It will reduce compliance costs, and address some of the justified criticisms by those who find RMA plans unduly complex,” he said.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Have your say on the first set of draft National Planning Standards

06 June 2018

Climate Change Minister's media release

The Minister for Climate Change has welcomed WWF-New Zealand’s Open Letter offering its congratulations on the Government’s goal of getting the country to net zero emissions by 2050.

Their support comes the day before public consultation on the proposed Zero Carbon Bill begins.

It has been signed by more than 200 people including business leaders from Z Energy, Les Mills gyms, DB Breweries, the Body Shop and Meridian Energy, as well as the mayors of Wellington, Whanganui, Christchurch, Gisborne and Auckland.

“Momentum is building for the Zero Carbon Bill and tomorrow the Government will begin a nationwide series of public meetings to hear peoples’ views, backed up with an interactive online engagement tool and some hefty policy analysis in a discussion document,” said James Shaw.

Read more on the Beehive website

How you can have a say on the Zero Carbon Bill

05 June 2018

Local and international businesses commit to using 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in their New Zealand operations by 2025 or earlier.

In an important milestone, 12 international and several local businesses gathered with Environment Ministers today to make a joint declaration committing to use 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in their New Zealand operations by 2025 or earlier.

The businesses include multinationals Amcor, Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and Nestlé. The New Zealand Declaration reaffirms the commitment they have made, as participants in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, to meet this target in their global operations.

The New Zealand-based businesses that signed the Declaration include Foodstuffs, Countdown (including SuperValue and Fresh Choice), New Zealand Post and Frucor Suntory.

View the full declaration

05 June 2018

The theme of World Environment Day 2018 is 'Beat plastic pollution'. The tag line is 'If you can't reuse it, refuse it'.

Today is a day of organised cleanups around the world. Everyone is encouraged to take action.

5 June 2018 is the United Nation's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

See the World Environment Day website for stories and actions you can take.

Read about why we need to redesign our thinking about waste on this website.

 

 

 

05 June 2018

A new action plan launched today by farming sector leaders and environment and agriculture Ministers will support the implementation of good farming practices that improve this country’s freshwater quality.

The aim of the Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality is to have every farmer and grower supported with a farm environment plan. This will help them identify and implement relevant good farming practices for their farm and catchment. It will also enable them to monitor and report on progress.

A farm environment plan can also help farmers and growers to recognise environmental risks and set out ways to manage those risks.

See the plan [Federated Farmers website]

 

24 May 2018

If New Zealand hopes to adapt to the effects of climate, proactive planning needs to be urgently woven into the work of every organisation at every level in every sector, says a group of climate change adaptation experts.

 

Read the report

Read the Climate change Minister's media release on the Beehive website

Find out more about the group and its work

23 May 2018

IMAGE: Kieran Fanning, Rocket Lab

Space vehicle launches are expected to result in the deposit of some material on the seabed in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf.

The area in which the activity was previously managed as a permitted activity has been extended to the north, east, and south off the coast of New Zealand in the EEZ and extended continental shelf, under new regulations.

The work falls within amendments to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects—Permitted Activities) regulations, after public consultation closed in September 2017.

17 May 2018

Media release from the Environment Minister

A new unit will be established to oversee compliance with the Resource Management Act (RMA) and to improve consistency across councils, says Environment Minister David Parker.

“At present compliance, monitoring and enforcement actions are somewhat variable across councils,” says David Parker.

“The unit will improve the consistency, effectiveness and transparency of council enforcement of RMA rules and decisions.”

 

Read more on the Beehive website

17 May 2018

Media release from the Climate change Minister

Budget 2018 marks a significant step in our plan to transition to a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050, says Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

“The Green Investment Fund will stimulate significant private-sector finance into the low-emissions projects and businesses that New Zealand needs.

“In places like Australia, the UK and some US states, green investment funds have been hugely successful, attracting capital to fund low-carbon transitions and reduce climate pollution. As Mōhio’s recent climate-finance report1 states, global capital is already shifting into climate-aligned investments. Our plan will make New Zealand part of that shift.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

09 May 2018

“We were supposed to go to Taranaki to teach and inspire these YELFies … but in hindsight I think this massively backfired as we were taught many lessons and came back inspired by them!”, Jolyon Swinburn, climate policy analyst and chaperone at YELF.

A number of Ministry staff spent an action-packed week in Taranaki at the annual Youth Enviroleaders' Forum (YELF), a programme run by the Sir Peter Blake Trust in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment. Some 56 student delegates aged 15-18 from throughout New Zealand were selected for the programme based on their passion for the environment and leadership potential. Among them, for the first time, were delegates from te reo Māori immersion schools.

01 May 2018

The Waste Minimisation Fund is now open for applications for the 2018 contestable funding round until Monday 14 May at 12pm.

This year we are encouraging applicants to focus on initiatives that will accelerate New Zealand’s transition towards the circular economy.

The essential concept at the heart of the circular economy is to ensure we can unmake everything we make.

The products we use are often designed and manufactured with little thought for the resources consumed in making them, or what happens to them at the end of their life. Damaged or broken products usually go directly into landfill. This take-make-dispose mindset has created a linear economy.

A circular economy mindset of make-use-return is an alternative to the linear economy in which we design from the outset resources that can be kept in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

Read more about the circular economy and apply for funding

27 April 2018

The Low-emissions economy draft report released today by the New Zealand Productivity Commission supports work the Government already has underway to transition to a low-emission economy by 2050.

The Productivity Commission’s draft report clearly shows it’s possible for New Zealand to transition to a low-emissions economy but that it will require major changes in order to reap the rewards.

Some of the recommendations made in the Productivity Commission’s draft report are already underway such as:

19 April 2018

An environmental report released today has found we are damaging and losing our soils and our native plants and animals.

Our land 2018 is the latest report in the environmental reporting series published by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ.

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said the environmental reporting series was vital in providing a clearer picture of the state of our environment.

“These reports help us more fully understand our environment, track the positive and negative impacts of human activities over time, and identify some of the key challenges,” Ms MacPherson said.

“Important parts of the land story are missing.  There are significant gaps in our knowledge and the available data, especially integrated data at a national scale.”

Summary of the key findings from the report:

  • Our soil is affected by erosion and intensive agriculture:

    • 192 million tonnes of soil are lost every year from erosion – 44 percent of this is from pasture.

18 April 2018

"The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage. The intent of these guidelines, developed by NIWA and DOC in partnership with the New Zealand Fish Passage Advisory Group, is to set the foundation for improved fish passage management in New Zealand.

These guidelines have been developed to assist infrastructure designers and managers, waterway managers, environmental officers, iwi and local communities with understanding and promoting better management of fish passage requirements in New Zealand. The guidelines set out best-practice approaches and minimum design standards for providing fish passage at instream structures based on current knowledge. The general principles of good fish passage design set out in these guidelines should provide a basis for developing suitable infrastructure designs in most situations regularly encountered in New Zealand.

