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Leane, Geoffrey; Toop, Josephine --- "International Environmental Law" [2010] NZYbkIntLaw 12; (2010) 8 New Zealand Yearbook of International Law 218

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International Environmental Law [2010] NZYbkIntLaw 12 (1 January 2010); (2010) 8 New Zealand Yearbook of International Law 218

Last Updated: 27 January 2014



In 2010, New Zealand's international environmental law actions largely related to climate change. Formal notification of association with the Copenhagen Accord1 by New Zealand occurred in January and in April it hosted the inaugural meeting of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. In November, New Zealand adopted the Ambo Declaration2 and in December, it attended the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),3 and the Sixth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol4 (CMP-6) in Cancun. In Cancun New Zealand articulated agendas on forestry calculations and fossil fuel subsidies and led the focus on measurement, reporting and verification (MRV). Other New Zealand international environmental actions related to renewable energy, bilateral Environmental Cooperation Agreements (ECA), persistent organic pollutants and biodiversity. New Zealand decided not to become a Party to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing,5 (finalised at COP-10 to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2010) when it opens for signature, owing to unresolved domestic policy issues. New Zealand was involved in minimal regional activity, although it did refocus its Overseas Development Aid Programme on the Pacific with respect to climate change, and announce intentions toward sustainable forest management and illegal logging cooperation with Australia.
Domestically, developments in 2010 in New Zealand relevant to international environmental law include: assessment of New Zealand's progress towards meeting its first commitment period Kyoto Protocol obligations, projecting a surplus of 11.4m units or NZ$231m; the entry of the Stationary Energy, Industrial Processes and the Liquid Fossil Fuels sectors into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS); promulgation ofa number ofregulations clarifying the detail ofthe NZ ETS; and the announcement that a review of the NZ ETS is to be undertaken, inter alia, to assess the current situation whereby the aforementioned sectors' obligation will rise to 100% with no price cap when the transition period expires (in December 2012). Other 2010 national developments include: changes to the Environmental Protection Agency, now to be a Crown Agent; steps toward sustainable management of fresh water; the

  1. Copenhagen Accord UN Doc FCCC/CP/2009/L.7 (2009).
  2. Adopted 10 November 2010.
  3. Opened for signature 9 May 1992, entered into force 21 March 1994.
  4. Adopted 11 December 1997, entered into force 11 December 1997.
  5. Opened for signature 2 February 2011, yet to enter into force.

introduction of a Coastal Policy Statement; the announcement of a review of the effectiveness and necessity of continuing with forestry schemes outside of, and predating, the NZ ETS; the launch of the 2010 Waste Strategy; amendments to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996; upgrades in protection status of various species; and attempts to reduce New Zealand biodiversity loss.


A. Climate Change

  1. Joining the Copenhagen Accord

In late January 2010, New Zealand notified the UNFCCC Secretariat that it wished to be associated with the Copenhagen Accord on climate change, and submitted to the UNFCCC its conditional greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target of between 10% and 20% below 1990
levels by 2020.6

  1. Global Research Alliance

As previously reported,7 New Zealand, which has an unusually high proportion of GHG emissions from agriculture, constituting about half of New Zealand's emissions, took a lead role in establishing a Global Research Alliance on Agricultural GHG. The overarching ambition of the Alliance is "to find ways to produce more food with fewer emissions"8 by working to boost international cooperation, collaboration and investment in both public and private research. Three research groups were established at its inaugural meeting in Wellington, New Zealand in April 2010. The Livestock Research Group looks at GHGs from ruminant and non-ruminant livestock systems and is co-coordinated by New Zealand and the Netherlands. The Croplands Research Group, coordinated by the United States, investigates ways to limit carbon and nitrogen losses to the atmosphere from crops and soils. The Paddy Rice Research group focuses on GHG emissions from paddy rice cultivation systems and is co-ordinated by Japan.9

  1. See [2009] NZYbkIntLaw 16; (2009) 7 NZYIL 328 at 329 as to the conditions. Regarding the notification, see Letter from Dr Nick Smith to Mr Yvo de Boer (UNFCCC) regarding New Zealand's wish to be associated with the Copenhagen Accord and attaching its quantified economy-wide emissions reduction target for 2020 (31 January 2010).
  2. [2009] NZYbkIntLaw 16; (2009) 7 NZYIL 328 at 329.
  3. David Carter and Tim Groser "NZ to host first Global Research Alliance meeting" (press release, 31 March 2010).
  4. See "Senior Officials' Meeting, 7-9 April, New Zealand Meeting Summary" (2010) Food Climate Research Network < pdf> . More information on the research groups is available at <http://www.globalresearchalliance. org/> .

