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 Inquiry Into One Case Of Dirty Politics

Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character – it released two other major reports at the same time to try and distract public attention...

Inquiries are supposed to re-assure the public. What these inquiry outcomes share in common is a government culture of zero responsibility. More>>

IGIS: Statement On Early Report Release

As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the report... Ms Gwyn said that she was aware of Mr Goff's subsequent statements that he had disclosed some information concerning findings in the report. She will be seeking further information from Mr Goff and others. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS ON SIS:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

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... More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news