News and events

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.

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 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

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