Click here to go to the following issues:

Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |New zealand

NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NEW ZEALAND

Click here to go to these sections:

AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Central Committee on Agriculture is funded by the central government. The agencies involved are MORST, MAF, MOF, DOC, FRST, Regional Councils, and other key stakeholders including commercial land users, NGOs, and the science community.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Science Strategy for Sustainable Land Management (NSS), established by the Government in 1996, is an integral part of the overall Sustainable Land Management Strategy announced by the Government and coordinated by the Ministry for the Environment. The NSS is developed and implemented by a central and three regional committees. A task of the committees will be to improve the still-poor understanding on the part of many New Zealanders of their land resources and how human activities affect them, and the long-term monitoring and assessment of environmental trends, through coordinated science. The committees will also have the key roles of monitoring, coordinating, and advocating science which enhances sustainable land management. They will seek to strengthen the links among science, policy, and land management, enhancing the transfer of the findings of land management research to land users and policy makers.

The Government's Environment 2010 Strategy identifies several areas posing environmental and long-term productive capacity risks for land use. These include:

Actions required for managing land resources include:

Several joint initiatives between MAF and other key departments address these actions. The initiatives include the New Zealand Sustainable Land Management Strategy, and the development of a National Science Strategy (NSS) for Sustainable Land Management (SLM). Within MAF's Sustainable Agriculture Facilitation Programme, current work, and the strategy through to the year 2000, are focused on the following key themes:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: April 1997

To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |

ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Responsibilities for environmental decision-making are allocated to the level of government most closely affected by the use of the resource. This means that:

·        Regional councils, under the Resource Management Act (1991), are charged with achieving “integrated management of the natural and physical resources of the region”. Regional councils have responsibility for granting resource consents to discharge contaminants to air, water or land.

·        Central government (The Ministry for the Environment) can develop national policy statements and environmental standards to address environmental issues affecting the whole nation. These statements and standards set the policy boundaries from which local authorities develop their own policies and regulations.

·        At a national level, executives of all government departments whose activities affect the environment are required to consider environmental goals in their annual budget planning process.

·        The “Cab 100” process requires that departments consult with one another when producing policy papers for consideration by Cabinet Committees and Cabinet.

·        On the regional and district levels, the RMA was in part designed to allow the integration of policy both politically and administratively within each district

·        Under the Resource Management Act (1991), the national government has two complementary means for expressing and applying its resource management policies: national policy statements and national environmental standards, most of which are the responsibility of the Ministry for the Environment.

Regional Councils are responsible for the management of the region’s environment, in accordance with the principles of the Resource Management Act (1991). They permit local activities providing the environmental (including atmospheric) effects are allowed under the District and Regional Plans.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

·        Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000

·        Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996

·        Resource Management Act 1991 – seeks to safeguard the life carrying capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems and to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse affects of activities on the environment.

·        The Ministry for the Environment developed ambient air quality standards in 1994 to guide regional councils when managing local air quality.

·        Energy efficiency standards and labelling of certain electrical goods are being considered by policy makers (part of a package of non-price measures to address greenhouse gas emissions)

·        Mandatory removal of lead from vehicle fuel has significantly reduced lead emissions to a negligible level since 1996.

Under consideration:

·        Mandatory energy performance standards and labelling – providing information to consumers regarding the energy consumption of certain goods

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

·        There is no specific atmosphere protection strategy in New Zealand per se.  Management of the environmental effects of human activities is carried out under the Resource Management Act (1991), which seeks to safeguard the life carrying capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems and to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse affects of activities on the environment.

·        New Zealand, as a party to the Montreal Protocol, is committed to phasing out the production and use of ozone depleting substances

·        New Zealand has several policy initiatives addressing the emission of greenhouse gases, with the intention of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in mid 2002.

Greenhouse gas emissions:

·        Price measures include pilot carbon trading scheme pre-2008

·        Non-price measures include government leadership programme in energy efficiency, establishing energy efficiency standards and labels, incorporating climate change in transport, waste and agricultural policy development

Sinks:

·        Tree planting is sometimes encouraged through some resource consent conditions as offsets to greenhouse gas production
·        Also indirectly encouraged through pre-emption of an international carbon sink trading scheme

Ozone:

·        Compliance with Montreal Protocol

·        Participation in international debates and the Meeting of Montreal Protocol Parties

·        Amendment of terms of the Montreal Protocol

·        Focusing part of the Overseas Development Assistance budget to assist Pacific Island nations with their Montreal Protocol obligations

There are no transboundary air pollution problems due to the geographical location of New Zealand in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Green House Gas emissions

·        Encourage industry efficiency agreements

·        Incorporate greenhouse gas issues into waste, transport and agricultural policy work

·        Fund research into reducing agricultural sourced emissions (non-CO2)

·        Longer term: develop urban and transport strategies to promote alternative modes of transport

·        Pilot CO2 trading with a view to international market participation from 2008

·        Develop and implement smoke-stack emission reduction technology

·        Move towards renewable energy sources

Conserving and increasing greenhouse gas sinks

·        Possible forward trading in greenhouse gas sink credits

·        Scientific studies into rates of carbon absorption of indigenous flora

·        Longer term: implementation of sink policy into domestic and international trading scheme

Ozone:

·        Continuation of phasing out substances in accordance with the Montreal Protocol

·        Identifying and collecting stores of Ozone depleting substances

·        Longer Term: eliminating emissions of methyl bromide

Transboundary air pollution:

·        There are no transboundary air pollution problems due to the geographical borders of New Zealand

The Ministry for the Environment produced a set of Cleaner Production Guidelines for local authorities to use in setting up and assisting businesses in their areas to implement cleaner production processes. The country has a good capacity to observe transboundary air pollution, to carry out research, and to exchange information in the area. The Ministry for the Environment is developing a set of indicators for air quality.

Industrial Pollution

The Resource Management Act focuses on the effects of industrial pollution activities. Activities themselves are not prescribed in the Act, except to the extent that adverse environmental effects must be avoided, remedied, or mitigated according to set receiving environmental conditions. All causes of environmental effects are required to be addressed, regardless of the sector of origin.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

New Zealanders have the opportunity to participate in policy formulation through a variety of means including responding to discussion papers and attending public meetings – both at central and local government level.  They can participate in the formulation of legislation through submissions to and attendance at Select Committees.  There are no specific measures to ensure participation, other than broad use of the media (print, radio, and television).

There are no large-scale effects so far in New Zealand.  In some local instances where air pollution from , for example motor vehicle fumes and smog, have exacerbated respiratory disorders no claims have been made (or made publicly).  The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) may come into play where a source of pollution can be identified as having created a health problem.

Programmes and Projects   

Industrial:

Agricultural:

No specific policy measures have been taken in the 1990’s to increase forest areas for greenhouse gas purposes in New Zealand.  Changes to the taxation system have indirectly encouraged planting.  The rates of new forest planting have varied during the 1990’s but have generally declined since 1994.  Table 1 (below) shows the trend during the 1990’s.

Estimates of new planting for 1999 indicate an approximate area of 22 900 hectares, down dramatically from the 1998 new planting of 51 900 hectares.  The Asian financial crisis has had an influence in the level of new investment in forest growing in 1999.  A Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry estimate in 1999 indicated that new planting from 2000 to 2010 is likely to be around 40 000 hectares per year under a "medium conditions" scenario.

Small growers are expected to continue to dominate new planting.  Additional interest may be generated as on-farm tree crops planted in the late 1970’s are harvested, and the resulting income reinforces the merits of forestry as an investment.  Forestry will also become a standard part of New Zealand’s sustainable land management practices.

Table 1:  New Planting Rates 1991 - 1999

Planting year (i.e. winter)

Area (hectares)


1991

15 000

1992

50 200

1993

61 600

1994

98 200

1995

73 900

1996

83 600

1997

63 700

1998

51 200

1999

   22 900(1)


Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Note: (1)Calculated from tree stock sales

NIWA research projects include:

-      Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions;

-        Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change;

-        Atmospheric Ozone, Ultraviolet Radiation and Stratospheric Change;

-        Climate Variability, Predictability and Change;

-        Regional climate scenarios and land use impacts, developed through the “CLIMPACTS” programme with the University of Waikato.

Status   

·        Air pollution has little effect, as there is generally clean air – but there are some regional problems connected to weather phenomena (e.g. the inversion layer phenomenon creating short term smog problems in Christchurch, see Question 23).

·        Potential problems arising from ozone depletion include the risk of impaired growth and reproduction in some plants including crop plants, and of eye and skin problems in humans and other animals as a result of more intense ultraviolet-B radiation

·        Potential problems arising from climate change are more frequent floods and droughts, land encroachment and coastal erosion from rising seas, more frequent invasions by tropical pests, weeds and infectious diseases, and the disappearance of some types of ecosystems.  Patterns of agriculture may be affected and some fisheries may be affected.

Table 2 (below) shows the changes in greenhouse gas emissions over three periods, 1990, 1997 and 2000. 

Table 2: New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions – actual 

and projected growth, at 7 January 2000

 

 

CO2

 

CH4

 

N2O

 

SF6

 

PFC

 

HFC

Total – 3 gases (Gg CO2 equiv)

Total – all gases (Gg CO2 equiv)

Since 1990 growth

– 3 gases

Since 1990 growth – all gases

Since 1990 growth – CO2

 

1990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gg

 

25 475

1 706.0

47.5

0.0002

0.09

neg

 

 

 

 

 

Gg CO2 equiv

 

35 826

14 725

4.78

585

0

76 026

76 616

 

 

 

 

1997

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gg

 

30372

1 594.3

38.9

0.001

0.031

ne

 

 

 

 

 

Gg CO2 equiv

 

33 481

11 622

23.9

201.5

0

77 276

77 501

1.6%

1.2%

26.3%

 

2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gg

 

31 080

1 541.5

38.9

0.0003

0.034

0.164

 

 

 

 

 

Gg CO2 equiv

 

32 372

 

7

221

213

77 712

78 153

2.2%

2.0%

22.0%

neg = negligible emissions levels

ne = not estimated

Sources:

1990 figures – New Zealand’s Second National Communication, MfE, June 1997 + errata

1997 figures – New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1997 MfE, April 1999

2000 projections – New Zealand’s Second National Communication, MfE, June 1997

GWPs used for CO2 equivalence: CH4 – 21; N2O – 310; SF6 – 23 900; PFCs – 6 500; HFCs – 1 300

New Zealand has a current forest area of 6.25 million hectares of indigenous forest, 1.7 million hectares of planted forest and 2.6 million hectares of scrubland, giving a total of 10.55 million hectares of land which could potentially be regarded as greenhouse gas sinks. This is 39.5 percent of New Zealand’s land area.