  1. Ambo Declaration

In November 2010, New Zealand attended the Tarawa Climate Change Conference in Kiribati and adopted the resulting Ambo Declaration along with 11 other countries.10 This 18 point document calls upon parties to work together to fast track the pace of international negotiations within the UNFCCC and calls for an "urgent package" with concrete decisions to be agreed at the COP-16/CMP-6 in Cancun to "assist those in most vulnerable States on the frontline to respond to the challenges posed by the climate change crisis". It calls upon developed country parties to make new and additional financial resources available and grant those resources on a transparent basis to developing country parties, especially the aforementioned front line States, so they can "meet and address current and projected impacts of climate change".11

  1. Cancun Agreements12

New Zealand participated in COP-16/CMP-6 and related subsidiary body meetings in Cancun, Mexico, in late 2010. At the President's request13 New Zealand led the focus on mitigation, including measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) during COP-16/CMP-6.
New Zealand expressed concern about fossil fuel subsidies and sought to create dialogue about their phase out. It noted the irony of a great deal of money being spent on subsidising fossil fuels every year, while detailed instruments are simultaneously being negotiated trying to minimise the environmental cost of emissions.14
During negotiations, New Zealand sought changes to the rules on forestry. Indeed, on 9 December, it stated that its "emissions are so sensitive to variations in forestry rules that we cannot commit to a specific future target until they are clear."15 New Zealand sought "to be able to lock up emissions where wood is harvested but used in products such as for buildings or furniture — rather than have it count as being consumed and its emissions released on felling" and it sought "rules to allow forests planted pre-1990 to be harvested and re-

  1. Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Fiji, Japan, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga.
  2. Ambo Declaration (adopted 10 November 2010). See < Government%20Policies/political%20statements/AMBO_DECLARATION%2010th%20 November%202010.pdf> point 9 and 10.
  3. For the Report on the Conference containing all the agreements see UN Doc FCCC/ CP/2010/7/Add.1 (adopted 11 December 2010).
  4. Her Excellency, Mrs Patricia Espinosa, COP16/CMP6 President (Statement, 5 December 2010) <> and see New Zealand Government "Groser to play key role in UN climate change conference" (press release, 1 December 2010).
  5. Dr Nick Smith "New Zealand's National Statement to COP 16: Cancun, Mexico" (press release, 9 December 2010) ["National Statement to COP-16"].
  6. Ibid.

planted in other parts of the country".16 The Minister subsequently expressed disappointment about the lack of progress made in relation to the "recognition of some wood products as carbon sinks ... which would have reduced New Zealand's international emissions liability".17 New Zealand generally supports the Cancun Agreements, reached on 11 December, but it seeks to further advance negotiations on agriculture and forestry in 2011.18
At the end of COP-16/CMP-6, on 12 December, New Zealander Adrian Macey was elected as Chair of the Kyoto Protocol. He will chair key negotiations after Cancun, in regards to future emissions reduction commitments after 2012.19

B. Renewable Energy

As part of New Zealand's international treaty examination process, the Commerce Select Committee examined the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)20, and reported back to the House in November proposing that New Zealand accede to IRENA.21
In March, New Zealand signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of New and Renewable Energy with Mexico to facilitate bilateral collaboration on renewable energy.22

C. Bilateral Environmental Cooperation Agreements (ECA)

These agreements generally seek to promote sound environmental policies and improve the respective capabilities of the parties. A New Zealand — Hong Kong, China ECA was signed in March. The New Zealand-Malaysia ECA entered into force in August.23