The guidelines are based on the principle that good fish passage design achieves the following general objectives:

17 April 2018

Media release from the Climate Change Minister

The Minister for Climate Change today announced the membership of the Interim Climate Change Committee, which will begin work on how New Zealand transitions to a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

“We need work to start now on how things like agriculture might enter into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), and we need planning now for the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035,” says James Shaw.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

 

12 April 2018

Climate Change Minister's media release

The latest inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows that, as at 2016, there had been a 19.6 percent increase in emissions on 1990 levels, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced.

The inventory gives a picture of how much human-generated greenhouse gas is being emitted into and removed from our atmosphere – and shows there’s still much to be done to reduce emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

See the latest inventory

 

06 April 2018

Ombudsman’s OIA review

The Chief Ombudsman has commenced four self-initiated investigations into the Official Information practices of the public sector. The agencies involved are the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand. We’ve been chosen as one of the first four agencies for review because delivering better environmental outcomes for New Zealanders is a key priority for the Government.

If you’ve made an OIA request to the Ministry for the Environment in the past 6-12 months then the Chief Ombudsman would like to hear from you. You’re invited to provide feedback through this survey (open until 27 April). 

Replies will be held in confidence by the Office of the Ombudsman, and are not subject to disclosure under the OIA. Individual survey responses will not be disclosed and your identity will remain confidential

28 March 2018

You may have heard of the 7x7 ideas forum, which has been doing the rounds in Wellington.

We are hosting the next 7x7 event showcasing a fantastic line-up of people highlighting environment-related initiatives. This is on 6 April from 5:30pm to 8:30 pm.

Seven speakers, each with seven minutes to talk, will deliver a concentrated mix of new ideas, success stories, and provocations.

The speakers are from:

  • RiverSense
  • Orbica
  • Kermadec Sanctuary
  • Wa Collective
  • The Formary
  • Kemi & Niko
  • Gen Zero (Zero Carbon Act consultation)

7x7 aims to break down silos and trigger the network effect, celebrating what’s already happening in our businesses and communities, and helping to accelerate those successes. Shining spotlights into the shadows and highlighting hidden talent. 7x7 is about generosity and our ability to help each other shine.

Following the speakers, there will be some networking time over drinks and nibbles.

The 7x7 events are organised by Nick Gerritsen.

22 March 2018

World Water Day (22 March) is an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of many New Zealanders.

16 March 2018

Media release from the Climate Change Minister

From today New Zealanders can register their interest in being part of the Government’s consultation on what the Zero Carbon Bill should look like, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced.

“We know many New Zealanders want to be part of the discussion on how we reduce our emissions and want to be kept updated in the lead up to formal consultation starting around the end of May.

“So we’ve set up an online registration process on the Ministry for the Environment website for individuals or organisations who want to be kept informed between now and then.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Register to stay informed on the Zero Carbon Bill

14 March 2018

Media release from the Climate Change Minister

The Government is inviting input as it sets the priorities for New Zealand at international climate change negotiations.

At Paris in 2015, 174 countries, plus the European Union, committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature rise this Century to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

At the end of this year (2-14 December), international negotiators meet in Katowice, Poland, for the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The purpose of COP24 is to work out the guidelines for how countries work together to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

From today, New Zealanders are invited to have their say on what they think New Zealand’s stance on those guidelines should be.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

13 March 2018

Dr Alison Collins is our Departmental Science Advisor.

Alison is focused on ensuring the best science is available, understood and used throughout the Ministry. She has already made good progress since she joined the Ministry last year with the formation of the inaugural Ministry Science Council – made up of Ministry staff who help Alison connect to and advance priority issues of science.

Originally from Britain, Alison’s science interests include climate, land, water, ecosystems and data science. She is passionate about the role science has in government. Over the past 12 years while working for Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, Alison has helped regional councils and central government agencies understand and prioritise their science needs, and improve their uptake and ultimately use of science.

12 March 2018

Minister's media release:

The May round of the Waste Minimisation Fund will target projects that build in reducing waste from the outset, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said today.

 “We need to stop thinking that recycling is the answer to our waste problems when actually producing less waste in the first place is better for the environment and our country,” Ms Sage said.

 “I hope to see projects come through that encourage a circular economy where we make, use and return products and materials instead of the current model where we take resources, use them then dispose of them.”

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out how to apply to the Waste Minimisation Fund

Read more and watch our video on the circular economy

28 February 2018

Imagine a world where everything we use goes back into production for something else and nothing is thrown away. Isn’t it a beautiful world?

This is the future that global expert Andrew Morlet will be talking about in Wellington on Thursday, 1 March.

It’s a not to be missed opportunity to hear about the circular economy and see how it links to all aspects of the environment. You can register here.

Andrew hails from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, where he’s been chief executive since 2014, working towards building the circular economy into all our futures.

You can watch the live stream of Andrew’s presentation in Auckland here.

18 December 2017

New Zealand is committed to both domestic and international climate change progress. As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol we report our actions in New Zealand’s National Communication and Biennial Reports.    

Read the latest reports published on 18 December 2017.

 

Find out more about the reports

18 December 2017

Minister's Media Release

The Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, is pleased to announce today the Government’s first important step towards creating a Zero Carbon Act. “Today the Government is making the first important move to deliver on our commitments to be a world leader on climate change,” says James Shaw. “Cabinet has agreed to a process of consultation in 2018, before the Zero Carbon Bill is introduced.

The Bill will be a cornerstone of New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions, climate resilient future. “I’m looking forward to engaging in conversations with New Zealanders next year as together we design the framework for New Zealand to transition to a sustainable economy.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

15 December 2017

New reports released today show a clearer picture of the scale and urgency we face over climate change, along with guidance on managing and adapting to the results of global warming, Climate Change Minister James Shaw says

14 December 2017

The Ministry for the Environment has today released National Monitoring System (NMS) data for the year ending 30 June 2016.

The NMS requires councils, the Ministry for the Environment, the Environmental Protection Authority and Department of Internal Affairs to provide detailed data each year on the functions, tools, and processes that they are responsible for under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). 

It provides transparency for the New Zealand public on how agencies are fulfilling their roles under the RMA. It also provides important insights on what parts of RMA processes are working well, what can be improved and where further policy is needed.

Data-sets and analysis have been published on the following topics.

  • Plan-making
  • Resource consents
  • Complaints, compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Maori participation

View the 2015/16 National Monitoring System data and analysis

04 December 2017

Ministers' media release

Minister for the Environment David Parker and Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage, have today welcomed Cabinet approval of the regulations banning microbeads.

“Plastic microbeads are found in personal care products such as facial cleansers, bath scrubs and toothpaste,” says Mr Parker.

“They get washed down the drain but are too small to be fully captured by our waste water treatment systems. These minute plastic particles enter the marine environment where they accumulate, do not biodegrade, and are mistaken for food. This causes long-term damage to New Zealand’s marine life.”

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

 

 

27 November 2017

Ministry for the Environment Chief Executive, Vicky Robertson has announced the appointment of Claire Richardson as the Ministry’s new Chief Operating Officer. 

