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

 

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Statistics, Homelessness, Privacy: Auckland City Mission Data Joins Govt Research Database

    For the first time, data from an agency outside government, Auckland City Mission, will be included in Statistics New Zealand’s vault of information for researchers. Data from the Auckland City Mission is going into the “Integrated Data Infrastructure” or IDI. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news