  1. Maggie Tait "Progress but agreement unlikely at Cancun — Smith" NZ Herald Online (10 December 2010) < id=39 & objectid=10693357> . For criticism of this approach see "NZ harming climate talks in Mexico" NZ Herald Online (11 December 2010) < news/article.cfm?c_id=39 & objectid=10693645> .
  2. Adam Bennett "Smith hails breakthrough in global climate change talks" NZ Herald Online (13 December 2010) < id=39 & objectid= 10693913> .
  3. Dr Nick Smith and Tim Groser "Govt welcomes substantial climate change progress at Cancun" (press release, 11 December 2010).
  4. Dr Nick Smith "Govt welcomes Kiwi Appointment as Kyoto Chair" (press release, 12 December 2010).
  5. Opened for signature 26 January 2009, entered into force 8 July 2010.
  6. Commerce Committee International Treaty Examination of the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency: Reportofthe Commerce Committee (New Zealand House of Representatives, Wellington, 2010). Available at < rdonlyres/3F31C875-3B94-4D01-8CB0-CC6ADE069B06/175187/DBSCH_SCR_4932_ Internationaltreatyexaminationofthe.pdf> .
  7. Gerry Brownlee "New Zealand and Mexico sign agreement" (press release, 31 March 2010).
  8. See "Treaties and International Law: Recent Treaty Actions: Bilateral Agreements as at 1 March 2011" (2011) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade < Treaties-and-International-Law/03-Treaty-making-process/3-Recent-Treaty-Actions/ Bilateral.php> .

D. Persistent Organic Pollutants

In November the New Zealand Government agreed to make domestic regulatory changes to enable it to withdraw its notice of non-acceptance of the addition of nine new POPs to the Annexes of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants,24 made earlier in August. These domestic regulatory changes are expected to be in place and effective by mid 2011, at which point, New Zealand's notice of non-acceptance (which was essentially a matter of timing pending domestic regulatory changes) will be withdrawn.25

E. Biodiversity

New Zealand has accepted the need for urgent action on biodiversity given that global biodiversity targets have not been met and the world is moving closer to some possible tipping points.26 It made some effort in 2010 at capacity building, for instance, in April, it hosted a workshop, convened with the support of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)27 Secretariat, the Nature Conservancy and Global Island Partnership, on extending regional invasive alien species management techniques to other regions. This "Helping Islands Adapt" workshop was focused on developing Caribbean, Coral Triangle, Indian Ocean and Pacific regional action plans. Commitments made at the workshop were put in place and reported to the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice at its 14th meeting in Nairobi in May.28
New Zealand has decided not to become a Party to the Nagoya Protocol when it opens for signature. A Cabinet paper outlines the reasons for this decision.29 In brief, New Zealand will not become a Party until it resolves or clarifies domestic policy issues relating to a claim by New Zealand's indigenous Maori (the Wai 262 Treaty ofWaitangi claim, the outcome of which may have implications for genetic resources approaches in New Zealand), as well as

  1. Opened for signature 23 May 2001, entered into force 17 May 2004.
  2. Penny Race, Oral Statement to the 5th Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, 27 April 2011. See "International Treaties List: January 2011" <http://mfat.> section 47 on page 43.
  3. Jim McLay, New Zealand Permanent Representative to the Untied Nations, Statement to the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly as a Contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity, Thematic Panel (media statement, 22 September 2010).
  4. Opened for signature 5 June 1992, entered into force 29 December 1993.
  5. Above n 26.
  6. Murray McCully "Biodiversity: Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing" Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Protocol_Cab_PaperL.pdf ["Cabinet Paper"]. See also "Environment: Species Conservation: Genetic Resources (Access and Benefit Sharing)" (2011) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade < 1-Global-Issues/Environment/7-Species-Conservation/geneticres.php> and F Adcock and C Charters "Year in Review: Indigenous Peoples Rights under International Law" (2010) 8 NZYIL.

resolving uncertainty about the Protocol's application to certain sectors such as agriculture and health. The Cabinet paper also notes that New Zealand shares the understanding of other Antarctic Treaty claimants that Antarctic genetic resources are excluded from the Protocol's scope.30


A. Climate Change

New Zealand has refocused its Overseas Development Aid Programme on the Pacific, and is investing in climate change mitigation projects, for example "cyclone-resistant buildings in the Cook Islands, upgraded jetties in Vanuatu and solar power support for Tonga."31

B. Forestry

In 2010, Australia and New Zealand announced their intention to cooperate further with respect to regional practices on sustainable forest management and illegal logging.32


A. Climate Change

1. Emissions and Emissions Targets

In April 2010, New Zealand submitted its annual GHG inventory for the 2008 calendar year (the first year of the commitment period), in accordance with UNFCCC/Kyoto Protocol requirements.33
The Ministry for the Environment also issued its Net Position Report 2010,34 which looks across all industry sectors and provides projections of New Zealand's progress towards meeting its Kyoto Protocol commitments. It projected a surplus of 11.4m units during the first commitment period, up from the 2009 projection of a 9.6m unit surplus. At the date of the 2010 report release, this represented a surplus of NZ$231m (up from NZ$194m). This small improvement has been put down to "lower agricultural emissions from the ongoing impacts of drought in some regions" and "updated figures on forest removals due to improved information from the Land

  1. Cabinet Paper, above n 29, at [16].
  2. National Statement to COP-16, above n 14.
  3. Simon Power, David Carter and Tim Groser "2010 CER Ministerial Forum - Joint Statement" (press release, 23 June 2010).
  4. Ministry for the Environment New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2008 (New Zealand Government, Wellington, 2010) < greenhouse-gas-inventory-2010/greenhouse-gas-inventory-2010.pdf> .
  5. Ministry for the Environment Net Position Report 2010 (New Zealand Government,

Wellington, 2010).

Use and Carbon Accounting System".35 The report estimates the effect of the NZ ETS (after its modification in 2009), and suggests that without it New Zealand would face a deficit of 22m units or NZ$446m. The New Zealand Minister for Climate Change Issues has stressed the importance of recognising that "although New Zealand's net position is a surplus, this is not the Government's position. Post-1989 foresters are eligible to claim credits for their trees and, as a consequence, the Government will face a substantial deficit."36 The Minister has, moreover, admitted that "[t]he only reason New Zealand is in surplus is because the growth of post-1989 forests is more than offsetting the 23% increase in gross emissions".37 New Zealand's "emissions per person are among the highest in the world and are growing at one of the fastest rates among developed countries".38
Also related to emissions and emissions targets, in 2010 it was reported that 73% of New Zealand's electricity comes from renewable sources. New Zealand's goal is 90% by 2025.39 Also related to renewable energy, a Draft Energy Strategy and an accompanying Draft Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy were released in July 2010, promoting, among other things, renewable energy, environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. Finally, the Biodiesel Grants scheme, introduced in 2009 to kick start New Zealand's biodiesel production industry through Government grants for biodiesel and biodiesel blends meeting specified criteria, was extended in July 2010. Initially, the biodiesel blend sold had to have less than 20% biodiesel to ordinary diesel to be eligible. In 2010, eligibility was extended to blends up to and including 100% biodiesel, in order to give an incentive to individuals and businesses who are able to use higher level blends. It is anticipated that the change will increase New Zealand production and sales of biodiesel.

2. New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

The NZ ETS is designed to assist New Zealand in meeting its international climate change obligations. In general, the Crown's Kyoto Protocol liability is devolved to forest owners and various polluting sectors of the New Zealand economy. As in the Kyoto Protocol, there is a distinction between land upon which forests were established post-1989 and pre-1990 forests. Generally speaking, forest owners face emissions liability for deforestation (with a few exemptions). To support the pre-1990 forestry sector, there is a limited allocation of free New Zealand Units (NZUs). An NZU represents one metric tonne of CO2 or CO2 equivalent emissions.40 Some (post-1989)

  1. Dr Nick Smith "Latest Kyoto projections predict NZ surplus" (press release, 16 April 2010)
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Dr Nick Smith "Doing our fair share on climate change" (press release, 30 June 2010) ["Our Fair Share on Climate Change"].
  5. National Statement to COP-16, above n 14.
  6. Climate Change Information New Zealand "New Zealand Units (NZUs)" (2010) New Zealand Government < emission-units.html> .

