In New Zealand, environmental monitoring is a legislative responsibility shared across central government agencies, Crown research institutes, and local government. Regional and unitary councils are obliged to monitor our land, air, coastal, and freshwater environments under the Resource Management Act 1991. The Department of Conservation, the Ministry for Primary Industries, NIWA, and regional councils share responsibility for monitoring the marine environment. MetService, NIWA, and the Ministry for the Environment share responsibility for monitoring the atmosphere and climate, including greenhouse gas emissions.
Much of the information in this report comes from the data regional councils and other agencies collect to fulfil their obligations. Therefore, there is a strong connection between legislative requirements for environmental monitoring and the type of environmental data available to report on.
For more information see: Data needs and improvements chapter.