The EEZ Bill

Amy Adams announced:

Companies that do not comply with marine consent rules in the Exclusive Economic Zone could face fines of up to $10 million under proposed changes to a Bill that provides better protection for New Zealand’s marine , Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced. …

The key changes the Government proposes to make are:

  • Amend the purpose of the Bill to incorporate the concept of sustainable management to reflect the Resource Management Act
  • Increase the maximum penalty for companies that breach marine consents from $600,000 to $10 million
  • Clarify that a transitional period for planned petroleum activities will cover the 2013/14 drilling season; and
  • Provide a maximum statutory timeframe of six months for a marine consent process.

Lifting the maximum fine would send a strong message that New Zealanders value their oceans.

“At this new level, I consider the penalty would be high enough to provide significant incentive to comply with the regime when operating in the ,” Ms Adams says.

I’m pleased with these changes. I think there is significant economic opportunity to be had from our exclusive economic zone – recall it is an economic zone. Some want to ban all economic activity in it.

$600,000 was too low for a maximum fine. The higher maximum fine will provide greater incentives for companies to minimise risks of environmental damage. That is a win-win – we get more economic activity in the zone, with  less risk.

Of course some demand no risk at all. But I think most New Zealanders like having jobs.

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