owners of forests which absorb GHGs are entitled to receive NZUs; they earn these at the rate of one NZU for each tonne of CO2 or CO2 equivalent removed from the atmosphere and stored in the forest, which they can then sell. Domestic emitters in a wide variety of sectors of the economy, such as industrial processes, must monitor and report on their activities (in a manner comparable to the New Zealand tax system) and surrender one emission unit for each tonne of GHG emissions that the participant is responsible for (though this is not fully implemented at present). Emitting participants must therefore purchase NZUs to cover their emissions, over and above any allocated free allowance, of the six GHGs covered by the Kyoto Protocol. The idea is that the cost associated with such purchase acts as a disincentive to emit, and leads to emissions reductions that would not otherwise occur. However, the NZ ETS's effectiveness is probably mitigated by the fact that certain sectors presently need only surrender one unit for every two tonnes of GHG emissions (until December 2012), and the fact that there are free allocations of NZUs by the government to some participants, meaning that those participants will have to purchase fewer emission units, and thus the incentive to lower emissions is reduced. Moreover, agricultural emissions, which make up approximately half of New Zealand's emissions, are excluded from the NZ ETS until 2015 (although monitoring and reporting obligations start sooner). Waste and synthetic gas sectors enter the scheme in 2013, although again monitoring and reporting obligations begin earlier.
In 2010 the Stationary Energy, Industrial Processes and the Liquid Fossil Fuels sectors entered the NZ ETS. Participants in these sectors became subject to mandatory reporting requirements from 1 January. From 1 July they entered the scheme on a "half-obligation basis". This half-obligation (where emitters carrying out certain activities must pay for their emissions at NZ$12.50 per tonne, half what they were to pay before the 2009 review of the NZ ETS) will continue for the duration of the transitional period ( July 2010 to December 2012), after which time, as things currently stand, they will acquire the full obligation. Free allocations of NZUs exist for businesses where the cost of the NZ ETS exceeds 1% and 2% of gross turnover (1% receive a 60% allocation of units, whilst 2% receive a 90% allocation) and who are trade-exposed industries (in competition with an overseas firm and with inability to pass on costs to consumers). The Climate Change (Eligible Industrial Activities) Regulations 2010 set out a number of the industrial activities eligible for a free allocation of NZUs and the level of allocation they attract.41 Lower emissions-intensive activities will receive less assistance than higher emissions-intensive activities. This assistance will phase out over time.

  1. Among these, the Climate Change (Eligible Industrial Activities) Regulations 2010 and Climate Change (Eligible Industrial Activities) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2010.

From July 2010 until December 2012, the fisheries sector is allocated free NZUs (equivalent to 90% of 2005 emissions) to cover increases in fuel costs. The Government is assessing the eligibility of other activities for free allocations of NZUs.
Forestry entered the NZ ETS in 2008, and in 2010, there were suggestions that the NZ ETS has managed to switch the balance from deforestation to afforestation.42 In general, persons or entities planting trees to absorb CO2 receive $25 per tonne.43 There are exemptions from liability for deforestation, for instance, those relating to tree weeds and for those owning less than 50 hectares of pre-1990 forest (which had to be applied for by 1 July 2010). For pre-1990 forests limited free allocations of NZUs exist.44 The first set of final allocations of NZUs made to pre-1990 forest landowners was released in December 2010. Of the 66 separate allocations made, only 13 landowners received over 10,000 NZUs.45 For the post-1989 forestry sector, those eligible to become NZ ETS participants had to apply by 1 January 2010 to receive NZUs for GHG removals (occurring after 1
January 2008).
Climate change regulations promulgated in 2010 included, variously, those setting the method for calculating emissions from disposal facilities46 and certain agricultural activities,47 amending requirements for the collection of information and the calculation of emissions,48 setting plans for allocating NZUs for fishing,49 regulations relating to tree weed exemptions50 and extending the operation of previous regulations to new activities.51
In December, a panel to review the ETS by the end of 2011, as required under the Climate Change Response Act 2002, was appointed. Among other things, the review will examine how the NZ ETS should evolve beyond the transitional period in which there is a cap at NZ$25 per tonne and the issue of transport, stationary energy and industrial sectors only having to pay for one in two tonnes of emissions. As things stand, these sectors' obligation will rise to 100% with no price cap after December 2012.52

  1. Dr Nick Smith "Minister welcomes forestry turnaround" (press release, 25 March 2010).
  2. Smith, Our Fair Share on Climate Change, above n 38.
  3. Climate Change (Pre-1990 Forest Land Allocation Plan) Order 2010.
  4. "Pre-1990 Forest Land Allocation Plan Determinations: Supplement to New Zealand Gazette" No 174 (17 December 2010) at 4291 ff.
  5. Climate Change (Waste) Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/338).
  6. Climate Change (Agricultural Sector) Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/335).
  7. Climate Change (Stationary Energy and Industrial Processes) Amendment Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/340).
  8. Climate Change (Fishing Allocation Plan) Order 2010 (SR 2010/134).
  9. Climate Change (Forestry Sector) Amendment Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/183).
  10. For example, Climate Change (Unique Emissions Factors) Amendment Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/337) or Climate Change (Other Removal Activities) Amendment Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/336).
  11. See Review Terms of Reference at <> .

