Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

New Zealand’s coastal marine environmental is of global significance. With its declaration of an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1978, New Zealand's jurisdiction spans over 4.3 million km2 of ocean, and the country’s coastline is in excess of 15,000 km in length. New Zealand’s EEZ is the fourth largest in the world, with an area of about 17 times that of the land mass (or 5.7% of the world’s EEZ). Due to the transitional character of New Zealand’s continental shelf, the coastal marine ecosystems of the country are recognized as part of the world’s top 15 ‘hot spots’ for threatened biodiversity.

Overall, marine governance remains sector-based and fragmented among a range of policies, programmes, and agencies with marine responsibilities. There are 18 main statutes, 14 agencies and six government strategies for marine management and planning. For instance, the Resource Management Act (RMA) provides the framework for development of major national resource and environmental management polices. New Zealand also signed over 13 international conventions with marine implications, including the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS Convention) which was ratified in July 1996.

This project was commissioned by the EIP Steering Group to address the opportunities to improve ocean governance. The major goals of this project are twofold: 1) to promote the scholarly analysis of management options for achieving responsible stewardship of the oceans offshore New Zealand, and 2) to present, on the basis of such analyses, a characterization of the policy tools, options and instruments that can contribute to the consideration by policy makers of alternative, improved ocean management frameworks.

There are two major outputs associated with this project. First, the project will lead to the production of a series of draft “white papers” that will be circulated to policymakers, scientists and stakeholders after the first year of the project. These white papers will be revised based on the comments from the reviewers and organized into a final report that will emphasize the further development of policy change in ocean governance. The final report will incorporate (1) information from interviews of a range of stakeholders and government agencies on the important issues and concerns facing future ocean governance; (2) an assessment of policy tools and instruments that may be needed to address future marine ocean governance issues; (3) a characterization of important cases of marine issues; and (4) a comparative case study of other national and international efforts in integrated ocean governance.

In addition, the project will encourage the exchange of information and ideas about future ocean governance in New Zealand. Over the course of the next two years, this project will support four public workshops tentatively entitled “Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands” to discuss major themes in ocean governance of the EEZ and continental shelf.

Offshore Mining, Oil and Gas Development in New Zealand's Offshore Continental Shelf - a workshop
Tuesday 23 November 2010

The goal of this public workshop was to provide a public forum for the open exchange and discussion of this important coastal marine issue.


9:45am     Introduction – Dr. Mike McGinnis, Senior Fellow, IPS

10.15am   Daniel Brown - Senior Analyst, Marine and Environmental Governance, Ministry for the Environment

10:45am   John Pfahlert - Petroleum Exploration & Production of New Zealand

11:15am   Chris Baker - Chief Executive Office (Acting), Straterra

11:45am   Bob Zuur - Marine Advocate, World-Wide Fund for Nature New Zealand

12.15 pm  Lunch

12.45 - 1.30pm   Discussion. Chaired by Mike McGinnis.

Scientific Monitoring to Improve Coastal and Marine Governance
Tuesday 10 August 2010

A workshop presented by the Institute of Policy Studies in association with the Centre for Marine Environmental and Economic Research

The goal of this first workshop scheduled for the Ocean Governance Project was to provide information on recent advances in coastal and marine monitoring with respect to marine protected areas, aquatic and coastal marine ecosystems. 

Monitoring Marine Protected Areas in California, USA - Dr Kevin Lafferty
Research Ecologist, US Geological Survey, Western Region
Dr Lafferty will describe the important role of scientists and science in interdisciplinary marine monitoring of marine reserves associated with the northern Channel Islands (a UN designated Biosphere Reserve, and one of 13 National MarineSanctuaries).

New Advances in Automated Environmental MonitoringDr Mark Kram, Founder and CTO of Groundswell Technologies, Inc., Santa Barbara, California (a group specializing in automated monitoring and modelling of environmental sensor networks).
Dr Kram will provide an introduction to the next generation of environmental monitoring tools. He will describe current technological capabilities and industry applications relative to automated monitoring. He will also discuss new features such as model calibration tools and flux based remediation performance monitoring associated with aquatic and marine ecosystems.

The vulnerability of NZ marine habitats to anthropogenic threats - Dr Alison Macdiarmid, Group Manager, Marine Ecology, NIWA
Dr MacDiarmid will provide the results from an expert assessment of threats to NZ marine habitats stemming from 65 identified human activities and indicate how these data are being integrated with other studies to provide a tool for use by regional councils to determine marine habitat importance/significance from regional and national perspectives.