"It’s my pleasure to announce Claire’s appointment to this role.  Claire has diverse international experience spanning multiple sectors including international film and television, international aid, and more recently local government.”

Claire will be responsible for leading the translation of the Ministry’s vision and strategy to action, and achieving real results for the environment.  

“This position is critical to our success and our role as stewards for the environment. Claire’s ability to lead within the Ministry, and develop partnerships across government, will be essential to supporting our people to deliver positive environmental outcomes for New Zealanders.”

20 November 2017

Ministry for the Environment Chief Executive, Vicky Robertson has announced the appointment of James Walker 

as the Ministry’s new Deputy Secretary, Partnerships and Customers.

"I'm delighted that James will be joining the Ministry to lead this important portfolio of work."

The Deputy Secretary, Partnerships and Customers, is a newly created senior leadership role.  

James will represent the Ministry for the Environment both domestically and internationally across a wide range of stakeholders. The ultimate purpose of this role is to tangibly shift mindsets and change behaviours through effective partnering and engagement within the public and private sectors.

19 October 2017

Live stream: Future-proofing the New Zealand economy

Watch the panel discussion led by Kim Hill below at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um2fcKteEDk

For more on the 19 October event see the Auckland Conversations website

19 October 2017

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report.

18 October 2017

The changes to consenting processes under the RMA - brought about by the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 - have come into force today, along with a new requirement for planning and some changes to the Conservation Act.

These changes include:

18 October 2017
Congratulations to NZ’s new Parliamentary Commissioner for 

the Environment, Simon Upton  sworn in by the
Governor-General yesterday. 

Mr Upton brings with him a wealth of experience in high-level environmental roles. He is a former Environment Minister and spent seven years as Environment Director for the OECD, a role from which he returned from to take up his new post, replacing incumbent Dr Jan Wright.

As an independent Officer of Parliament, Mr Upton has broad powers to investigate environmental concerns and is wholly independent of the government of the day
06 October 2017

The Ministry for the Environment wishes to correct a statement made on the Newsroom website today.

The Newsroom item stated that the Ministry is reviewing the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).  That claim was reportedly based on comments from Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

Both the Ministry for the Environment and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor have confirmed that no such review of the EPA is underway.

“The Ministry for the Environment is responsible for monitoring the EPA’s performance on behalf of the Minister for the Environment, but we have no review of the EPA underway, or any plans to do so. Nor do we play a role in reviewing the EPA’s assessments or approvals of hazardous substances. To do so would encroach on their independence as New Zealand’s regulatory authority on hazardous substances and new organisms,” said Ministry Chief Executive Vicky Robertson.

“My comments about the Ministry for the Environment being in contact with the EPA were not meant to imply that a formal review was underway,” Sir Peter Gluckman said

17 August 2017

Minister's media release:

The sale and manufacture of wash-off products containing plastic microbeads will be banned in New Zealand earlier than previously expected, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.

“Microbeads pose a high risk to our aquatic and marine environments. They are too small to retrieve or recycle, do not biodegrade, and are mistaken by marine life for food, causing long-term damage to marine animals,” Mr Simpson says.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

16 August 2017

Minister's media release:

The Government is seeking public feedback on how to best manage space rocket activity and its environmental impacts in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS), Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“Space rocket launches are a new and exciting industry for New Zealand, which the Government wants to help develop in a safe and responsible way. These latest proposals are about further assisting this technologically advanced industry to grow while ensuring we maintain our high environmental standards,” Dr Smith says.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

 

08 August 2017

Read the Minister's media release

Freshwater improvement projects covering over 100 rivers and lakes across New Zealand are to receive grants of $44 million from the Government, Environment Minister Nick Smith announced today.

“The Government has an ambitious plan to improve water quality in our rivers and lakes that involves stronger direction to councils, tighter regulation and funding to support projects. Today we are announcing grants of $44m for 33 projects which, with Council and other contributions, will see $142m invested in over 100 lakes and rivers.”

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on our website

26 July 2017

Minister's media release:

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett is today announcing a package of changes that the Government will make to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to ensure it puts New Zealand in the best possible position to achieve its ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target.

“In 2015 the Government initiated a review of the ETS to ensure it was fit for purpose going into the 2020s,” says Mrs Bennett.

“Last year, as a result of stage one of the review, we announced the phase out of the one-for-two measure in the ETS. I am now announcing further changes as a result of stage two of the review.”

The proposals announced today will provide businesses with the clarity they need about the direction of the ETS.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

07 July 2017

A Bay of Plenty estuary is being restored to its former health, after the removal of two causeways from Papahikahawai Creek.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Kaituna Catchments Manager Pim de Monchy said that since their installation in 1963, the causeways had been blocking tidal flows from getting into Papahikahawai Lagoon and made it unhealthy.

“Fifty-four years of algae build-up will now gradually flush out of the lagoon and we expect fish such as mullet, inanga, kahawai and flounder to return to this part of the estuary in the coming days, weeks and months,” Mr de Monchy said.

Local iwi and community members gathered together with staff and councillors from Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council to celebrate the estuary re-connection, and a new bridge to maintain access between Papahikahawai Island and Maketū Spit, was also blessed and officially opened.

06 July 2017

Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson has today announced two senior appointments to the Ministry for the Environment.

Cheryl Barnes has been appointed Deputy Secretary, Organisational Performance and Operations, and Dr Alison Collins has been appointed Departmental Science Advisor. 

“Both of these roles are critical to our vision of making New Zealand the most liveable place in the world and ensuring our environment is able to support our way of life, now and for future generations. This work is increasingly based on a collaborative approach that strengthens and builds partnerships across the environmental system, and Cheryl and Alison will directly contribute to that”, Ms Robertson said.

The Organisational Performance and Operations Division that Cheryl leads not only includes the Ministry’s corporate functions but also teams that deal with important issues such as waste management, funding for freshwater clean-ups, remediation of contaminated sites and environmental education.

22 June 2017

Minister's media release:

Millions of waste tyres each year are to be used to manufacture cement as part of a wider Government plan to address the environmental problems of end of life tyres, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced at the Golden Bay Cement works in Whangarei today.

“The proposed National Environmental Standard will prohibit stockpiles of waste tyres of over 200m3 - 2500 car tyres - without a council consent dealing with the environmental issues of leachate, fire risk, vermin and insects, visual amenity and a bond for future disposal. These new restrictions are needed to protect the environment, prevent ratepayers having to pick up the bill of dealing with stockpiles and to help channel waste tyres into more sustainable recycling and disposal options.

Read more on the Beehive website

Read the consultation document on the proposed NES and have your say

14 June 2017

Ministers' media release:

A proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture to make re-consenting existing marine farms more consistent and efficient has been released today by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.

“The aquaculture industry is an important part of New Zealand’s diversified primary industry, earning $500 million a year and employing over 3000 people. This proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture is needed to increase certainty and industry confidence, improve biosecurity management and reduce compliance costs,” Mr Guy says.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about the proposal on this website

 

01 June 2017

Media release:

MBIE, working with the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), has provided a set of new tools to help high- and medium-growth councils to better understand their local markets for housing and business space. 

