Media Statement: EDS launches new framework for marine spatial planning

The Environmental Defence Society today launched its report Healthy Seas: Implementing Marine Spatial Planning in New Zealand. Co-authored by Kelsey Serjeant and Raewyn Peart, the report proposes a new legal and policy framework to support the implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP) throughout New Zealand. 

“MSP has proved its worth and is now being undertaken in at least 70 countries around the world,” said EDS Policy Director and report co-author Raewyn Peart.

“New Zealand made a great start with the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari project in the Hauraki Gulf. It’s now time to build on that experience and deploy MSP to help address challenges in other coast and ocean areas. 

“Recent resource consent applications lodged by New Zealand King Salmon for open ocean areas have highlighted the lack of planning around much of our coasts. It is undesirable for major new initiatives to be proceeding in the absence of clear national direction.

“We reviewed the legislative frameworks in 7 comparable jurisdictions in the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark, EU, England and Scotland to see how others are providing for MSP in policy and law.

“We also reviewed New Zealand’s current legislative provisions, undertook 15 in-depth interviews and drew on the lessons learnt from the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari process in the Hauraki Gulf.

“We have recommended an MSP framework which could be incorporated into a new Spatial Planning Act or integrated Oceans Act. The recommendations are designed to be implemented in any future resource management reform, as recently announced by Minister for the Environment, as well as any subsequent Oceans reform.

“Government state of environment reporting has highlighted the dire state of many of our marine species and habitats. MSP can help achieve the step change we need to address these issues,” concluded Ms Peart.

The on-line report is available here.

Download full statement (pdf)

Last updated at 3:46PM on September 4, 2019