Table 3 below shows changes in the volume of emissions of ozone depleting substances. Note that the data is for "consumption". It is not possible, given existing technology, to measure "use" or "emissions". Consumption is defined both in the Montreal Protocol and the NZ Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996 as Imports + Manufacture - Exports. As New Zealand has never manufactured any ozone depleting substances and the amount exported is negligible, the data are representative of imports.

Table 3: Ozone depleting substance emissions, 1986-1997

Year

CFC 11

CFC 12

CFC 113

CFC 114

CFC 115

CFC other

HCFC 22

HCFC 123

HCFC 124

HCFC 141b

HCFC 142b

1986

750

1260

48

30

0

66.8

0

0

0

0

0

1987

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1988

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1989

481.1

506.5

19.9

5.2

6.5

61.5

11.9

0

0

0

0

1990

350

364.2

28

2.4

20.7

3.7

17.3

0

0

0

0

1991

358.5

355

29.4

5.3

13.4

0

20.4

0

0

0

0

1992

381.1

244.7

9.5

0

25

0

27.3

0

0

0

0

1993

367.1

411.8

5.4

0

30.4

0

25.8

0

0

0.9

0

1994

152.2

205.8

8.1

0

15.4

0

22.2

0

0.1

1.9

0

1995

91

122.2

11.5

0

2.5

0

33.9

0.1

0.2

6.2

0

1996

0

0

1.6

0

0

0

28.3

0

0.1

9.4

0

1997

0

0

0

0

0

0

30.38

0.02

0.06

2.2

0.21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year

Halons 1211

Halon 2402

Halon 1301

CH3CCl3

CCl4

CH3Br (QPS)

CH3Br (non QPS)

 

 

 

 

1986

390

0

120

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

1987

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

1988

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

1989

816

0

380

98.2

3.3

0

0

 

 

 

 

1990

729

0

210

77.4

1.1

0

0

 

 

 

 

1991

3

0

0.1

51.6

0.3

9

90

 

 

 

 

1992

0

0

0

50.8

0.2

0

0

 

 

 

 

1993

0

0

0

27

0.4

0

0

 

 

 

 

1994

0

0

0

10.1

0.1

23.1

88.5

 

 

 

 

1995

0

0

0

16.8

0.1

33.6

77.4

 

 

 

 

1996

0

0

0

0

0

30.4

61.8

 

 

 

 

1997

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

Because of New Zealand's geographic isolation in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it is virtually free of any major influence of transboundary air pollution resulting from industrial accidents and natural disasters.

Challenges  

By world standards, air pollution in New Zealand is relatively low.  This is because of the country’s geographical location in the Southern Pacific Ocean, the constantly blowing westerly winds, the coastal location of most large cities and the limited amount of heavy industry.

Air pollution monitoring data shows that air pollution occasionally exceeds international guidelines, usually in traffic corridors but can occur over wider ambient areas in winter

Urban pollution is caused by the cumulative effect of winter time open fires and wood burners, motor vehicle emissions, and in some areas, industrial emissions

The amount of particulate matter (such as duct, smoke and exhaust emissions from diesel vehicles) has decreased in the last decade and is generally low. The exception is in Christchurch where temperature inversion often contributes to high wintertime smoke levels caused principally by domestic fuel burning  [See Question 16.]

Carbon monoxide in heavily used traffic corridors sometimes exceeds the health guidelines, particularly when traffic density is high and the wind speed is low or when winter-time fires add to the emissions by vehicles.

Many contaminants, including visibility, smoke, hydrogen sulphide, toxics, fluoride, and total particulates are not monitored as there is either insufficient data to give a national picture, or it is felt that high concentrations and any problems are not expected in New Zealand. New monitoring stations are being established in several regions for some of these contaminants as this picture may not be the case in all regions.

·        There has been a need to balance the economic and the environmental costs and benefits of both greenhouse gas emission reduction and the elimination of ozone depleting substances.

·        There is scientific uncertainty regarding the agility of the agricultural sector’s response to climate change.

·        The domestic policy response to climate change aims partially to match developing international measures. Design of domestic economic instruments is therefore sensitive to international negotiations and changes in policy.

·        There is currently no suitable substitute to the use of methyl bromide in fumigation [ though disinfestations by the use of heat in  some circumstances is under investigation].  This is essentially a technological issue, but also relates to international bio-security practices and policies.

·        The transport sector is the major emitter of carbon dioxide in New Zealand.  New Zealand has one of the highest per-capita rates of car ownership in the OECD. Attitudinal shifts will be required in order to reduce private vehicle trips and driver behaviour.

·        There is no significant land bank limitation to continued expansion of forest areas as a greenhouse gas sink.  The question of which party (the land owner, the forest owner, or the Government) gains any benefits from forests being treated as greenhouse gas sinks is currently under debate.  There are a further 2.6 million hectares of land physically suitable for expanding the planted forest estate.

·        Currently most planted forest expansion is taking place on rolling to steep hill country.  Very little forest establishment has taken place on the most productive land because it is too expensive for forestry investors

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The Government/MfE is currently developing a comprehensive climate change communication strategy designed to promote public awareness of climate change as an important environmental, social, and economic challenge, and to articulate the Government’s policy response to this challenge.  Details will be made available through websites, and media.

Efforts are being made to inform the public of the international and national issues surrounding climate change and policy options through consultation, and the use of the media.  Some consultation has been undertaken so far, this is expected to expand as a result of the communications strategy.

Some key sectors are well aware of climate change issues.  These include the large emitters, the forestry and energy sectors, and some local government and non-governmental organisations.  Many of these groups have already met with Ministers and officials to make their views known.

There are targeted media releases from the Climate Change Group within the Ministry for the Environment.  The Climate Change Group (MfE) published a summary of climate change issues of New Zealand, entitled “Climate change background information”.

MfE has regular meetings with non-governmental organisations, industry and professional bodies and climate change is always on the agenda.

A climate change programme web site is being designed at present.

One of the general aims of the science education curriculum is help students explore issues and make responsible and considered decisions about the use of science and technology in the environment.  A particular aim is to investigate how people’s decisions and activities change Earth’s physical environment and develop a responsibility for the guardianship of Earth and it’s resources

NIWA provides free copies of its quarterly publication Water & Atmosphere to secondary schools throughout the country.  A reader survey has shown that high school science teachers find the magazine a valuable teaching resource.   The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, in collaboration with the University of Auckland, has developed a joint partnership to encourage the study of climate change processes by postgraduate students.

There are many Government funds and private scholarships for PhD and post-PhD studies, as well as for repatriation of scientists working overseas. For example the New Zealand Science Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowships (for secondary school teachers) and the Bright Future Scholarships (for graduate students).

There are many travel funds available for overseas research and secondment.  For example, the International Science and Technology (ISAT) linkages fund, the Bilateral Research Activities Programme (BRAP), the NZ/USA Science and Technological Co-operative Science Programme (NZ/USA CSP) and the NZ/FRG Scientific and Technological Co-operation (STC) Agreement Programme (FRG)

Information   

·        Routine measurement of GHG (100% measurement) at Baring Head and also in Antarctica.

·        Routine measurement of O3 and depleting substances– UV radiation is also v. comprehensive.

·        Routine measurement of surface temperature (country wide).

·        Comprehensive data into public database (NIWA).

·        Met service collects rainfall, and other standard meteorological data.

·        Indicators - Emissions inventories for UNFCCC, and importation of CFCs and HFCs

 

·        Publications: NIWA climate update, MfE publications and discussion documents (see www.niwa.cri.nz and www.mfe.govt.nz);

·        Consultation processes – public meetings and huis being held;

·        NZ and international science journals;

·        Indicators website - http://www.environment.govt.nz/;

·        http://aqdb.niwa.cri.nz/aqdb/ - for air quality (NIWA) database;

·        GHG inventory is published and available by phone, soon to be put on internet;

·        http://www.mfe.govt.nz/about/publications/ser/ser.htm.

·        UNFCCC website – inventory reports, and annual information;

·        National and international science journals;

·        International workshops – through serving as convenors and/or lead authors);

·        Traditional media sources (newspapers, radio, television);

·        Provision of information prior to public consultation;

Publications from Government departments and Crown

Studies on lead and benzene in the air are ongoing. The New Zealand Refinery no longer refines leaded petrol, but, in order to allow existing stocks to be exhausted, leaded petrol was sold up until September 1996. There have been studies and reports prepared on odour control from industrial processes such as composting for mushroom culture, fish processing and pulp and paper.

The Land Transport Pricing Study being done by the Ministry of Transport, in bringing together existing material on environmental externalities of land transport (such as those associated with air quality, noise emissions and greenhouse gases), also includes consideration of the health effects of land transport. The Government is also developing a light vehicle fleet model based on New Zealand light vehicle fleet composition in 1992. Once completed, this model will be used to predict the likely vehicle emissions out to 2025 and used to develop policy options to manage emissions from the light vehicle fleet.

Research and Technologies   

·        Atmospheric changes are measured using balloon and ground-based observations, in correlation with international satellite programmes.  Measurements are made of UV radiation, of O3 and O3depleting substances, as well as clean air observations of CO2, CH4, and N2O concentrations for climate change science.

·        Instruments used in observing atmospheric changes include gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers.

·        There is an early warning system in place insofar as there is constant measurement and analysis of both climate change and O3 substances. Air Pollution is routinely measured in all major cities, looking at particulate matter, CO2 and CO. Other substances measured are lead and benzine.

·        Within the agricultural sector there are many research project underway.  Scientists are examining the potential to reduce NO2 emissions by changing the ph level in soil. Scientists are also working on reducing CH4 and N2O emissions by changing rumen bacterium in livestock and by testing grass type regimes.

·        Technologies are being developed that will improve the cost effectiveness of non-renewable energy resources, such as wind generation.

Methyl Bromide substitute substance (or technology) and Carbon combustion-free fuel systems? Dual fuel/ new tech vehicles.

The Government is developing a computer-based framework for integrated assessment of climate and sectoral impact information to determine the sensitivity of both natural and managed environment to climate variability and change (CLIMPACTS). The Government strongly supports the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouses gases.