B. Environmental Protection Authority

As previously reported,53 New Zealand established an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in 2009 as a transitional authority, housed within the Ministry for the Environment. In June 2010, the government announced the establishment of a new EPA as a Crown agent (accountable to the Minister for the Environment). EPA functions will include those of the existing Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) as well as responsibility for the regulatory functions of national consents under the Resource Management Act 1991; the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996; the Ozone Protection Act 1996; the Climate Change Response Act 2002 (including administration ofthe NZ ETS); the Stockholm, Rotterdam,54 Basel55 and Waigani Conventions56 and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety57; the Antarctic (Environmental Protection) Act 1984; and it will be responsible for the proposed stronger regulation of New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which aims for "world best environmental protection" of the EEZ.58
The Environmental Protection Authority Bill 201059 was introduced to the House on 16 November 2010 and passed its first reading unanimously on 24 November 2010. It was then referred to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee which received submissions on it. The Explanatory Note to the Bill makes clear that the EPA is intended to "more effectively, efficiently and transparently manage the regulation of New Zealand's environment and natural and physical resources" by:60

creating a national-level regulatory-focused agency that can contribute to providing greater central government direction on the regulation of the environment, consolidate regulatory and technical skills, and achieve efficiency gains by bringing together similar environmental regulatory functions and powers.

In relation to its functions it will also "contribute to, and co-operate with, international forums and carry out international obligations".61 The new EPA is expected to operate from July 2011 and it is anticipated that it will receive infrastructure applications of more than $6 billion by the end
of 2011.62

  1. [2009] NZYbkIntLaw 16; (2009) 7 NZYIL 328 at 328 and 335.
  2. Opened for signature 10 September 1998, entered into force 24 February 2004.
  3. Opened for signature 22 March 1989, entered into force 5 May 1992.
  4. Opened for signature September 1995, entered into force October 2001.
  5. Opened for signature 29 January 2000, entered into force 11 September 2003.
  6. Dr Nick Smith "New Environmental Protection Authority announced" (press release, 3 June 2010).
  7. Environmental Protection Authority Bill 2010 [246-1].
  8. See the explanatory note of the Bill. Full text of the Bill is available at <http://www.legislat.ion.>
  9. Ibid.
  10. Dr Nick Smith "$6 billion of new investment likely to go to EPA" (press release, 24 August 2010).

C. Fresh Water Management

The New Zealand government has acknowledged that it has historically been lax in its water management strategies, largely owing to the country's plentiful supply of fresh water.63 Water allocation for uses such as irrigation, domestic use and for manufacturing has nearly doubled between 1999 and 2010.64 New Zealand has begun to take steps toward sustainable management of fresh water, particularly in terms of beginning to measure water takes, since "[w]e can't manage what we don't measure".65 New rules under the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/267) require that significant water takes be measured and reported in order to provide more accurate water use information.

D. Coastal Policy

A New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement was released in 2010. It acknowledged the importance of coastal areas in respect of natural, social, cultural and economic values. In particular it recognised inter alia the risks of climate change and the need to respond accordingly, the potential for renewable energy, and the need for a precautionary approach to coastal ecosystems and habitat.66

E. Forestry

On 10 December 2010 a review of the effectiveness ofschemes encouraging the planting of new forests predating the NZ ETS was announced in light of the fact that the latter also encourages new planting. The Permanent Forest Sink Initiative (which encourages establishment of permanent forests on previously unforested land), Afforestation Grant Scheme (which aims to promote the establishment of new forests through subsidies) and the Hill Country Erosion Programme (which encourages protection of highly erodable land) are included in the review.67

  1. Dr Nick Smith "The problem is that water has been so plentiful that in the past we have not had to be too sophisticated in how we have allocated or managed it" (Speech to Second Annual Fresh Water Management Forum, Wellington, 15 February 2011).
  2. "Freshwater availability and use" (2010) Ministry for the Environment <http://www.mfe.> .
  3. Dr Nick Smith "Govt requires metering to improve water management" (press release, 10 November 2010).
  4. Department of Conservation New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (New Zealand Government, Wellington, 2010) < marine-and-coastal/new-zealand-coastal-policy-statement/new-zealand-coastal-policy-statement-2010/> and see Kate Wilkinson "New Coastal Policy Statement released" (press release, 28 October 2010).
  5. Ministry ofAgriculture and Forestry "Consultation begins on forestry schemes review" (press release, 10 December 2010).

