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Expert risk assessment of activities in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone and Extended Continental Shelf

Publication date:  May 2012
Publication reference number:  CR 124

This independent report prepared for the Ministry for the Environment by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) lists the known possible activities in the EEZ and describes their likely risk to the environment. The report recommends how various activities could be classified under the proposed regulatory framework.

The report is the main source of scientific evidence for the proposals in the discussion document Managing our oceans. The report also provides guidance on what sort of conditions could be placed on activities to reduce their level of effects. The risk ratings in the report were used to inform the Ministry for the Environment’s assessment of the potential environmental effects of activities, but in making proposals for classifications the Ministry also considered criteria other than direct environmental effects, such as the effects on existing interests and New Zealand’s international obligations.

In making the recommendations NIWA did not account for how the effects could be avoided, remedied or mitigated. The risk assessment in the report takes a 'worst case scenario' approach to fully play out the potential effects of activities.

While it was used as the main source of evidence for the discussion document, this report by NIWA does not represent the views or policy of the Government.