Financing   

Funding for policy advice in the climate change area was increased significantly in the 2000/2001 financial year.  (New Zealand spends around 23 million dollars on climate and climate change research.)

Cooperation

·        CRIs and Universities in some form of bilateral/multilateral cooperation.

·        NZ researchers involved in lead or other roles in other research programmes eg UNFCCC role.

·        Formal and informal collaborator.

·        Frequent scientific visits.

-         The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and 1997 Kyoto Protocol;

-         1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, as amended.

UNFCCC – was ratified in 1993

Kyoto protocol – The New Zealand Government has announced its intention to ratify the Kyoto protocol by mid 2002.

Montreal Protocol:

·        All of the protocol objectives have been achieved except for the very recent Beijing Amendments (1999)

·        New Zealand considers that current ozone protection measures are on par, if not ahead of the Montreal Protocol requirements

There are no transboundary air pollution problems due to the geographical borders of New Zealand.

The Montreal Protocol was ratified by New Zealand 21/7/88, the London Amendment (1990) was ratified 1/10/90, and the Copenhagen Amendment (1992) was ratified 4/6/93. The latest reports to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in 1996. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was ratified on 16/9/93, and the latest report to the UNFCCC Secretariat was submitted in 1996.

 

* * * 

 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update:  March 2001.

For national information on the atmosphere, click here: and here:
For information on the ozone layer, click here:
Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |

BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government of New Zealand undertook a careful analysis of its legislation and policies before ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in September 1993. In doing so, it considered the status and management of its forests and related dependent ecosystems and species. The protected forested areas provide a significant contribution to in situ conservation of New Zealand's biodiversity. The measures that are available under a variety of other legislation (e.g. the Resource Management Act) and agreements (e.g. the Forest Accord) ensure that any use of those forest resources not currently protected, is sustainable and does not contribute to the loss of biodiversity, or result in land degradation.
Key issues under action in relation to the Convention include:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified on 16 September 1993. No report has been submitted. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was ratified on 8 August 1989. No report has been submitted.

* * * 

 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: April 1997.

For national information on biodiversity in New Zealand, click here: || and here:
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |

 

DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The main government agency responsible for mitigating the effects of drought is the Ministry of Agriculture. Other Government departments involved in the South Island high country and the east coast of the North Island, but not directly involved in combating desertification are the Department of Conservation in respect to crown-owned land; Terra Link New Zealand Limited (formerly part of the Department of Land and Survey Information) in respect of land mapping and use monitoring; and the New Zealand Meteorological Service for meteorological and hydrological monitoring. In addition, the Ministry of Forestry administers forestry initiatives on the east coast of the North Island.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

As prolonged droughts are relatively uncommon in New Zealand, there is no specific legislation related to desertification and drought. Climate is influenced by the country's latitude, shape, geographical isolation, and topography, resulting in mild temperatures and year-round wind and rainfall in most areas. Two areas of New Zealand, the east coast of the North Island and the South Island high country, however, are prone to drought. The dry tussock grasslands of the South island high country, characterized by high rugged mountains, extensive basins and river flats, have a "continental", highly variable climate, with extremes of heat and cold, and some parts are in danger of becoming a desert. This is due to a combination of factors including climate, the invasion of hawkweeds, high rabbit populations, and the inappropriate use of some land. This area is classified as semi-arid.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Consistent with the government's economic policies, individual landholders accept that they must manage climatic risks. It is now recognized that disaster relief programmes can contribute to environmental degradation by distorting risk perceptions of land users and thereby encouraging unsustainable use of land and other resources. Where support is provided, it is in a manner that does not reduce individual responsibility for managing risk. Government expenditure on disaster relief, which includes flooding, drought and hail/snow storms has declined from NZ$72 million in 1988/89 to NZ$5.6 million in 1992/93.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

In 1989, the Rabbit and Land Management Programme (RLMP) was established to address the complex bio-physical, economic, social, legal, and institutional issues surrounding the sustainable use of lands in highly rabbit-prone areas. The Rabbit and Land Management Programme addressed serious land degradation on approximately 400,000 hectares of dry tussock grasslands in the South Island high country, about one-eighth of the pastorally occupied high country of the South Island. The RLMP ended in June 1995 but research in this area continues. An important outcome of RLMP has been the involvement of high country farmers in monitoring their land and their recognition of the need to know more about long-term trends in the health of their soils and plants, the performance of their stock and the damage done by pests and weeds. Central government funding for the RLMP averaged NZ$3.5 million per year for the 5-year programme. This provided approximately 50 % of funding, with roughly 25% each coming from regional councils and participating landholders.

New Zealand is currently focusing on:

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa has not been signed.

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update:  April 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |

ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The principal government bodies charged with energy policy are the Ministry of Economic Development (formerly the Ministry of Commerce) and the Ministry for the Environment, which has policy oversight of energy efficiency and renewable energy policy.  The Treasury advises on taxation policy which affects energy use. 

Transportation policy advice is provided by the Ministry of Transport, which is undertaking work on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.

Issues that relate to more than one department are dealt with on an inter-departmental basis with a view to adopting a consensus response.  The exact nature of inter-departmental co-operation on any given matter will be dependent on the requirements of the issue.  A formal interdepartmental committee, the Officials Committee on Energy Policy, comprising the Ministries of Economic Development, Environment, the Treasury and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, co-ordinates advice on all major energy policy matters.

In general the energy sector, like other sectors of the New Zealand economy, has been deregulated, which means that commercial decisions are the responsibility of commercial companies, subject to general legislation on company structure, taxation, safety and planning requirements.  

The Resource Management Act 1991provides the legislative framework to control the environmental effects of all activities, including energy.  The Act is primarily implemented by local government.

Where central government retains ownership of commercial activities (in the energy field this is confined to electricity transmission and some generation and retailing) this is undertaken by state-owned independent companies.

Local government owned commercial activity is generally also undertaken by arms-length companies.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

All activities, including those of local and central government, are required to comply with general and energy specific statutes and regulations.  Energy companies are also subject to the same non-energy legislation as other companies, such as those regulating general competition, corporate governance and environmental requirements.

Energy Specific Statutes and Regulations  

Electricity Act 1992

This Act sets out the regulatory framework for electricity.  The Minister may grant and revoke applications for electricity operator status, conferring land access powers in relation to roads and rail crossings.  The Act provides regulation-making powers for information disclosure and retail competition.

The Minister appoints the Electrical Workers Registration Board, which oversees the regimes for the training, registration, ongoing competence and disciplining of electrical workers. There are wide-ranging regulation-making powers (via Orders in Council) for matters of electrical safety, and the Minister is the approving authority for Electrical Codes of Practice.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000

The Act's purpose is "to promote in New Zealand, energy efficiency, energy conservation and the use of renewable sources of energy"  The Act specifically requires sustainability principles to be taken into account by parties exercising responsibilities under the Act - relating to health, safety, social, economic, cultural, environment, future generations and the rights of indigenous Maori people.   In broad terms the legislation:

Gas Act 1992

This Act sets out the regulatory framework for gas. The Minister may grant and revoke applications for gas operator status which confer land access powers in relation to roads and rail crossings. There are wide-ranging regulation-making powers (via Orders in Council) for information disclosure and safety.  The Minister is the approving authority for Gas Codes of Practice.

Energy Companies Act 1992

This Act required corporatisation of the former Boards and city-owned electricity and gas operations.  It contains accountability requirements for companies in public ownership.

Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998

This Act requires the ownership separation of lines from retailing and generation in electricity.

International Energy Agreement Act 1976

This Act vests powers in the Governor-General and the Minister to enable New Zealand to carry out its obligations under the International Energy Agreement.

Lake Taupo Compensation Claims Act 1947

The Act relates to the control of the Waikato River for flood control and electricity generation.  It sets a maximum working level for Lake Taupo, and the Minister can alter this by notice in the Gazette.  The Act provides the basis for compensation relating to the control of the lake level.

Manapouri-Te Anau Development Act 1963

The Minister's role under the Act is to Gazette "operating guidelines" for the levels of the two lakes.  The guidelines are recommended by the Guardians of Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau, who are appointed by the Minister for Conservation.

Ministry of Energy Abolition Act 1989

The Act gives the Minister of Energy the price control powers of the Minister of Commerce under the Commerce Act 1986, in relation to the prices of energy goods and services.  The Act also empowers the collection of electricity, gas and petroleum fuels monitoring levies from the respective industries.  These are used to fund the safety-related activities of the Ministry of Economic Development in relation to those energy sources, testing the quality of petroleum products, and activities required by New Zealand's International Energy Agency membership.

Petroleum Demand Restraint Act 1981

This Act allows the making of regulations, at times of shortage, for rationing or other form of control of petroleum products and of motor vehicle use.

Petroleum Demand Restraint (Regulations Validation and Revocations) Act 1981

This Act validates certain regulations relating to petroleum products rationing. An Order-in-Council would be required to bring the regulations into force.

Petroleum Sector Reform Act 1988

The Act removed licensing requirements for retailing and wholesaling of petroleum products, thereby completing the deregulation of the sector.

Electricity (Information Disclosure) Regulations 1999

These regulations require electricity line businesses to publicly disclose extensive information about their financial performance and quality of supply.  The purpose of the regulations is to allow assessment of performance by analysts, retailers and consumers.  The Ministry of Economic Development also monitors line businesses' performance based on the disclosures.

Gas Information Disclosure Regulations 1997

These regulations perform the same role for gas pipeline businesses as the Electricity (Information Disclosure) Regulations.

Electricity Regulations 1997

The Regulations cover registration and practising licences for electrical workers, prescribe the electrical work that categories of workers (and homeowners) may do, and cover the inspection and testing of "prescribed electrical work".  The regulations also prescribe safety and standards (including voltage and frequency).

Gas Regulation 1993

The regulations cover the maintenance of gas pressure, quality and odorisation, the control of gas fitting work and the control, maintenance and inspection of CNG stations.

Crown Minerals Act 1991

The Minister of Energy is responsible for the Crown Minerals Act 1991. This Act sets the management regime for Crown-owned minerals, which includes coal. These regimes are set out in minerals programmes that establish policies and procedures for the efficient allocation of the Crown's minerals and for obtaining a fair financial return.

