28 August, 2012
New EEZ law brings better protection for oceans
Environment Minister Amy Adams has welcomed the passing of a new law that for the first time will enable comprehensive environmental management of activities in New Zealand’s vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.
“This new environmental legislation will allow us to carefully manage development of the resources in our oceans, and help us unlock the enormous economic potential that lies in our oceans in an environmentally-responsible way,” Ms Adams says.
“The Government has ensured that beefed up penalties of up to $10 million will apply under the Bill and that the purpose will align closely with the Resource Management Act in focusing on sustainable management of our oceans for economic growth.”
The Bill sends a strong signal that New Zealanders care about their marine environment, and want to see development occur in a sustainable way.
“I am pleased that the Bill has attracted the support of a number of parties in Parliament. Such cross-party support will help to ensure the laws governing our EEZ and continental shelf are enduring.”
The new law will come into force when the regulations that are being developed become operational.
“Work is already well underway on the technical detail to be contained in the regulations. This has been widely consulted on through a public discussion document, and the Government will be making decisions on the final content of the regulations in due course.”