New National Environmental Standard for marine aquaculture proposed

  • Nick Smith
  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries Environment

A proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture to make re-consenting existing marine farms more consistent and efficient has been released today by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.


“The aquaculture industry is an important part of New Zealand’s diversified primary industry, earning $500 million a year and employing over 3000 people. This proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture is needed to increase certainty and industry confidence, improve biosecurity management and reduce compliance costs,” Mr Guy says.


“The problem this new environmental standard addresses is the bow wave of 750 nationwide marine farms, or about 64 per cent of the industry, coming up for reconsenting in the next seven years. This is compounded by each council having different processes and rules and these processes and rules being changed with plan updates. This new environmental standard will save marine farmers tens of millions of dollars in consent renewals and ensure a more consistent approach to regulation of the industry.”


“This new environmental standard for aquaculture is part of the Government’s plan for improving New Zealand’s resource management system by taking a more consistent national approach. It follows other national regulations for telecommunications, electricity transmission, contamination of soil, pest control, water metering, forestry and stock exclusion from waterways. These national regulations enable better environmental outcomes, greater certainty and less cost for industry,” Dr Smith says.


“The particular gains from this aquaculture environment standard are the consistent regulations for biosecurity, greater flexibility for changes of species and enabling most replacement consents to be processed by councils as non-notified restricted discretionary activities.


“We encourage the public, industry and iwi to consider these proposals and give feedback to help us get this single set of rules right.”


The final proposals will incorporate feedback from submissions and, if progressed, the National Environmental Standard would come into effect in 2018.


The Ministry for Primary Industries will host a series of public meetings and hui where people can learn more about the proposed standard and ask questions directly of those involved.


Further information, including the meeting schedule, the proposal, and on how to make a submission, is available at: