New Marine Protected Areas Act
Earlier this week EDS lodged its submissions on the new Marine Protected Areas Act. A full copy of the submission is available here.
EDS supports the initiative to develop a new Marine Protected Areas Act. However there are a number of matters that need to be rectified before a new Bill is drafted.
The most glaring omission is the failure to extend the legislation to 95 per cent of New Zealand’s marine realm, the Exclusive Economic Zone. Enabling the creation of MPAs within the EEZ has been achieved in many comparator countries such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Leaving it out of new legislation here would put New Zealand at the rear rather than at the forefront of good marine management practice.
In addition, without the inclusion of the EEZ in the new legislation, New Zealand will be unable to comply with its international treaty obligations. This will affect our credibility and standing within the international community and could have negative spin off effects on marine-related export industries.
Our discussions with policy makers and key stakeholders indicate that the policy is fixable, and we will be working towards this end prior to the legislation being introduced into the House later this year.
Published March 2016.