EEZ Bill passes second reading 18 Jul 2012
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A Bill that provides better protection for New Zealand’s marine environment and supports our reputation as a safe and clean environment passed its second reading in Parliament tonight.
Environment Minister Amy Adams says the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill will fill an important gap in the environmental management regime.
“We are now a step closer to having this legislation in place,” Ms Adams says.
“New Zealand has one of the biggest exclusive economic zones (EEZ) 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.
“Environmental organisations and industries are agreed on the need for legislation to protect the EEZ. Without this legislation, the risk of harm to the environment remains, along with a reputational risk for New Zealand internationally, and a lack of certainty for industry regarding the regulations that will affect their investments.
“New Zealand’s EEZ and continental shelf hold significant economic potential and the Government wants to unlock this potential in an environmentally responsible way.
”This is not about pitting the economy against the environment. It is about balance, and responsible management of our oceans, which was one of the key issues New Zealand was successful in gaining support for at the recent Rio+20 conference on sustainable development in Brazil.”
Proposed regulations under the Bill would see exploration, production and decommissioning for oil and gas and seabed minerals requiring a marine consent from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
“The EPA will make independent decisions on marine consent applications, balancing the environment and economy, with input from the public and iwi.”
(New Zealand Government)
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