Oil and Water - Can the Offshore Minerals Industry and Environmental Protection Ever Mix?

Brendan Patrick Coll Abley


This paper reviews the new regulatory framework for offshore minerals under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of the new regime, in light of the first marine consent decisions issued by the Environmental Protection Authority and with reference to the equivalent Australian framework. The paper concludes that the new legislation has provided a much-needed response to a gap in New Zealand’s regulation of the marine environment. However, the Act falls short of creating a comprehensive, integrated management regime for the Exclusive Economic Zone.


Exclusive Economic Zone; Offshore drilling; Seabed mining; Environmental protection

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