F. Waste Management

October saw the launch of the 2010 Waste Strategy,68 which emphasises the harmful effects of waste and the need to recover economic value. A Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) had been established earlier in March, resulting in requests totalling NZ$55m versus available funds of NZ$6m. In October, allocations from the WMF were made for processing electronic waste and establishing new e-waste facilities. Waste management strategies have been applied to farms and city councils.69

G. Hazardous Substances and New Organisms

New Zealand legislation restricts the import, development, field testing or release of any new organism, and the import or manufacture of hazardous substances, otherwise than in accordance with an approval from the ERMA which assesses and decides on applications to introduce new organisms or hazardous substances into New Zealand. The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Act 2010 was introduced in 2010 to try to ensure that the policy intent of the principal Act is more efficiently achieved with minimum compliance costs.
In April, the Supreme Court, in regard to an appeal against a decision of the ERMA, agreed to preserve the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information (regarding the veterinary drench in question) but held that "[t]he Authority must, however, disclose such confidential information if a fair and appropriate hearing, consistent with the scheme and purpose of the Act and the principles of natural justice, so requires."70

H. Biodiversity

In June, the Minister of Conservation announced upgraded protection status under the Wildlife Act 1953 for 12 previously unprotected invertebrate species including absolute protection for whale sharks, katipo spiders and giant weta. Giant groper, manta rays and coral also had their protection status upgraded. In addition, regulations introducing the absolute protection

  1. Ministry for the Environment The New Zealand Waste Strategy: Reducing Harm, Improving Efficiency (New Zealand Government, Wellington, 2010). Available at <http://www.mfe.> .
  2. See, variously, "Waste Minimisation Fund" (2011) Ministry for the Environment <http://> , Dr Nick Smith "Govt steps up e-waste recycling" (press release 6 October 2010) and Dr Nick Smith "Government backs farm recycling scheme" (press release, 16 June 2010).
  3. Wyeth (NZ) Ltd v Ancare New Zealand Ltd [2010] NZSC 46 at [55]. For other case law see also GE Free NZ in Food and Environment Inc v Environmental Risk Management Authority HC Wellington CIV 2010-485-823, 16 December 2010; AgResearch Ltd v GE Free NZ in Food and the Environment Inc [2010] NZCA 89 and GE Free NZ in Food and the Environment Inc v AgResearch Ltd [2010] NZSC 71.

in New Zealand fisheries waters of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora71-protected Basking Shark were introduced in 2010.72
The Government is working on a Biodiversity National Policy Statement which, together with a new Quality Planning Guidance Note on Indigenous Biodiversity, aims to strengthen the Resource Management Act's contributions to halting New Zealand biodiversity decline.73 Once in effect, the proposed NPS will require, within 5 years, the identification of significant biodiversity in district and regional plans.
Since much biodiversity is found on private land, in 2010, the Inland Revenue Department began considering tax deductions as an incentive for farmers who carry out biodiversity conservation.74

Geoffrey Leane, Josephine Toop University of Canterbury

  1. Opened for signature 3 March 1973, entered into force 1 July 1975.
  2. Kate Wilkinson "Protection status changes to Wildlife Act" (press release, 10 June 2010). Wildlife (Basking Shark) Order 2010 (SR 2010/411) and see Fisheries (Basking Shark—High Seas Protection) Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/401).
  3. The National Policy Statement is still in progress see < biodiversity/indigenous-biodiversity/index.html> and see Dr Nick Smith "Speech to the EIANZ Annual Conference" (EIANZ Annual Conference, Wellington, 27 October 2010).
  4. Letter from Al Morrison to Kate Wilkinson regarding briefings (23 February 2010) at 4.

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