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First NZ Coastal Policy assessment published

First NZ Coastal Policy assessment published

Report on national safeguards for coastal landscapes

The first independent assessment examining how effectively national coastal policies are influencing decisions about coastal developments, such as subdivisions, has been publicly released by Conservation Minister Chris Carter today.

"This assessment comes at an important time, " Mr Carter said.

"There has been considerable anxiety expressed by communities around the country about the amount of development on New Zealand's coastline, the impact this is having on the character of the coast and on the traditional kiwi lifestyle.

"The assessment I am releasing today explores how effectively the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, the country's only national planning document governing the coast, is influencing decisions by councils about what types of activities will be allowed, controlled or prohibited in a particular coastal environment," Mr Carter said.

"The assessment has been conducted by Dr Jo Rosier, a senior planning lecturer at Massey University. Its central finding is that I should review the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement with a view to changing parts of it, " Mr Carter said.

"Dr Rosier has identified a need for more directive policies laying out some environmental bottom lines on the coast, a need for some national criteria for assessing appropriate subdivision, use and development, and a need for guidance to councils on areas of the coast to which the public should have long-term certainty of access," Mr Carter said.

"I agree with Dr Rosier that the policy statement should be formally reviewed but I have decided to wait until after the current review of Resource Management Act before commencing one, " Mr Carter said.

"We must ensure we have the balance right between the need for development, the preservation of our unique coastline, and the opportunity of New Zealanders to enjoy it."

Copies of the assessment findings are available from


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