“This should inform better urban planning that adequately enables housing and business development,” says MBIE Manager of Construction and Housing Policy, Di Anorpong.

 “We’ve provided councils with guidance, and a tool to help determine a housing development’s commercial feasibility, using local market information.  This will help planners meet the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Capacity (NPS – UDC), which was first announced by the Government in late 2016.”

 

Read more on the MBIE website

Find out more on this website

 

 

 

26 May 2017

Minister's media release:

The latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows gross emissions have remained stable since 2003 and declined in 2015 as New Zealand is becoming more carbon efficient, says Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett.

“Domestic greenhouse gas emissions have stabilised while our economy and population continue to grow. Between 1990 and 2015 the emissions intensity of the economy decreased by 35.9%, indicating the economy is becoming more carbon efficient,” says Mrs Bennett.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

13 May 2017

Minister's media release

The Government is phasing down the use of the powerful greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industries, to help address climate change, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced this morning at the Bluegreens breakfast of the National Party’s northern conference.

“This plan to phase down the use of HFCs is an important part of the Government’s policies for addressing climate change. These synthetic gases are up to 15,000 times more potent in their global warming effect than carbon dioxide and are projected to by themselves raise temperatures by 0.5degC by the end of the century.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Read the consultation document and find out how to make a submission on this website

01 May 2017

The Waste Minimisation Fund funds projects that promote or achieve waste minimisation.

The May 2017 funding round is now open.

 

Find out more about the fund

Find out how to apply for funding

27 April 2017

Minister's media release

The Our Fresh Water 2017 report released today confirms the direction of the Government’s reforms for improving the management of fresh water, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“This is the first comprehensive and independent report on the state of New Zealand’s fresh water and arises from the Government’s Environmental Reporting Act that came into effect last year. The issues identified in respect of nutrients, E. coli, sediment and fresh water ecology are not new and are being addressed as part of the Government’s fresh water improvement programme. The value of the report is in providing a robust, independent baseline so future progress can be independently verified every three years.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about Our Fresh Water 2017 on this website

27 April 2017

Media statement

New Zealand’s rivers and lakes are under increasing pressure, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of fresh water.

Our fresh water 2017, released today, measures the quality of our waterways; water quantity and flows; biodiversity in rivers and lakes; and the cultural health of fresh water.

 

Read the full media statement [PDF, 182 KB] issued by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ

 

21 March 2017

Minister's media release:

The Government has welcomed today’s release of the OECD 2017 Environment Performance Review, saying it highlights New Zealand’s green credentials and the strong progress we have made over the past decade, as well as the challenges we need to address, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“This report highlights that New Zealand fares well in terms on environmental quality of life. We have good air quality, an exceptionally high proportion of renewable electricity, easy access to pristine wilderness and an advanced and comprehensive natural resource management system,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website and access the report

27 February 2017

Minister's media release:

New regulations have been approved under the Resource Management Act that provide a national approach to the use of poisons like 1080 and brodifacoum, Environment Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“Pests like stoats, rats and possums kill 25 million native birds a year, and if we are serious about ensuring the survival of species like Kiwi, we need to use effective and efficient poisons like 1080,” Dr Smith says.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Read about the new regulations on this website

25 February 2017

Ministers' media release

The Government has released its conservation and environment science priorities for the next 20 years in a new Roadmap, Conservation and lead Minister Maggie Barry and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today at the annual Bluegreens Forum.

“We need to be certain that we have the best research and evidence available to help us protect and save our threatened bird and plant life and for all New Zealand to achieve important Government targets such as Predator Free  2050,” Ms Barry says.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out about the Roadmap on this website

25 February 2017

Minister's media release:

A major new campaign to stop people littering aims to change behaviour and to educate people, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Parliamentary Private Secretary Scott Simpson announced today at National’s Bluegreen Forum in Auckland.

“Litter is a risk to New Zealand’s clean green brand and the best solution is where everyone responsibly disposes of their waste. That is why the Government is investing $3 million in a behavioural change campaign, the development of education materials and a national litter survey to help ensure we keep New Zealand beautiful.”

 

Read more on the Beehive website

 

23 February 2017

Minister's media release:

The Government today announced a target of 90 per cent of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers meeting swimmable water quality standards by 2040, alongside releasing new policy, regulations, information maps and funding to help achieve the new goal.

“This ambitious plan to improve the water quality in our lakes and rivers recognises that New Zealanders expect to be able to take a dip in their local river or lake without getting a nasty bug,” Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

See Clean Water package 2017 on this website for more information.

14 February 2017

Minister's media release:

Public consultation has opened on proposed legislation to fast track the redevelopment and regeneration of urban areas to better meet housing and commercial needs, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“New Zealand needs Urban Development Authority (UDA) legislation to enable faster and better quality regeneration in our major cities. These new authorities need the power to assemble parcels of land, develop site specific plans, reconfigure infrastructure and to construct a mix of public and private buildings to create vibrant hubs for modern urban living,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about the proposal and consultation on this website

 

16 January 2017

Minister Smith has opened public consultation on a proposed ban of the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing microbeads in NZ under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

The issue of plastic microbeads has gained global attention as we have become aware of the damage these pervasive small grains of plastic cause when released into the environment. Microbeads are plastic beads less than 5mm in size. They are added to products to give texture, act as an abrasive or bulking agent, prolong shelf-life of the product, or provide visual interest.

The problem with plastic microbeads is that they are too small to be retrieved, they are cumulative and they do not biodegrade. Recent studies have shown they can be mistaken by marine life as food, causing long-term damage to aquatic animals like fish and mussels. This also poses a potential threat to human health as these sea creatures are caught and sold as kaimoana.

29 November 2016

Media release from Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently.

Leader of the House and Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says new legislation recognises the extraordinary situation faced by earthquake-affected communities, particularly in the Kaikoura and Hurunui districts.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out about the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Bill on this website

24 November 2016

Ministers' media release:

Changes to the National Environmental Standard (NES) for Telecommunications Facilities will make it quicker and easier for New Zealanders to get connected to new and better communications technologies.

Communications Minister Amy Adams and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the new NES for Telecommunications Facilities, under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication Facilities 2016 on this website

22 November 2016

Minister's media release:

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett has brought together 10 experts from government and the private sector to provide advice on how New Zealand can adapt and build resilience to the effects of climate change.

The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group includes representatives from central and local government, the banking and insurance sector, engineering, science, and local communities. 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

31 October 2016

Minister's media release

The Government has signed off on a National Policy to ensure councils in rapidly growing urban areas provide enough land for new housing and business development, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity on this website

27 October 2016

Media release:

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment.

 

Read the report and media release

 

16 October 2016

Minister's media release:

An amendment to the Montreal Protocol which phases down the use of harmful greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning is being welcomed by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.

“New Zealand advocated for an ambitious change to the Montreal Protocol at the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, this week. The resulting amendment will have significant environmental benefits by phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),” Dr Smith says.

