Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Next steps for new law to protect the environment

Hon Amy Adams
Minister for the Environment

18 April 2013

Next steps for new law to protect the environment

Environment Minister Amy Adams has today announced that a new law to enable the comprehensive environmental management of activities in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will come into force in June.

“The EEZ Act fills an important gap in our environmental regime and will provide more responsible management of New Zealand’s oceans,” Ms Adams says.

“New Zealand has one of the biggest exclusive economic zones in the world. Together with our continental shelf, it is an area of ocean that is 20 times the size of our land mass, and up until now, there has been a lack of environmental protection for it.”

Ms Adams today outlined the next steps for the law to come into place.

The legislation will be brought into force by making regulations that permit lower impact activities, subject to conditions and based on NIWA analysis of their likely environmental impact.

Consultation on the content of the regulations was undertaken last year.

The draft regulations will classify the following activities as permitted:

• Seismic surveying
• Marine scientific research
• Submarine cabling
• Prospecting for petroleum and minerals
• Exploration for minerals

Production mining activities for petroleum and minerals will remain discretionary. No activities are proposed to be prohibited.

The responsibility for the regulation of certain discharge and dumping activities in the EEZ is currently being transferred from the Maritime Transport Act 1994 to the EEZ Act through the Marine Legislation Bill currently before the House.

The Government intends to introduce a new non-notified discretionary classification for the EEZ regime to mirror the options currently available under the Maritime Transport Act for discharge and dumping activities. This change will be proposed by way of a SOP to the Marine Legislation Bill.

The new classification will provide for an appropriate level of oversight and discretion by the Environmental Protection Authority, while reducing compliance costs. It will also provide a further option for the classification of activities in the EEZ.

It is the Government’s intention to shortly undertake formal consultation on discharge and dumping and petroleum exploration drilling being classified within the new category. If confirmed, it is anticipated that the regulations classifying these activities will be in place in October this year.

“I am advised that petroleum exploration drilling generally takes place over a period of about six weeks, so a simplified process that retains full regulatory discretion appears to be an appropriate response.

“It is important to ensure the process is proportionate to the scale of activities. However, I do consider that full regulator discretion is warranted and therefore it is not appropriate to classify activities of this nature as permitted, as industry had sought.

“The Government has sent a clear message to companies operating in the EEZ that New Zealanders value their oceans. While commercial activity is welcome, it must be on the basis that appropriate environmental safeguards are in place.

“Under the legislation, the Government has ensured that substantial penalties of up to $10 million will apply to companies that do not comply with the regime.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election