Crown Minerals (Minerals and Coal) Regulations 1999

The Crown Minerals (Minerals and Coal) Regulations 1999 set out information requirements for making minerals and coal permit applications, changing permits and transferring applications; royalty returns and payments; and reporting to the Crown on prospecting and exploration.

Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Regulations 1999

The Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Regulations 1999 set out the information requirements for making petroleum permit applications, permit and licence change and transfer applications; royalty returns and payments; and reporting to the Crown on prospecting, exploration and mining activities.  They also impose certain requirements on petroleum permit and licence holders concerning well-drilling, geophysical and geo-chemical surveying and prevention of waste of petroleum

General Statute and Regulation

Resource Management Act 1991

The Resource Management Act 1991 promotes sustainable management of natural and physical resources.  It establishes the legislative framework to control the environmental effects of all activities, and provides allocation mechanisms for water, geothermal energy and coastal space.

Energy Resources Levy Act 1976

Under this Act a levy is imposed on production of coal and natural gas with the exception of any natural gas produced as the result of a discovery after January 1986 or any coal or gas exempted by Order in Council. Revenue from the levy was $96 million for the year ended June 1999.

New Zealand has, in undertaking wide-ranging reforms of the economy, attempted to keep market distortions to the minimum.  The objective has been to create an economy where prices to consumers give accurate signals of costs.  This has largely been achieved apart from with regard to environmental externalities, the cost of which have not yet been fully internalised into energy prices.

A new Electricity Industry Bill and Government Policy Statement are intended to introduce changes to the electricity industry that seek to ensure that electricity is delivered in an efficient, fair, reliable and environmentally sustainable manner to all consumers.

The environmental outcomes the Government seeks from the reforms include measures to ensure sustainable electricity use.  The Bill will:

·     require electricity retailers who supply domestic customers to offer at least one tariff package with a fixed charge of no more than 10 per cent of the cost of the average domestic consumer's electricity bill; 

·     require hydroelectric generators to release information on storage lake spillage to help ensure CO2 emissions are minimised;

·     require that electricity market rules facilitate new technologies, use of renewable energy sources and distributed generation; and,

·     allow line companies to own distributed generation sourced from new renewable. 

Majority of government efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy uptake rely on structural incentives and operating requirements, market facilitation activities, coupled with limited grants and loan assistance programmes.

Energy efficiency is explicitly regulated for under the Building Act and new requirements will become operative at the end of this year

It is government policy to implement an integrated regime of minimum energy performance standards and mandatory labelling for household appliances.  This regime is expected to be in place next year.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government has recently made public its Energy Policy Framework, upon which the previously described reforms are based.  The framework sets out the Government’s overall energy policy objectives as outlined below. 

Energy Efficiency and Renewable

·        development of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act by October 2001

·        establishing the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) as a stand-alone Crown entity, as at 1 July 2000

·        significantly increasing funding for EECA to improve its capacity to deliver high quality programmes to improve energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy across all sectors of the economy

·        developing consumer labelling and upgrading energy performance standards for buildings and appliances

Climate Change

·        a commitment to pass legislation to enable New Zealand to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change by mid 2002

·        development of a comprehensive range of policy measures to ensure that New Zealand is able to meet its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol

Electricity Reforms

Ensuring an efficient electricity market by providing for industry self-governance arrangements, subject to clear guiding principles set out by the Government and backed by the ability of the Government to regulate to put in place better arrangements if necessary

Ensuring environmental objectives are met by:

Ensuring secure supply by providing for:  

·        a stable and efficient regulatory environment which ensures investors can build new capacity with confidence

·        disclosure of forward price signals on the need for new capacity

·        institutional arrangements which ensure that new investment in the grid takes place when required

·        requiring publication of short, medium and long term forecasts of system adequacy

·        requiring lines companies to maintain existing lines (currently until 2013) and to publish asset management plans

·        ensuring fair prices and protecting the interests of residential consumers by:

·        requiring all retailers to provide a low fixed charge tariff option to all consumers

·        ensuring effective competition in retailing by requiring prompt switching of customers between retailers

·        requiring the establishment of an "ombudsman" scheme to ensure proper handling of consumer complaints

·        ensuring consumers are well-informed through upgrading the Power Switch information service currently operated by the Consumers Institute

·        retaining the ability to control line charges to rural consumers (both domestic and non-domestic), if required

·        requiring the development of model consumer contracts

·        including electricity (and gas) in the Consumer Guarantees Act

·        requiring retailers to offer pre-payment meters at reasonable prices

·        ensuring best possible prices and service from line companies, which are effective monopolies, by:

·        putting in place a credible and robust price control regime operated by the Commerce Commission

·        requiring the Commerce Commission to recalibrate asset valuations, and to mandate asset valuation methodologies

·        strengthening comparative competition by introducing higher quality information disclosure and analysis through the Commerce Commission

·        maintaining public ownership of Trans-power and the three state-owned generators, and ensuring that industry self-governance arrangements do not foreclose any reconfiguration of Crown owned assets

·        closely monitoring outcomes and performance by requiring regular reports from the industry and evaluating the effectiveness of the regulatory regime

Gas Sector

·        upgrading the information disclosure regime by introducing tougher disclosure and asset valuation rules

·        maintaining a close watch on the sector to ensure that prices are efficient and that gas is not used wastefully

·        note: policies on gas are subject to further development to enhance competition, increase pressure on prices and ensure that gas is used efficiently

Transport Sector

·        recognising that transport is the largest and fastest growing source of energy demand in New Zealand

·        implementing a Vehicle Fleet Emission Control Strategy, primarily to improve local air quality, while also supporting fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse emissions

·        ensuring that future transport policies are developed with greenhouse gas abatement as a high priority including an increased focus by EECA on promotion of more efficient and sustainable transport options

·        developing proposals to foster deployment of more eco-efficient vehicles

·        note: policies on transport are subject to further development to promote the use of public transport and more fuel efficient vehicles to tackle the current trend of increasing use of petroleum products.

The national energy efficiency and conservation strategy is also currently under development.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority has a key role in developing and implementing programmes to deliver improved energy efficiency and greater uptake of renewable energy. The Ministry for the Environment also has a key role in promoting energy efficiency policy. The government has stated that energy efficiency is at the heart of its energy policy.

New Zealand’s energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, reflected in means and targets, will be presented as part of the national energy efficiency and conservation strategy currently under development.

EECA contributes to the achievement of the government’s energy policy goals, and specifically energy efficiency and renewable energy policy. EECA also supports and complement other government actions to improve the nation’s environmental and economic performance, with emphasis on the housing, transport, business, industrial and other sectors with significant energy use.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The New Zealand Government has a strong commitment to involving all sectors of the community and the economy in the policymaking process.  The parliamentary and legislative system provides interested groups with considerable opportunities to make substantive input into the decision making process.

All New Zealand legislation is subject to scrutiny by Parliamentary Select Committee.  At this stage there is opportunity for interested parties to make submissions on proposed legislation.  It is also common for matters of significant interest to be subject the subject of public consultation prior to the drafting of legislation.  This was the case the Electricity Industry Bill.

The previously noted development of the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy and the Government’s response to climate change and the Kyoto Protocol are both being subjected to rigorous public consultation processes.  Contributions from the nine major groups specified in Agenda 21 are being encouraged.  For example, between August 2000 and November 2000, the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), and Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) held 10 regional hui with Maori groups to increase the level of understanding on climate change issues

Electricity

The private sector produces around 42% of New Zealand’s electricity with the bulk being produced by three publicly listed companies.  Three state-owned generation companies produce the remainder.  The sale and purchase of wholesale electricity is organised by the participants in a private sector wholesale market.

The national grid is operated by Trans-power, a State-Owned Enterprise.  Trans-power is required to contract with users, both publicly and privately owned, for new investment and security standards.  The Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 mandates that line businesses are to be owned separately from retail and generation businesses. The current 31 line businesses have a variety of ownership forms, varying from publicly listed companies to local community owned trusts.

Around 10 retailers currently compete in the New Zealand market.  These retailers are predominantly also generators.  Both private sector and state-owned enterprise compete on an equal footing within the same legislative framework.

Gas  

All Natural Gas production, transmission, distribution and retailing in New Zealand is performed by private sector companies.  The legislative framework for the gas industry aims to ensure efficiency by promoting competition where possible, and ensuring that regulation promotes cost minimisation of natural monopoly transmission and distribution pipelines. 

Oil

Private sector companies perform all petroleum production, importing, distribution, refining and retailing in New Zealand. 

 

Coal

One third of New Zealand’s coal production comes from around twenty-four private sector companies.  The remainder is produced by the State Owned Enterprise Solid Energy.  Distribution, wholesaling and retailing is carried out by a number of companies including coal producers.  Both private sector and state-owned enterprise compete on an equal footing within the same legislative framework.

Programmes and Projects 

Energy services are accessible to all urban and virtually all rural households.  Electricity reticulation to virtually all ports of country was completed some 50 years ago.  As lines to remote areas come up for renewal, they may be replaced by remote area power systems (RAPS).

Large parts of the North Island, including all major urban areas, have reticulated natural gas available.  Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is available throughout both the North and South Islands. Petroleum products are available throughout the country.        

Electricity generation relies heavily on renewable (hydro, geothermal and a small amount of wind) and is therefore largely already sustainable.  There are no structural impediments to commercial power generation.  Private sector companies operate New Zealand’s two wind farms.   

Renewable energy is seen to be a key to providing a sustainable energy future for New Zealanders in the medium term.  EECA is charged with disseminating information and encouraging development.

EECA’s renewable energy priorities are to:

·        assess the potential of bioenergy, wind and solar

·        develop standards, accreditation, training and qualifications for designers and installers

·        develop networks for solar and bioenergy

·        develop net metering protocols for distributed generation

·        conduct a remote area power system demonstration project

·        provide accreditation for Green-Power

In general energy services are accessible to all households in New Zealand.  A safety-net welfare system means that, although there are low-income households, it is unlikely that households are unable to access minimum energy services.  Where households experience particular difficulty, special needs social welfare grants are available.

From an energy efficiency perspective EECA’s current activities deliver greenhouse gas emissions reductions associated with the following programmes:

·        Energy-Wise Business – programmes designed to assist the commercial and industrial sectors to become more energy efficient and facilitate uptake of strategic energy management initiatives.

·        Energy-Wise Homes — measures designed to provide the residential market with practical tips, services and research that will reduce energy use in the home.

·        Energy-Wise Information –wide ranging energy efficiency communication and market education programmes.