HFCs can have a global warming effect up to 15,000 times greater than carbon dioxide.

 

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about New Zealand's obligations under the Montreal Protocol on this website

03 October 2016

On 1 October 2016, the Imports and Exports (Asbestos-containing Products) Prohibition Order 2016 will come into force. View a copy of the Order.

The Order makes it illegal to import any asbestos-containing product into New Zealand unless it is authorised by an import permit issued by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA will only issue permits in a limited range of circumstances, where specific conditions can be met.  View further details on applying for a permit.

22 September 2016

Minister's media release:

A report released today shows New Zealand is making good progress in tackling climate change and is focused on the next steps, Climate Change Issues Minister Paula Bennett says.

‘New Zealand’s Action on Climate Change’, produced by the Ministry for the Environment, brings together information about the science, global momentum and domestic work to transition to a lower emissions future.

Read more on the Beehive website

Read the report on this website

02 September 2016

Minister's media release:

The Government intends to review the appropriateness of councils being involved in regulating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), prompted by advice over a liver cancer treatment trial in Auckland, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“A trial for liver cancer vaccine Pexa-Vec is being conducted at Auckland Hospital which involves a GMO. The new Auckland Unitary Plan prohibits the release of any GMO and would not allow any such future medical treatments,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website

17 August 2016

Minister's media release:

The Government plans to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change by the end of the year, Climate Change Issues Minister Paula Bennett says.

The agreement was finalised last December and made available for signature in April this year. Ratification is the formal step that countries must take to be full participants and to ensure the deal takes effect. 

“The Paris agreement is historic and changed the way the world thinks about climate change. Ratifying it early reinforces our commitment to this deal and our support for the global momentum to grow with lower emissions,” says Mrs Bennett. 

Read more on the Beehive website

Read more about the Paris Agreement on our website

15 July 2016

Ministers' media release:

New Zealanders are being asked to have their say on the environmental science priorities facing the nation, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say.

A discussion paper released today will lead to a conservation and environment science “roadmap” identifying priority areas for scientific research during the next 20 years.

“A well co-ordinated science strategy on environmental issues is a key part of the Government’s BlueGreen policy agenda. We need good science to help identify the issues that pose the greatest risk to New Zealand’s clean, green environment and international reputation. Science is also pivotal to finding the solutions that will enable us to best protect our environment while ensuring we have a successful and growing economy,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website

Read the discussion paper on this website

29 June 2016

Media release

Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment today welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s commentary on Environment Aotearoa 2015.

Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson said Dr Jan Wright’s contribution serves as valuable guidance at this early stage of the environmental reporting journey.

“The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ want environmental reports to be useful to as many people as possible. Dr Wright’s report is very welcome in helping us achieve that goal,” Ms Robertson said.

Environment Aotearoa 2015 is the first time the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ have worked in partnership to tell the story of New Zealand’s whole environment in the spirit of the new environmental reporting framework.

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ will carefully consider Dr Wright’s recommendations.

14 June 2016

Minister's media release:

The need for reform of the Resource Management Act (RMA) is highlighted by today’s release of the National Monitoring System data, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“This monitoring report highlights how slow our planning system is, with the average time for a council plan taking more than eight years and for a council plan change four years. This cumbersome process means councils cannot respond to changing society needs such as the sharp shift in housing demand from the lull of 2010 to the boom of 2015. It is crucial to resolving issues like housing that we have a far more responsive planning system. The Government’s second phase of RMA reform, currently before Parliament, provides the option for councils to adopt a streamlined planning process which will enable councils to achieve plan changes in six months.

Read more on the Beehive website

02 June 2016

Minister's media release

The Government’s proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity will require councils to ensure land supply for housing and business keeps pace with growth, Environment, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“This new policy is about tackling the long-term root cause of New Zealand’s housing affordability problems. Insufficient land supply in Auckland has seen median section prices rise from $100,000 in 1990 to $450,000 now – an increase of 350 per cent. In the same time, building costs rose 78 per cent and the Consumer Price Index 71 per cent. The high section price compounds the affordability problem because the built home will also be highly priced.”

Read more on the Beehive website

26 May 2016

Minister's media release:

The Government is phasing out a subsidy in the Emissions Trading Scheme that allows some businesses to pay one emissions unit for every two tonnes of pollution they emit, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more on this website

10 May 2016

Ministers media release:

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced the 2016 Green Ribbon Awards finalists to celebrate exceptional environmental achievements by New Zealanders.

“We are delighted to recognise these community groups, scientists, schools, councils and businesses for their innovation and achievements in the 26th annual Green Ribbon Awards,” Dr Smith says.

 

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the awards on this website.

 

28 April 2016

Three Ministry policymakers ran a marine-themed debate in Nelson as part of the 2016 Youth EnviroLeaders' Forum.

The annual week-long event aims to address topical environmental issues facing New Zealand and is designed to inspire and build the capability of the 15 to 18 year olds who are selected for the programme.

This year’s themes were pest control, biodiversity and ocean health. 

Ministry for the Environment co-funds Sir Peter Blake Trust to deliver the programme.

Ministry Chief Executive Vicky Robertson spoke at the official opening and Environment Minister Hon Nick Smith closed the programme. 

Communication channels advisor Rebekah Burgess was there. 

14 April 2016

Minister's media release:

Regulations are being proposed under the Resource Management Act (RMA) to provide for a nationally consistent approach to pest control, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today in releasing a consultation paper standardising the regulatory regime for pest control at the New Zealand PIanning Institute conference.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about the proposal and how to have your say

03 March 2016

Minister's media release;

Two technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage with the second phase of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says.

The Forestry technical note seeks feedback on the way the ETS and forestry sector interacts and how it will contribute to New Zealand meeting its future. international targets

The second report covers administrative issues including compliance requirements, exemptions under the Climate Change Response Act 2002, and the public’s access to information.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out about the NZ ETS review on our website

25 February 2016

Media release:

Interbloc was today recognised for its efforts to responsibly manage the environmental effects of its products, with Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith awarding product accreditation to the company’s Envirocon scheme under the Waste Minimisation Act.

“Envirocon is a concrete collection system which reuses wet waste ready-mix concrete to manufacture products like stackable concrete blocks for retaining walls. Currently under the scheme, 13,000 tonnes of waste concrete is diverted from landfill or energy-intensive reprocessing. The aim is to increase this to 23,400 tonnes by 2018,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website.

See our Envirocon web page.

20 February 2016

Ministers' media release:

New measures to improve the management of New Zealand’s rivers, lakes, aquifers and wetlands have been proposed today at the Bluegreens Forum in Tekapo, with a consultation document released by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

“New Zealand has an abundance of freshwater but changes are needed to better manage water quality and improve efficiency of use,” Dr Smith and Mr Guy say.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Visit the Next Steps for Fresh Water consultation page.

05 February 2016

Minister's media release:

Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the NZ ETS review and how to have your say.

12 January 2016

Ministers' media release:

The Government has today launched a consultation document on a new Marine Protected Areas Act to replace the Marine Reserves Act 1971 that includes proposals for recreational fishing parks in the inner Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds.

“We are proposing a new system of marine protection that will include marine reserves, species-specific sanctuaries, seabed reserves, and recreational fishing parks. This more sophisticated approach with four different types of marine protection is similar to the graduated approach we take to reserves on land that vary from strict nature reserves to those for a specific or recreational purpose,” says Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.

Read more on the Beehive website

Read the consultation document

22 December 2015

At the Paris climate change negotiations (COP 21), New Zealand led a Ministerial Declaration on Carbon Markets that was endorsed by 17 other countries. This Declaration sends a clear signal that carbon markets, which are included in Article 6 of the new Paris Agreement, will have a strong role after 2020. It states that interested countries will work together to develop standards and guidelines for using market mechanisms that ensure environmental integrity and avoid any double-counting or double-claiming of emissions reduction units. This gives countries, and investors, more confidence that carbon markets will be underpinned by robust standards in future years.

View the Declaration on Carbon Markets

Any country wanting to support the declaration can contact the Ministry at climatechange@mfe.govt.nz

17 December 2015

Minister's media release:

Three reports released today show New Zealand met its target for reducing emissions under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and is on track to meet its 2020 target, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says.

“New Zealand’s second biennial report to the United Nations shows that we met our target for the period from 2008-2012 through a combination of emissions reductions, carbon removal by forests, and international trading,” says Mrs Bennett.  

Find out more on the Beehive website.

 

 

26 November 2015

The Government introduced to Parliament today its substantive Bill overhauling the Resource Management Act (RMA) to support business growth and housing development while also ensuring more effective environmental management, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith has announced.

“This Bill is about reducing the bureaucracy that gets in the way of creating jobs, building houses, and good environmental management. It provides for greater national consistency, more responsive planning, simplified consenting and better alignment with other laws,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the reforms on this website.

24 November 2015

Minister's media release

The Government has begun its review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) to assess its operation and effectiveness to 2020 and beyond, Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser announced today.

“In July we set an ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions after 2020,” said Mr Groser.

“This review will look at how the NZ ETS may have to evolve to support New Zealand in meeting this new target.

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out about the consultation and how to make a submission

11 November 2015

Minister's media release:

New Zealanders are being invited to have their say about proposed topics under the new national environmental reporting system, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Statistics Minister Craig Foss announced today.

“The Environmental Reporting Act passed by Parliament in September requires fair and accurate reports on the state of our environment. It means our country’s clean, green brand will now be assessed against authoritative and independent data across five domains. Today we are calling for submissions on what New Zealanders think are the priorities for reporting across these domains,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out about the consultation on this website.

31 October 2015

Minister's media release: 

New Government regulations to manage the waste and pollution within New Zealand’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) come into effect today, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says. 

“These new regulations cover discharges of pollutants and waste from offshore installations like oil rigs and ships in the six million square kilometres of ocean in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf. They provide clear rules that protect the ocean environment and are the final stage of implementing the Government’s new environmental law covering the ocean,” Dr Smith says. 

Read more on the Beehive website

30 October 2015

Minister's media release

Changes to regulations on the definition of what is and is not a genetically modified organism (GMO) are needed to maintain the workability of the law on GMOs administered by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith said today. 

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the consultation on this website.

21 October 2015

Media release

Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment today released a landmark national environmental report – Environment Aotearoa 2015 – showing the overall state of our environment.

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said the report gives a clear and independent overview, based on the best-quality information available.

“Environment Aotearoa 2015 tells us the shape our environment is in – from the atmosphere above New Zealand to our oceans, and everything in between.”

Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson said the report provides a candid view showing where things are improving and where our environment is under pressure.

Read more on the Statistics New Zealand website.

See Environment Aotearoa 2015 on this website.

29 September 2015

Minister's media release:

Kermadec sanctuary a global contribution to ocean protection

The Prime Minister’s announcement today at the United Nations in New York of a new Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is a global contribution by New Zealand towards better protection of the world’s oceans, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“Oceans are the new frontier for environmental protection. They make up 72 per cent of the globe and are home to half of the world’s species, but currently only two per cent is protected. There is increased pressure from over-fishing, mining and pollution, with the populations of fish and seabird species estimated to have halved over the past 40 years. Just as our forebears set aside significant areas of our land like the Tongariro and Fiordland National Parks, we need to protect special areas of our sea like the pristine ocean around the Kermadec Islands,” Dr Smith says. 

Read the full release on the Beehive website.

24 September 2015

Ministers' media release

New Zealand’s clean, green brand will be strengthened with the passage of the Environmental Reporting Act by Parliament today, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Statistics Minister Craig Foss say.

“The new Environmental Reporting Act will back up our clean, green brand with authoritative and independent information on the state of our environment. It will tell us where we match up, where we don’t and give regular updates so that we can track long-term changes,” Dr Smith says.

Read the full media release on the Beehive website.

Read Government Statistician and Secretary for the Environment announcement on Statistics New Zealand website.

Read more about the Act on this website.

24 September 2015

Ministers' media release:

Changes to modernise and streamline the National Environmental Standard (NES) for telecommunications facilities will speed up improvements and reduce costs for consumers, Communications Minister Amy Adams and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today at the Resource Management Law Association conference.

“Connectivity plays an important role in the lives of New Zealanders - it has transformed the way we live, work and do business. The updated NES provides national consistency for a greater range of telecommunications infrastructure and will speed up the availability of major rollouts such as Ultra-Fast Broadband, the Rural Broadband Initiative, and 4G,” Ms Adams says. 

Read the full release on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the amendments on this website.

26 August 2015

The Ministry for the Environment will commence targeted consultation on the final steps to ban two substances with known risks to both the environment and human health, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia conference in Nelson.

“The Government has proposed new regulations banning the import of new bulk hydrochlorofluorocarbons and asbestos-containing products. Already New Zealand has all but phased out these substances so the number of businesses expected to be affected is low. The Ministry for the Environment will be contacting these businesses directly about the proposed regulations and work with them on alternatives,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website

View the consultation on steps to ozone recovery and asbestos ban

13 August 2015

The Minister for the Environment, Hon Dr Nick Smith, has released a guide to help local government and communities implement the Government’s policy on fresh water. 

Read the Minister's announcement [Beehive website].

Read the guide.

Find out more about the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014.

15 July 2015

Media release

A joint Government and council initiative to reduce nitrogen leaching into Lake Taupō by 20 per cent, or 170 tonnes per year, has achieved its goal three years ahead of schedule, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the Lake Taupō Protection Project on this website.

08 July 2015

The New Zealand Government announced ECan will a move to a mixed model governance structure for the 2016 to 2019 local government term.

View the Minsters' anouncement

Find out more about the ECan review.

07 July 2015

The New Zealand Government announced that our post-2020 climate change target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Read the Minister’s media release [beehive website]

Find out more about the new target

02 July 2015

Media release

Environmental monitoring website Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) is expanding its repertoire, offering more data about New Zealand’s most valuable natural resource, water.

LAWA now displays real-time data on river flow, groundwater and rainfall levels at over 1000 sites around New Zealand, adding to the water quality data on the site.

“We believe LAWA is one of the first of its kind to bring together a whole country’s water quality and quantity data into one place,” said Fran Wilde, chair of Local Government New Zealand’s regional sector.

“Building on the beach and river quality information already available on LAWA, the real-time flow and water level data will allow those who rely on water for business or recreational activities to see the current state of the river or aquifer.”

LAWA also shows how much water is available in different regions and how it is being used.

Read the full media release on the LAWA website. 

17 June 2015

Media release

A new National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry to simplify and standardise Resource Management Act requirements was proposed today by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew at Paengaroa Forest in the Bay of Plenty.

“The current system for environmental regulation of forestry is complex and confusing with thousands of different rules across New Zealand’s 78 councils. This proposed standard will simplify the rules and save the forestry industry millions in compliance costs while ensuring environmental issues like wilding pines, protecting spawning fish and erosion are better managed,” Dr Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the proposed standard on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

12 June 2015

Media Release

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith today recognised Fuji Xerox for its efforts to responsibly manage the environmental effects of its products, with the company awarded product accreditation under the Waste Minimisation Act for its Zero Landfill scheme.

“The Zero Landfill scheme from Fuji Xerox is a great example of how forward-thinking businesses can manage and mitigate their impact through proactive product stewardship. The scheme aims to recycle and reuse an estimate 99.5 per cent of Fuji Xerox equipment and products – including printers, copiers, toner bottles, print cartridges, drums, rollers and fuser oil, and packaging –  resulting in approximately 1200 tonnes being diverted from landfill each year,” Dr Smith says.

Find out more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the Fuji Xerox Zero Landfill product stewardship scheme on this website.

04 June 2015

The winners of the 2015 Green Ribbon Awards have been announced by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry in at a ceremony at Parliament on 4th June. This year’s awards, which mark the 25th anniversary of the event, recognised the achievements of some of New Zealand's most innovative and hard-working environmental champions. 

Finalists for 2015 were selected from 70 nominations and included community groups, scientists, councils and businesses. Award categories covered a range of environmental specialisations such as biodiversity protection, reducing emissions, minimising waste, caring for water and protecting oceans and coasts. Alongside these were five leadership categories, awarded to some of the exemplary projects and people that inspired others to action and achieved great results for conserving and restoring New Zealand’s environment.

21 May 2015

The Government has provided $4.1 million funding over four years for development and operation of a supply management strategy for New Zealand’s Emission Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). This includes consideration and design of an auctioning function, although no decisions have been made about when or if such a system might be implemented. 

The NZ ETS is New Zealand’s primary tool to reduce greenhouse emissions and meet our international climate change obligations. Supply management could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the NZ ETS so it reflects the Government’s desired level of abatement and that costs on the economy are managed. It will include monitoring and modelling market activity, as well as developing policy around sources of unit supply including allocation, forestry, international units, banked and auctioned NZUs. 

Under the Climate Change Response Act, any move to introduce auctioning would involve setting annual limits on New Zealand Units (NZUs), which would transparently act as a ceiling on the number of NZUs that could be auctioned. This would increase certainty and liquidity by ensuring a durable supply of NZUs.  

21 May 2015

Media release

The Government is committing $41.2 million in Budget 2015 to deliver on its priorities for the environment, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

Budget 2015 will invest an additional $20.4 million over four years to provide greater national direction and support to councils in implementing the resource management reforms.

Find out more on the Beehive website

19 May 2015

 

image of David Wratt

Dr David Wratt has been appointed as the Ministry for the Environment’s Departmental Science Advisor. Dr Wratt is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished scientists, with international standing and a 30-year career in climate and meteorology. His appointment recognises the Ministry’s strong science and evidence focus.  He will be responsible for ensuring the highest standards for science within, and procured by, the Ministry and will provide advice on science directly to the Secretary for the Environment.

Dr Wratt will also have a role in supporting the development of cross-government science policy and research initiatives such as the National Science Challenges. He will be working with the government’s Departmental Science Advisor Network, convened by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, to ensure science effort across Natural Resource Sector agencies is aligned, efficient and fit for purpose.

12 May 2015

The Ministry for the Environment has reviewed the effectiveness of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Cabinet directed us to review the effectiveness of the EPA three years after it became operational on 1 July 2011.  

Find out about the review findings.

07 May 2015

Media release:

Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser today called for public submissions on New Zealand‘s post 2020 climate change target.

In December countries will meet in Paris to establish a new climate change agreement. Ahead of the Paris conference, countries are expected to announce the action they will take to curb climate change.  All countries have been asked to put forward a national target to reduce harmful emissions after 2020.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more on our Setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target web page. 

10 April 2015

Media release:

Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser welcomes the release of the latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory report by the Ministry for the Environment. The report covers the period since 1990 and provides details about emissions and removals for the 2013 year.

In 2013 New Zealand’s total gross greenhouse gas emissions were 81 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, a decrease of 1.4 per cent over the previous year.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the report.

01 April 2015

The Minister for the Environment is seeking nominations for two positions on the Fiordland Marine Guardians.  Find out more about the requirements and how to express your interest or nominate someone.

30 March 2015

A new national-level report on New Zealand’s environment is due out in mid-2015. The topics and provisional statistics for this report are out now. They are subject to approval and potential changes by the Government Statistician.

See the joint media release from the Secretary for the Environment and the Government Statistician on the Statistics New Zealand website.

Read the list of topics on the Statistics New Zealand website.

10 March 2015

The New Zealand Government and industry are responding to a criminal blackmail threat to contaminate infant and other formula with the toxin 1080. For further information please visit: www.foodprotection.govt.nz

05 March 2015

The Green Ribbon Awards, which honour New Zealand's environmental leaders, will be a joint endeavour for the first time between the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation.

"It is appropriate in marking 25 years of celebrating exceptional contributions made by New Zealanders to our environment that we strengthen the awards by joining the forces of the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation. We are taking a more integrated approach to the awards, just as we need to take a more integrated approach to protecting our water, air, land, forests and treasured species," Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

The Green Ribbon Awards honour the outstanding contributors of New Zealanders working hard to protect and enhance our environment.

“Communities, volunteers and partners are vital because Government can’t achieve all that needs to be done. I’m encouraging conservation champions from across New Zealand to nominate for these awards” Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

02 March 2015

The Ministry for the Environment is pleased to announce its new MfE Data Service. The service allows free web-based access to Ministry data through open-file downloads and machine readable web service APIs. 

From today we will begin to move all our environmental data that is currently publicly available onto the service. No new data will be released at this point.  

The service has been made possible through a shared services agreement with Land Information New Zealand. It is based on their award winning LINZ Data Service.

Find out more about the service.

18 February 2015

Media release: A Bill to amend the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 will be introduced tomorrow to address transitional issues over the timing of existing consents, such as for the Maui platform.

“The EEZ law requires new marine consents for existing activities by the date their current mining permit expires. The Maui platform requires this consent by 28 June 2015. An application has been lodged by Shell Todd Oil Services Limited (STOS) for a marine consent with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), but if it is appealed it will not be resolved by that date,” Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the Bill.

21 January 2015

Media release: Overhauling the Resource Management Act (RMA) is critical to addressing housing supply and affordability, and maintaining the momentum of economic and job growth as well as better managing New Zealand’s environment, Dr Nick Smith said today in his 20th annual speech to Nelson Rotary. 
 
“The Resource Management Act has produced over 80,000 pages of plans and rules across New Zealand’s 78 councils. This 10-metre mountain of red tape is holding back the development of new houses and jobs, and it is not performing well enough in managing key resources like freshwater,” Dr Smith says. 

Read more on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the Resource Management Act

21 December 2014

Media release: Information on the water quality of 350 beaches around New Zealand is now accessible on-line as part of an initiative between regional councils, Cawthron Institute, Ministry for the Environment and the Tindall Foundation, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today. Read more on the Beehive website.

Go straight to coastal data on the Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website.

Find out more about our marine environment

12 December 2014

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have recently launched their new website. We think it looks fantastic!

Go to the MPI website.

MPI are our partners in the Natural Resources Sector and we work with them to ensure cross-agency collaboration in our policy work. 

Find out more about who we work with

Find out more about the Natural Resources Sector on their website.

03 November 2014

Climate Change 2014, the Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC's) Fifth Assessment, has now been released. 

The report brings together the findings from the three previously published volumes of the Working Group reports. They cover 'The Physical Science Basis, Impacts', 'Adaptation and Vulnerability' and 'Mitigation of Climate Change'. 

The Climate Change Minister, Hon Tim Groser has welcomed the report. View the Minister's media release on the Beehive website.

The reports are now available on the IPCC website.  There is a Summary for Policymakers  and a longer Synthesis Report on the IPCC website.

28 October 2014

The Ministry for the Environment has been working hard to introduce the new changes to the Marine Pollution Regulations under the Resource Management Act 1998.

Amendment to the regulations will help protect New Zealand’s marine environment by stopping garbage from being discharged into the coastal marine area.

Justin Strang, Manager of our Marine and Environmental Governance team explains, “These regulations crack down on the dumping of litter in the ocean within twelve nautical miles from the shore. This includes garbage like plastics, bottles, fishing gear, cigarette butts - all will need to be kept on the boat and disposed of onshore.

“We are working in partnership with Maritime New Zealand to promote the changes to these regulations, especially among recreational boaties.”

So remember if you’re out and about in your boat this summer: don’t throw it, stow it. Take your rubbish back to shore with you and dispose of it properly. We’ll all be doing our bit to keep our bays beautiful. 

24 October 2014

The Ministry for the Environment presented at the 26th Waste Management Institute of NZ (WasteMINZ) Annual Conference held in the capital this month. The focus of this year’s conference was on putting the ‘Resource’ into Resourceful Thinking, with emphasis on the goals set down in the New Zealand Waste Strategy to reduce the harmful effects of waste and improve the efficiency of resource use.

20 October 2014

Submissions are sought from the public on property regulations and local rules that don’t make sense.

In particular property owners, builders, tradespeople and businesses who have experienced the issues created by irrelevant or unnecessary regulations, can now report these to a Rules Reduction Taskforce which will identify pedantic and unnecessary rules that frustrate and hinder.

Submissions can be made by filling in the online submission form at www.govt.nz/rulesreduction or by downloading the form below and posting it to Rules Reduction, The Department of Internal Affairs, P O Box 805, Wellington 6011. Alternatively you can scan and email your completed submission form to rulesreduction@dia.govt.nzPlease do not include personal information such as names and addresses in your submissions.

15 October 2014

Media release: The Resource Management Act needs to explicitly recognise the importance of New Zealanders’ access to more affordable housing if the downward trend in home ownership over the past 20 years is to be reversed, Building and Housing, and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith said today at the Property Council New Zealand’s Residential Development Summit in Auckland. 

Read the Environment Minister's media release on the Beehive website.

Find out more about the RMA Amendments and Reforms.

08 October 2014

The Ministry for the Environment invites applications for Round 7 of the Community Environment Fund to enhance freshwater monitoring in New Zealand. 

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 21 November 2014. 

Find out more information for applicants to Round 7.

Learn more about the Community Environment Fund

The Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment hosted a symposium to launch the implementation programme for the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC). It was held in Auckland on 28 and 29 November 2016 and local authorities were invited.

The symposium discussed the requirements of the NPS-UDC and the challenges that implementing these requirements may pose for local authorities.

Speakers at the symposium included:

  • Environment Court Judges Newhook, Kirkpatrick and Hassan
  • members from Auckland and Christchurch independent hearings panels
  • local authorities
  • developers
  • economists and other technical experts.

Key issues discussed were:

The Ministry for the Environment has welcomed Charlotte Denny to the role of Director – Land and Air within its Resource Management directorate. With a passion for policy, economics and driving positive change for New Zealanders, we’re thrilled to have Charlotte on board.Photo of Charlotte Denny

From London newsroom to the Beehive

After post-graduate study at the University of Oxford, Charlotte’s career began in London, where she spent seven years working as a journalist for The Guardian. There she covered economic policy issues including global trade talks on removing agricultural protection – an important issue for New Zealand as well as for developing countries – which took her from London to coffee farms in Guatemala and to the far corners of Uganda and Tanzania. She also covered a major campaign to reduce debt in third world countries, which was a personal highlight.

Summary of the approach developed to help local government and others assess, plan for, and manage the increasing risks facing coastal communities. 

Summary of expected impacts of climate change on New Zealand over the medium and long term

Freshwater improvement projects covering over 100 rivers and lakes across New Zealand are to receive grants of $44 million from the Government, Environment Minister Nick Smith announced today.

“The Government has an ambitious plan to improve water quality in our rivers and lakes that involves stronger direction to councils, tighter regulation and funding to support projects. Today we are announcing grants of $44m for 33 projects which, with Council and other contributions, will see $142m invested in over 100 lakes and rivers.”

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out more about Freshwater Improvement Fund projects on this website

Minister's media release:

The Government is consulting on changes to the National Environmental Standard on Contaminated Soils (NESCS) to make it more workable and to remove unnecessary costs for land development, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“We do need a system for identifying sites that have had previous uses that may pose a health risk but we also need to ensure we are not adding disproportionate costs and delays on new developments, such as housing.”

Read more on the Beehive website

Find out about the proposed amendments on this website

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament yesterday.  This means the Bill is nearing the end of the legislative process, and as such the Ministry is gearing up to launch an implementation programme.

More detailed information for councils and other RMA users will soon be available on our website, including fact sheets, technical information and a check list that sets out the changes that will need to be made immediately and over time.  We are also working with the Society of Local Government Managers to set up a process to manage queries from council staff.

In the meantime, you can read Minister Smith’s third reading speech and recent media release on the Beehive website.

Our atmosphere and climate 2017 reports on greenhouse gas emissions and how these are affecting our environment.

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