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

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news