·        Energy-Wise Government — initiatives to facilitate energy efficiency uptake within the central and local government sector, and provide an energy efficiency focus to energy- related policy issues.

·        Administration of the Crown Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme to foster public sector investment in energy efficiency.

·        Administration of the Energy Saver Fund Grant Scheme to counteract existing market barriers and assist with the uptake of energy efficiency measures and services in the residential sector

The Ministry of Economic Development is leading a review of the Petroleum Products Specifications Regulations 1998.  The review will consider consumer, industry, health, safety, environmental, and quality issues in developing recommendations for petroleum standards that are appropriate for New Zealand. The goal of the review is to ensure that consumers have access to affordable petroleum products that comply with recognised quality, safety, and environmental standards. As a means of ensuring that all relevant concerns and viewpoints will be addressed, the review process will be advised and guided by and interdepartmental advisory committee.  This advisory committee comprises representatives from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Transport.  A public discussion document will be prepared and released for public comment in March 2001.

EECA’s current transport sector work plan includes work on:

·        fleet management guidelines, benchmarks and trials

·        driver education brochures, tip sheets and video

·        providing vehicle fuel efficiency information for consumers

·        replication of Rideshare carpooling software applications

·        define operating criteria for a fund to support the introduction of a fund to foster the introduction of eco-efficient vehicles

·        a bus driver education video

·        seminars/initiatives supporting pedestrians, cyclists, public transport

·        continued publication of a Sustainable Transport e-mail newsletter

·        liaison with government departments and agencies on policy development issues, e.g. structural and pricing reforms of land transport

In the context of current climate change policy development, Cabinet decisions in December will lead to additional initiatives

Establishment of the Government's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in October 1992 provides for the introduction of energy efficiency programmes covering all sectors of society. The focus of activities has been the development and implementation of a ten point national Energy Efficiency Strategy since 1994. Energy efficiency measures are also an integral part of the Government's strategy to reduce the production of CO2

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) was, in 1994, allocated an additional NZ$8.45 million over three years for specific measures targeted at improving energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy. Future funding for energy efficiency measures were to be reviewed towards the latter half of 1997, within the context of evolving climate change policies. EECA also manages the Energy Saver Fund, established in 1994-95, which provides NZ$18 million over five years to promote increased uptake of energy efficiency in the residential sector.

New Zealand's electricity generation is dominated by renewable resources with hydropower producing around 70-75% of annual electricity needs, depending on rainfall. Geothermal power contributes another 7%. This balance is made up by fossil fuel generation. From 1991 to 1996 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 16.9% while energy use, (measured by total consumer energy (TCE)) increased by only 11.5% - despite a 9% increase in population. Thus, for a 1% increase in GDP, TCE used increased by only 0.68%.

Status   

Energy resource availability is described in the documents ‘Energy Outlook to 2020, Ministry of Commerce, February 2000’, and ‘New Zealand Energy Data File, Ministry of Economic Development, July 2000’. These are available from http://www.med.govt.nz/ers/en_stats.html.

Data and analysis of New Zealand’s energy consumption patterns is available in the document ‘Energy Outlook to 2020, Ministry of Commerce, February 2000’.  This is available from http://www.med.govt.nz/ers/en_stats.html.

New Zealand has, for more than a decade, been moving to a completely open market, including major liberalisation of trade.  Additionally a major programme of corporatisation and privatisation was undertaken from the mid-1980s.  Trade in petroleum products is completely open with both crude oil and refined oil being imported, and locally produced condensate being exported.  Because of its geographically isolated position, New Zealand’s electricity and gas markets do not include imports or exports (although a small amount of LPG is exported). New Zealand is a net exporter of coal.

It is not considered that future trade liberalisation will affect energy allocation and consumption patterns in New Zealand.

New Zealand has no active measures to promote the international transfer of energy related technology.

New Zealand is not actively involved in any bilateral or multilateral co-operation in the research & development activities related to energy.  

Challenges

In New Zealand the barriers to the uptake of renewable energy are progressively being addressed.

The recently released Energy Policy Framework states that the Government is committed to a sustainable and efficient energy future. Within this commitment, its overall objective is to ensure the delivery of energy services to all classes of consumer in an efficient, fair, reliable, and sustainable manner. As part of the framework Government seeks environmental sustainability, including continuing improvement in our energy efficiency and a progressive transition to renewable sources of energy.

In addition, the national energy efficiency and conservation strategy is currently under development. This Strategy has a legal requirement to state the government's renewable energy policies, the objectives and appropriate targets to be pursued to achieve these policies, as well as the means by which these are to be achieved.

Current government policies and those measures arising out of the Strategy are expected to significantly address the following barriers:

·        fixed price charging;

·        ownership of embedded generation;

·        unclear market signals regarding the cost of CO2 emissions;

·        lack of investment in renewable R&D;

·        lack of suitable development finance and venture capital;.

·        high cost of protecting intellectual property;

·        lack of proven market value associated with environmentally friendly renewable energy;

·        resource management consent issues;

·        lack of information about renewable energy and government policy options.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Energy efficiency and renewable energy promotional activities represent a core aspect of government policy. However the promotions have tended to be quite closely targeted initiatives, usually designed to encourage particular behavioural changes, rather than mass media generic calls for improved energy efficiency.

Much of the promotional effort is channelled through industry associations, targeted presentations and publications designed to foster particular investments in new technology and specific energy efficient behaviours.   Energy efficiency promotional efforts are being co-ordinated with climate change communication strategies.

EECA has made available an energy focused resource kit for secondary schools entitled “Precious Joules”.  A private sector company markets an energy curriculum resource kit for primary schools.  This is distributed to schools with the assistance of line energy companies and Trusts.  It includes a facilitated implementation package for the curriculum and energy savings components.

Central Government has undertaken no major training programmes.  Private sector and state-owned energy market participants make their own individual judgements in deciding what capacity-building measures best suit their businesses.

Government has recently given the go-ahead to develop energy efficiency labelling to cover domestic white ware appliances. A vehicle energy efficiency labelling scheme is also under development with the motor vehicle industry. These schemes should provide a tangible basis for promotions encouraging consumers to select energy efficient products and to use them efficiently.

 In addition, a wide range of publications, websites, and seminars on energy efficiency and   climate change issues are made available to a wide cross-section of New Zealander

An "Energy-Wise Companies Campaign" was launched in August 1994 and now has membership of over 600 of the largest companies in New Zealand. It promotes commitment to energy efficiency at the top management level of companies, and to establish effective partnership between the Government and the private sector to direct management attention to implementation of cost effective energy efficient practices and technologies. The main features of the campaign are: a public commitment to energy management by company chief executives through endorsement of a common charter of key principles; support from and participation of energy suppliers; endorsement of the campaign by the Ministers of Energy, Commerce and Environment; support from major business, consumer and environmental organisations; practical information, advisory and secretariat support from EECA and annual awards to companies making the most significant improvements in energy efficiency.

Information   

The Energy Modelling and Statistics Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development compiles statistical information on, and prepares projections of, energy supply and demand and greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. This work is required to fulfil New Zealand’s international reporting obligations (to the IEA, APEC, UNFCCC etc) and to aid domestic policy development.   Further information on the unit and published data produced by it can be found at http://www.med.govt.nz/ers/en_stats.html.

Statistics New Zealand also collects and publishes a variety of statistics related to the Energy sector e.g. consumers price indices, producers price indices, fuel deliveries by fuel type, coal sales, and trade statistics by fuel type, and production statistics.  Further information and published data produced by Statistics New Zealand can be found at http://www.stats.govt.nz.

For example EECA’s website at  www.eeca.govt.nz.. EECA has access to a number of websites locally addressing various transport issues which we could introduce into a final response, if this is considered appropriate.

Research and Technologies   

Energy resource availability is described in the documents ‘Energy Outlook to 2020, Ministry of Commerce, February 2000’, and ‘New Zealand Energy Data File, Ministry of Economic Development, July 2000’.  

Because of its small size, New Zealand does not tend to lead international energy efficiency or renewable technology developments. However, there are a large number of bodies, from consultants to industry associations and actively promoting and applying the full spectrum of energy efficient technologies. Priority has been ascribed to technologies proven overseas and having particular cost effective application in mass markets, such as energy efficient motors and lighting systems. There is very limited scope to introduce  specialised technologies applicable to large industrial plants.

A limited number of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are being developed in New Zealand that would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and cleaner production. Some of the more innovative technologies developed recently include:

  1. WispergenGen Stirling Cycle engine, which provides heat and power for homes and runs quietly on most liquid or gas fuels. It is an external combustion engine and was developed by Whisper Tech.
  1. Windflow 500, a wind turbine developed by Windlow Technologies Limited. The turbine incorporates an innovative torque limiting gearbox and two-bladed teetering rotor.  (For further information see www.windflow.co.nz
  1. Smart-Drain heat exchanger developed by Aquacare. A simply designed heat exchanger that recovers energy from hot process wastes and includes a self cleaning screen to handle solid materials.
  1. Sawdust fired boiler developed by Easteel Industries, which provides the equivalent amount of energy used by 5000 homes. It has good export potential and can be replicated throughout NZs forest products processing industry.
  1. The Vortec wind turbine developed in New Zealand and uses an innovative diffuser to augment energy converted from the wind.
  1. Electronic load governor developed by Power flow technologies Ltd for micro-hydro power generation. The governor greatly improves the efficiency of power output. It is an innovative technology developed in NZ and has particular application for developing countries.
  1. A wool based insulation. It is wool (or a wool-polyester blend) and some people think that has environmental advantages over fibre glass. 

Financing   

Financing of New Zealand’s energy sector is based on a market model where companies, be they private sector or state-owned, make individual decisions regarding new investment in their businesses.  There is significant overseas investment in New Zealand energy companies in the electricity, gas and petroleum markets.

EECA is financed by central government.

Cooperation  

Kyoto Protocol

The New Zealand Government has stated its intention to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.

New Zealand's domestic climate change policy is initially focusing on energy efficiency measures, with work continuing on more complex economic and regulatory options.

As previously noted the Government has recently taken measures to improve energy efficiency including increased funding for public transport, new energy efficiency requirements in the Building Code and the implementation of Mandatory Energy Performance Standards and Mandatory Energy Performance Labelling.

The Government also intends to show leadership by improving public sector energy performance through implementing an improved Government Energy Leadership Programme aimed at reducing energy consumption by state agencies.

Economic and regulatory measures that are currently under examination include:

·        A carbon charge. If there is a decision to include a carbon charge in a climate change package, the work will be forwarded to the Tax Review process. (Tax change proposals emerging from the review would not be implemented until after the 2002 general election.)

·        Negotiated Greenhouse Gas Agreements with industry on emissions reduction. Existing voluntary agreements covering major greenhouse gas emitters (about 15% of total national emissions) expire in December 2000. New agreements could be developed and some pilot trading between emitters could emerge as a result.

·        Forward trading in emission units. Emitters would be required to ensure they had enough units of New Zealand's assigned emission amount to 'cover' their emissions. They would have the choice of reducing emissions, if necessary, or buying additional units.

New Zealand also continues to participate in international negotiations over the development of rules for international emissions trading and the assignment of credit for carbon 'sinks' - primarily plantation forests, which absorb carbon dioxide.

New Zealand is committed to participate in any international emission trading system that has environmental integrity.  The design of a domestic trading system is underway and involves considerable consultation with emitters and other stakeholders."

Montreal Protocol

New Zealand has fully implemented its obligations under the Montreal Protocol and has ratified or is in the process of ratifying all subsequent amendments.  The primary mechanism for implementing the Protocol is the Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996 and its regulation.  New Zealand’s phase-out schedule is currently fifty per cent ahead of what is required under the Protocol. 

The are no energy-sector specific measures within New Zealand law relating to the Montreal Protocol.

 

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update:   March 2001.

 

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |


FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government has signaled its desire to promote investment in forest growth through its taxation regime. New Zealand's tax system is such that the costs incurred by a forestry business in planting, tending and maintaining a crop of trees are fully deductible from income of any source in the same year costs are incurred. This system replaced the previous system whereby forest growing costs were deferred until an income was generated from the harvest of that forest. Thus, forest product businesses are now treated in the same way as other businesses in terms of taxation.

Voluntary measures that enhance the protection and sustainable management of New Zealand's forest resources include the New Zealand Forest Code of Practice and the New Zealand Forest Accord. The Forest Heritage Trust Fund and Nga Whenua Rahui were established by Government to help achieve the objectives of the Government's Indigenous Forest Policy.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Maori are significant players in the New Zealand forestry sector. There are approximately 7,000 hectares of Maori-controlled forest, and a further 140,000 hectares of forestry on Maori-owned land. In some regions of New Zealand, this involvement is more significant, for example in Northland, where Maori forestry holdings make up more than 25% of the planted estate. Increasingly, Maori see forestry as a significant vehicle for sustainable capital development to benefit both current and future generations and, in some of the Maori areas, new tribal-based forest companies are emerging.

The Imported Tropical Timber Group (ITTG) was formed in response to concern by the New Zealand public, timber trade and conservation NGOs over the link between the import of tropical timbers and unsustainable logging of tropical forests. Since 1991, the ITTG, representing New Zealand conservation organisations, timber importers, and building supply retailers, with the Ministry of Forestry as observer, has been assisting the transition of the New Zealand trade to certified sustainable sources of imported tropical timbers.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

New Zealand's forests cover about 28% (or 7.5 million hectares) of the country's land area. Of this, 6.2 million hectares is natural forest, and 1.3 million hectares, planted forest. The area of planted forest is currently increasing at about 80,000 hectares per annum, and this rate may be maintained for the next 20 to 30 years. If this happens, New Zealand's planted forests would account for more than 4 million hectares by 2020.

The State owns 4.9 million hectares of the country's natural forest. Most of this is managed for conservation values. Only 164,000 hectares of it is managed for wood production. Under the Forest Amendment Act 1993, areas of natural forest that are used for production must be managed in way that maintains the ability of the forest to continue to provide a full range of products and amenities in perpetuity while retaining the forest's natural values

The ownership of New Zealand's planted forests has undergone considerable change since 1990, with the sale of timber and management rights to much of the State's forest resource. (The State did not sell the land.) Before 1990, the State owned about half the planted forest. From 1 April 1993, the State owned, or had a commitment to manage, about 20% of the resource. Of the balance, three-quarters is owned by seven major corporations, with considerable offshore investment, while about one-quarter is owned by small companies, local government bodies, partnerships, joint ventures, and farmers.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

On 1 July 1992, a Crown Research Institute called the New Zealand Forest Research Institute was established to carry out research for the development of New Zealand's forestry products. Research on sustainable management of land resources is provided by other Crown Research Institutes, including Landcare Research Limited. Forestry is one of the priority areas for science funding, with special emphasis given to forest processing research. Universities and tertiary educational institutions are responding to student interest in forestry by developing an array of forestry-related courses.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

New Zealand is actively involved in the Montreal Process to develop indicators of sustainable forest management. Domestically, forests are included in New Zealand's National Environmental Indicators Programme being coordinated by the Ministry for the Environment.

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update:  April 1997


| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |

FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

Water management in New Zealand is devolved to Regional and District Councils. The Ministry for the Environment is currently developing a coordinated strategy for water management namely the National Agenda for Sustainable Water Management (NASWM). The mandate of the Ministry of the Environment is to provide policy advice to government that promotes the sustainable management of the environment; and to encourage sustainable management of the environment through the administration of environmental statutes, advocacy, education and advice.

New Zealand complies with virtually all the relevant recommendations for activities in relation to water management. This is primarily due to the infrastructure established under the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941 and the Resource Management Act, (RMA) (and its amendments 1994,1996,1997). The latter also governs the use of water by agriculture, by industry and by households. The New Zealand Drinking Water Standards (Ministry of Health) and the bylaws of Territorial Authorities (e.g. District Councils) also apply to households.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A variety of legislation, strategies and practical guidance measures are in place, or being developed, to prevent pollution of, and conserve freshwater supplies. These include the Resource Management Act (RMA), the National Agenda for Sustainable Water Management (NASWM), the Sustainable Land Management Strategy (SLM), and Health Act 1956 (drinking water standards). In general it is not necessary to augment freshwater supplies. Specific ad hoc measures may be taken as necessary on a case by case basis, for example cartage of water to areas suffering drought.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Policies vary according to specific regional conditions. No pricing policy is implemented at the national level. Few regional-level pricing policies are being developed. District and City Council rates (local taxes) pay for water infrastructure. Rates are subject to fairly regular review. Specific policies relevant to local circumstances are being developed at the regional level to encourage the efficient allocation of water, for example tradeable permit regimes for specific aquifers.

The Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941 contains provisions with respect to flooding. There is no specific policy to cover droughts, but situations are dealt with in an ad hoc way on a case by case basis. A review of emergency services is currently being undertaken by the Department of Internal Affairs. This is likely to result in more comprehensive legislation, covering more hazards than the existing emergency legislation (e.g. the Civil Defence Act).

There is a general culture of consultation with stakeholders in the formulation of both policy and legislation in New Zealand. Consultation is enshrined in several pieces of legislation, including the Resource Management Act. Policy formulation often includes the release of discussion documents accompanied by a call for public submissions. The analysis of submissions received is taken into account in the iteration of policy. Public submissions, both written and oral, to parliamentary committees is also part of the process of developing legislation. Conflict resolution is conducted through the procedures of the Resource Management Act and Environment Court.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

A significant programme in freshwater/marine trace contaminants especially in sediments is also being conducted.  There is limited research on water technologies, which rely largely on research from the rest of the world. The Government is developing a National Agenda for Sustainable Water Management (NASWM). Research is currently conducted on riparian management, eutrification of slow flowing shingle rivers, flow requirements for ecosystems, lowland small low-flowing stream ecology, New Zealand indigenous fish, groundwater research, large estuarine research programmes on ecology, processes and function. 

The Ministry for the Environment's Environmental Performance Indicators Program plans to establish an information management network. (See "Environmental Performance Indicators: Proposals for air, fresh water, & land: Signposts for Sustainability", Ministry for the Environment, October 1997.)

New Zealand has a Water Quality Laboratory Registration System for drinking water supplies, based on best international practise. Virtually all waste water in New Zealand undergoes at least primary treatment. In situations where this is not so actions are either being planned or implemented to achieve it. Some local authorities and private sector operations recycle and reuse waste water, but in general there is little use made of recycled waste water. Almost all of New Zealand's urban sewerage is also treated. (See The State of New Zealand's Environment 1997", Ministry for the Environment, 1997)

In terms of specific targets for coverage of water supply and sanitation, with 90% coverage achieved for public reticulated supplies it is generally considered that New Zealand has attained maximum coverage. Under the Building Act 1991 all dwellings must have potable water supplies and satisfactory sanitary facilities. Where necessary, all drinking water is treated before use. The purity of some sources is such that treatment is not required (e.g. some aquifer sourced drinking water supplying 25% of the population).

Status 

Domestic water supply is a local government responsibility. Some irrigation schemes are owned by the private sector, for example the Rangitata Diversion Race is a share holding of local farmers. The RMA allows for consultation with all parties (e.g. private sector) on resource management issues. Local government contracts private sector expertise on a variety of water management issues.

Challenges  

Pollution of rivers and coastal waters from point sources (i.e. specific sites such as dairy sheds, factories, sewer pipes) has declined over the last 20 to 30 years as treatment systems have been upgraded and alternative disposal methods are developed. Pollution from non-point sources (i.e. diffuse sites such as roads and paddocks is still a major problem, particularly on pastoral and horticultural land where organic matter, and sediments wash into waterways or nitrates leach into ground water.

A lack of base information, including for example data on volumes used (and for what purposes) and the amount of water available e.g. as groundwater, are constraints to policy formulation. However, work developed under State of the Environment reporting and Environmental Indicators Programme will help to provide standardisation of data collection as well as a national environmental oversight. The economic tools to enable water managers to assess the costs and benefits of collecting more detailed information on water use and availability can also be a constraint. A lack of experience and/or training among water users of alternative allocation mechanisms (such as pricing, or measures to conserve water use) can act as barriers to achieving objectives in these areas. Catering for multiple use of water resources is a constraint in some areas.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

Information on water management and development in the agricultural sector is regularly collected by the regional and district councils. Some organisations, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, use information obtained from studies on water management and development in relation to agriculture to publish occasional reports on water issues. For the household sector, usage statistics and water quality data are collected by local authorities and provided to the Ministry of Health for storage on a national database. Based on this data publishes reports on water quality of all drinking water in New Zealand. Regional Councils collect abstraction and discharge data on the industrial sector that are available on request but are not widely distributed on a regular basis. (City Councils do also if potable water is being used, but this is, in effect, household usage.)

Research and Technologies   

The research is conducted largely by Crown Research Institutes, particularly the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd, and the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd and by Regional Councils. The research is largely funded through contestable programme contracts with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, which is the premier funding council for public good research in New Zealand. Smaller amounts of research are funded through the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Health. The results are used directly for public policy development by central government or used by regional government, which are the major agencies responsible for water management.

Financing   

See Cooperation for details

Cooperation

Approximately 1% of NZODA bilateral assistance can be specifically identified for water resource management and development in the 1997/98 financial year. However, much assistance to regional and multilateral agencies, as well as a significant allocation within the bilateral programme is made to more general programme areas, or to rural/village development, small project, or volunteer assistance schemes within which local allocation decisions are made. These cannot be readily assessed for application to water resource management and development.

It is a Party to the Convention and Statute on the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern 1921 and Additional Protocol 1921.  NZ has not entered into or is not taking part in any bilateral, sub-regional or regional agreements concerning the use of international watercourses, lakes, or groundwater. 

In May 1997 the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Law of Non Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. NZ voted in favour of the Resolution adopting the Convention on the basis that it represents an important development in international law. However, as an island nation, NZ is not a "watercourse State" as it has no "international watercourses" as those terms are defined in the Convention. NZ has made no decision as to whether it will sign the Convention or become Party to it.

New Zealand is a Party to RAMSAR (some wetlands in which groundwater is included).

 

* * *

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th & 6th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last update:  April 1998

For national information on freshwater, click here:

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |


LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The central government agencies primarily responsible for New Zealand's integrated approach to planning and management of land resources are the Ministry of Agriculture (MAF); the Ministry for the Environment (MFE); the Department of Conservation (DOC); Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) (formerly part of the Department of Survey and Land Information (DOSLI); the Ministry of Maori Development - Te Puni Kokiri (TPK); and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MORST). Most of these agencies are members of the UNCED Implementation Officials Group. Specific initiatives take place at community and sector group levels as well as within the local and central government.

A significant part of the responsibility for land management lies with local authorities and community groups. For example, fifty-five Landcare, community-based groups have been established throughout the country to collaboratively address local problems; Federated Farmers of New Zealand is involved in several projects directed towards establishing farm-based indicators of sustainable land management; Women' Division of Federated Farmers is preparing a resource kit aimed at assisting the establishment of community-based groups; and the Rural Futures Trust is promoting the adoption of Decision Support Systems and sponsoring the development of ecologically-based condition assessment models as tools for better farm management decisions.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The New Zealand Government has accorded control of pests (animal pests, weeds, diseases etc.) a high priority through the introduction of the Biosecurity Act in 1993. This Act seeks to decentralise the control of pest species, make pest control agencies accountable for their actions, and to make the funding of pest control transparent. The Act enables regional and central government agencies to develop Pest Management Strategies for the control of any harmful species to levels consistent with regional or national goals.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Regional Councils are working to develop policies and plans to address sustainable land use issues identified through the Regional Policy Statements that they are required to produce under the Resource Management Act 1991. The development of Regional Policy Statements has provided the opportunity to take stock of sustainable land use issues that are currently of concern throughout New Zealand. All regional councils and unitary authorities have raised sustainable land management issues in their policy statements. While priority issues vary to reflect regional concerns, accelerated soil erosion and degradation of elite soils are the two most frequently raised issues.

Although many of the elements and activities necessary to achieve integrated sustainable land management are in place or being worked on, the Government recognises that a more strategic approach would deliver the desired outcomes more quickly and efficiently. Such an approach is envisaged in the proposed New Zealand land management strategy, Caring for our Land. The proposal to develop this strategy is a direct response to both the national significance and the complex nature of current sustainable land use issues, and the need for coordination of the wide range of individuals, groups, and agencies that are involved. Caring for our Land will develop a common framework within which priorities for action can be identified, responsibilities and accountabilities accepted, and collaborative work programmes developed. The development and implementation of Caring for our Land were identified as priority tasks in the Government's Environment 2010 Strategy. The statutory framework for this is the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Biosecurity Act 1993. The Government's Sustainable Agriculture Strategy, Quality Products from a Quality Environment, is an important component.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

A number of government-led initiatives on sustainable land management are currently underway. MORST's Strategic Consultative Group on Sustainable Land Management Research is working to establish priorities for research and science that will contribute to the achievement of sustainable land management. (Key national priorities for sustainable land management research, have been identified in Science for Sustainable Land Management - Towards a New Agenda. The Public Good Science Fund will continue to make a significant investment in sustainable land management research. Both the East Coast Forestry Initiative and the Sustainable Agriculture Programme of the MAF are providing support to initiatives directed towards sustainable agriculture throughout the country. The Minister for the Environment's Sustainable Management Fund is providing project support for a broad range of resource management activity, including farmer-based sustainable land management initiatives.

Several councils have rate-payer funded programmes in place to assist with farm soil conservation and sustainable land management activities. District Councils are also considering how they may best include land use issues in their District Plans. The Waitakere City Council is actively considering urban sustainable land use issues through its Eco-City Project. All councils are considering the best means to implement resource monitoring responsibilities.

The Department of Conservation currently allows over 600 tourism concessionaires to operate in New Zealand's protected areas. A recently adopted Concessions Policy covers all tourism business operating or applying to operate in New Zealand's national parks, reserves and conservation areas. The policy requires all tourism concession applicants to prepare an environmental impact assessment. Tourism concessions will only be granted if they are consistent with the protection of natural resources. A comprehensive public consultation process ensures that concessions are environmentally and socially acceptable and conditions in concession leases and licenses ensure the businesses will be environmentally sustainable.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies

No information is available 

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

* * * 

 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update:  April 1997

For national information on sustainable land management, click here: || and here:

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |


MOUNTAINS

Information on this topic may be found in the section on "Desertification" above.

 

* * *

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |


OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The main agencies with responsibility for marine environmental matters include:

Department of Conservation

Regional Councils:

Ministry of Fisheries (Mfish)

Ministry of Transport (MoT)

Maritime Safety Authority (MSA)

Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA)

Ministry of Commerce (MoC)

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF):

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)

Ministry for the Environment (MfE)

Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST)

Foundation of Research, Science and Technology (FRST)

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Institute of Geological and Nuclear Survey (IGNS), Cawthron Institute, and Universities.

In addition, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) coordinates many mainly non-environmental marine activities among government departments by coordinating policy proposals. Part of this coordination role involves the chairing of an officials committee on research vessel needs which also addresses development of the marine environment.

Marine environmental protection, both from land-based activities and from sea-based activities (e.g. coastal sewage, agricultural waste and industrial effluents, discharges of ballast from shipping, oil spills, etc.).

Sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources both of the high seas and under national jurisdiction)

No single coordination mechanism has been established, but interdepartmental interaction is fostered through information consultations and peer review on issues of mutual interest to several agencies and more formally through the consultative process required by the "Cab 100" process for initiatives that require the approval of Cabinet. Within the territorial sea, various Acts that apply may include general principles that facilitate coordination among relevant agencies.

New Zealand, as an open democracy, offers a variety of opportunities for the participation of major groups in the formulation of policy and development and operation of legislation. These include the use of public discussion documents, public meetings hui, and other forms of consultation (e.g. telephone submissions) during the formulation of policies, strategies, and plans, and written and oral submissions to parliamentary committees and members of parliament during the formulation of legislation.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1977 establishes New Zealand's jurisdiction over the 12 nautical mile territorial sea and 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around New Zealand. It provides for the exploration, exploitation, conservation, and management of resources within the EEZ. New Zealand is currently in the process of delineating its continental margins.

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) restates and reforms the law relating to the use of land, air, and water. The purpose of the Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. It identifies coastal management as being of particular importance and simultaneously defines a new regime for the coastal marine area which extends to the outer edge of the territorial sea. The focus is on controlling adverse effects of activities on the environment and managing conflict between competing uses of the coastal space.

Relevant legislation is listed in the table below. A list of New Zealand's environmental and related legislation, and of multilateral environmental agreements New Zealand is signatory to can be found in the State of New Zealand's Environment (Chapter 4) published by MfE in 1997 (see: http:www.mfe.govt.nz)

Table 1: Managing New Zealand's marine environment: key legislation and responsibilities TABLE ?????????????

In developing or revising domestic law, care is taken to ensure compatibility with international laws and standards (for example, Rules promulgated in August 1998 under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 give effect to Annexes I, II, III and V of MARPOL; recent work on the Fisheries Act brings it into line with the UNIA Straddling Stocks agreement).

Integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development, including environmental impacts of activities affecting the coastal and marine areas.

Marine environmental protection, both from land-based activities and from sea-based activities (e.g. coastal sewage, agricultural waste and industrial effluents, discharges of ballast from shipping, oil spills, etc.)

Sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources (both of the high seas and under national jurisdiction).

A variety of mandatory instruments have also been developed by governments, these include:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Resource Management Act (RMA) defines sustainable management to include use, development, and protection. RMA plans and policy statements are important instruments in protecting the environment. This is particularly true in the coastal marine area where there are fewer protected areas than on land. The NZCPS provides guidance on elements in the coastal environment that are nationally important and should be protected. It also identifies restoration and rehabilitation of the coastal environment as being a national priority.

The Maritime Transport Act 1994 makes provisions relative to the protection of the marine environment from harmful substances and marine oil spills. New Zealand's initial oil spill response strategy was prepared in 1992 and is currently being reviewed by the Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) to reflect the Maritime Transport Act 1994, which provides the legislative structure to implement such a strategy. In addition a National Oil Spill Response Strategy has been developed. A stock of oil spill response equipment is being purchased and distributed to the regions. New Zealand is currently working through the process of setting a domestic framework in place to allow ratification of MARPOL.

The Fisheries Act 1996 provides for the utilisation of fisheries resources while ensuring sustainability and recognises New Zealand's international obligations relating to fishing. The major features of the new Act are:

Future policy initiatives will focus on mechanisms to promote self-management by stakeholders and better providing for fisheries enhancement in the Quota Management System which is the major policy mechanism for commercial fishing. Each year, a Total Allowable Catch, based on sustainable harvesting limits, is set for each fish stock in the system. Management plans have been developed for some fisheries under the Quota Management System and there are some voluntary codes of practices.

