The discussion document sought feedback on proposed regulations for managing the environmental effects in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf. It made proposals on the following matters:
- how the regulations will be designed, including what should be considered when making regulations and how the regulations should apply to particular groups of activities (ie, the oil and gas industry or marine scientific research)
- how specific activities should be classified (as permitted, discretionary or prohibited) and what conditions might apply to permitted activities
- ways for the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to recover costs for carrying out its functions under the EEZ legislation (including consenting, monitoring and enforcement).
Submissions on the discussion document have now closed.
The Ministry for the Environment commissioned the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to write a report listing all the known possible activities in the EEZ and describe the likely risks to the environment and some possible impacts on existing interests.
The NIWA report has been used as the main source of scientific evidence for the proposals in the discussion document, but criteria other than direct environmental effects has been taken into account in the Ministry’s proposals for classifications. These other criteria include matters such as the effects on existing interests and how we need to respond to international obligations.
The Ministry also engaged with the Iwi Chairs Forum oil and gas technical team during the preparation of this discussion document.