The Government is developing a National Ballast Water Strategy to reduce the risk of introductions of unwanted organisms into New Zealand waters

Integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development, including environmental impacts of activities affecting the coastal and marine areas.

Marine environmental protection, both from land-based activities and from sea-based activities (e.g., coastal sewage, agricultural waste and industrial effluents, discharges of ballast from shipping, oil spills, etc.)

Sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources (both of the high seas and under national jurisdiction).

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

A variety of programmes have been instigated at local and regional level to address aspects of integrated coastal zone management, marine environmental protection, and sustainable use and conservation of marine resources. Some of these can be found in The State of New Zealand's Environment (Chapter 7) published by MIE in 1997.

Status   

New Zealand comprises two main and a number of smaller islands. Their combined area of 270,500 square kilometres. New Zealand is 1,600 kilometres long, and 450 kilometres wide at its widest point. It has a long coastline for its area, the coast is very indented in places and it has many natural harbours. The current major use of its coast are multiple. They include the location of major population centres, fishing, recreation, tourism, mining and oil exploration, and a variety of industries.

Fishing and hunting comprised about 0.3% of GDP (based on 1996 data) (Datasources from the New Zealand Official Yearbook: 100th Edition, 1997).

Shipping impacts on the sustainable management of coastal zones through benthic and shore disturbance in some inland waters.

The severity, nature, and frequency of impacts vary widely depending on locality and the industry involved (e.g. tourism, aquaculture, mining, industrial outfalls and spillages, vessel effects, etc.) The Resource Management Act and NZCPS govern the use of resources in coastal areas.

Primary sources of land-based pollution of the marine environment are non-point source (e.g. agricultural and urban run-off), sewage (most of which is treated), industrial discharges and dumping (including spoil and rubbish). Discharges and dumping from vessels are controlled by domestic legislation that complies with MARPOL and the London Convention.

Problems are also caused by toxic algal blooms and invasive organisms (introduction of alien species).

There is a wide variety of activities underway at local levels throughout New Zealand. These include for example Manukau-Harbour restoration work; Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society's Marine Farming Effects Information Kit, through Sustainable Management Fund (SMF), and work on the restoration of Pauatahauuil Inlet.

Challenges  

Priority constraints to implementing effective programmes to address the issues related in the programme areas (Integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development' marine environmental protection, both from land-based activities and from sea-based activities and sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources) include:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Several New Zealand Universities offer resource management courses, elements of which cover coastal management. Examples include: the University of Otago's New Zealand Marine Studies Centre ("An Environment of Discovery"). This facility provides specialist workshops, summer programmes and study courses for students, educators, special interest groups, industry, regional authorities, the general public, and government departments. Other institutions with marine facilities and public education programmes include:

The Marine Safety Authority (MSA) holds training courses for oil spill managers and operators of equipment in both regional councils and industry.

Campaigns and other efforts to raise awareness of issues related to sustainable development and the oceans and seas include the following:

Information   

National information available to assist both decision-makers and planners working in coastal areas is available in the following areas:

The use of GPS and GIS is fairly common in New Zealand. Since 1993 all foreign owned and domestic fishing boats must have an automatic location communicator - giving the vessel GPS determined location under regulations under the Fisheries Act.

Fisheries statistics are available through written reports.

In November 1998 the Ministry for the Environment released the discussion document Environmental Performance Indicators: Summary of Proposed Indicators for the Marine Environment. A full discussion document and a series of technical reports are available from Project leader. EPMfE. P.O. Box 10-362, Wellington, New Zealand.

Research and Technologies   

Issues related to the development, transfer and use of environmentally-sound technologies in this programme area include:

Financing   

Fisheries research and some aspects of management are funded through government budget allocations and cost recovery from the fishing industry. Protected areas and species research and management are funded through national and regional council budgets and some cost recovery. Some coastal activities partly through local body rates and sector levies.

Cooperation  

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was ratified by New Zealand on 18 August 1996.

A full list of multilateral environmental agreements that New Zealand is signatory to, can be found in the State of New Zealand's Environment (Chapter 4) published by MfE in 1997 (see below).

The most significant conventions and agreements affecting the management of New Zealand's marine environment are listed below:

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

For information on decision-making in this area in New Zealand, click here:

For New Zealand's State of the Environment Report, click here.

Click here for information on awareness-raising for oceans and sustainable development.

Click here for information on New Zealand's Environmental Performance Indicators.

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |


TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

More information on this topic may be found under "Hazardous Wastes" below.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

New Zealand is Party to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter (1972) but has not yet adopted a position on the November 1996 Protocol to the London Convention. New Zealand attaches importance to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which it ratified on 20 December 1994. It ratified the Copenhagen Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on 4 June 1993


* * *

 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |


WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry for the Environment (MFE) is most concerned with solid waste issues. The Resource Management Act provides part of the framework for dealing with waste issues. Many regional and local councils are developing policies and plans for waste management with advice from the Ministry for the Environment. The Ministry has produced a "Landfill Guideline" for use by local governments and industry. This provides advice on landfill siting, design, operation, and aftercare. It also discusses evaluation and assessment of environmental impacts for existing and closed landfills. The Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry for the Environment promoted an amendment to the Local Government Act 1974 to clarify the powers of territorial authorities to promote and implement waste minimisation.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In 1996 the Local Government Act No 4 was passed. This legislation incorporates the hierarchy of waste management (reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery, treatment, disposal), requires the development of waste management plans by district and city councils; allows the regulation of collection of waste, and provides the ability to levy fees and disposal charges for waste management.

MFE is developing regulations for the disposal of sewage from ships within New Zealands territorial waters.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

At the individual level, the aim of New Zealand's waste management strategy is to minimise waste, reuse resources, and adopt alternative means of disposal (e.g. making compost). At the industry level, the objective is to "ensure that, wherever practicable, waste generators meet the costs of waste management."

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The Government has signed an accord with the packaged goods industry, and assisted the oil industry to put in place a national Used Oil Recovery Programme. Regulatory and economic mechanisms will be pursued to back up voluntary initiatives

The Sustainable Management Fund (SMF), administered by the Ministry for the Environment, has supported several cleaner production projects to encourage innovation and adoption of cleaner production methods and technologies by industries and sectors such as pipfruit, fishing, and hospitals.

Status   

It has been estimated that New Zealand produces about 750-800 kg of municipal waste per person annually. In addition, industry is also a major waste producer with estimates ranging between 300,000 tonnes annually (a 1980s figure) and 600,000 to 1,000,000 tonnes annually (current estimates).

Challenges

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

Information on the precise nature of the waste stream in New Zealand is poor and a Waste Analysis Protocol has been developed to provide a standard measurement system. This has been promoted to local authorities at a series of seminars around the country. A software package has also been developed to make the Protocol easier to use and make national data available. Information on solid waste is being collated for the first national data report due out in 1997. The further development of a more comprehensive database will be considered as part of the development of national environmental indicators for waste. Additional funding has been provided through the "Green Package", announced as part of the 1996 Budget, for guidelines on landfills; guidance has also been provided on charging methodologies for landfills.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update:  April 1997.

For national information on solid waste, click here: || For information on solid and hazardous waste, click here:

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |

Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Over the last five years, work has been undertaken to improve current systems for managing both hazardous substances and new organisms. The result of this work is the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms legislation which became law on 10 June 1996. This legislation was prepared with extensive consultation with all stakeholders. The objective of the legislation is to establish a streamlined and up-to-date system, able to respond quickly to advances in technology, for managing hazardous substances and new organisms and their potential risks.

Under the new legislation, all hazardous substances and new organisms will be assessed prior to their introduction, development or manufacture in New Zealand, using a public assessment process. The purpose of the legislation is to manage the risks from hazardous substances and new organisms, and to protect the environment and people's health, safety and economic, social, and cultural well-being.

An Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) has been established as part of the legislation. ERMA is a regulatory authority which will approve, decline or attach conditions to the importation or manufacture of any new substances or new organisms; approve or endorse codes of practice; design procedures for the control of hazardous substances; and promote information about standards, compliance, and the maintenance and monitoring of these standards. It will operate independently, subject to Ministerial policy direction.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A risk-based approach, for the assessment and management of contaminated sites has been completed, based on the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) guidelines. For example, draft guidelines have been prepared in consultation with regional councils and the timber industry for selected timber chemicals. These guidelines provide the maximum acceptable levels of timber treatment chemicals that can remain in soil and water and set the necessary targets for cleanup. Investigations are underway into treatment and disposal options for organochlorin wastes. Specific disposal agreements with other OECD countries are in place for the disposal of certain hazardous wastes. A "Green Package", announced as part of the 1996 Budget, also included funding to address hazardous waste management through the development of hazardous waste acceptance criteria for landfills.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The Ministry for the Environment supports seven demonstration projects on cleaner production techniques, in cooperation with industry and local governments. A "Cleaner Production" booklet which outlines a range of industry case studies has been published. The Ministry also promotes the establishment of further cleaner production projects by local governments and sector groups, and provides advice to councils involved in cleaner production programmes. A manual for industry and councils is being developed.

Industry takes a leading role in dealing with chemicals and hazardous wastes. For example, the Chemical Industry Council has a Responsible Care programme for the management of hazardous wastes and chemicals. The oil industry, in conjunction with the relevant government agencies, has produced a guide to the installation of underground storage tanks. This work will be extended to address the removal of old tanks, site remediation, and sampling standards.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

A study by the Ministry for the Environment has identified a range of sites which, based on past uses, could be contaminated with hazardous substances that may pose a risk to the health of people and ecosystems. These sites cover a wide range of activities, including uses such as service stations.

Regional councils, assisted by subsidies from central government, are currently following up this study by carrying out extensive surveys of potentially contaminated sites in their regions. These surveys will help identify specific sites, evaluate risks and develop appropriate containment, remediation and "clean-up" responses.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was ratified on 20 December 1994, but no information has yet been provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat. New Zealand ratified the Copenhagen Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on 4 June 1993.

 

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update:  April 1997

For national information on Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Reform, Pollution and Waste management, and Contaiminated Sites, click here: || For information on waste and hazardous materials, click here:
For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |


Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

New Zealand ratified the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and protocols on 13 November 1986.

 

* * * 

This information is based on New Zealand's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


| Economic Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |

| New Zealand | All Countries | Home |