View from Cape Reinga
Image: Benhi Dixon | Creative Commons


Learn the various ways New Zealand's coastline is managed.

Resource management system reform

In August 2023, Parliament passed new laws to replace the Resource Management Act 1991.

Shifting to the new resource management system will take up to 10 years. During this time old and new system will continue to apply and run in parallel. We will continue to update these pages as changes happen.

For information about the reforms, visit the Ministry for the Environment’s website.

    DOC assists the Minister of Conservation in carrying out functions under the Resource Management Act 1991. These include:

    • preparing and reviewing the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement
    • approving regional coastal plans and any changes to them
    • monitoring the effect and implementation of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement
    • exercising powers of a regional council in the coastal marine area of specific offshore islands
    • exercising powers of intervention (if used).

    National planning standards

    These standards assist achieving the purpose of the Act. The Minister of Conservation is responsible to the extent that a matter relates to the coastal marine area. The standards set out the requirements or other provisions relating to any aspect of the structure, format or content of regional policy statements and plans. This is to address any matter that the Minister considers:

    • requires national consistency
    • is required to support implementation of a national environmental standard, a national policy statement, a New Zealand coastal policy statement, or regulations made under the Resource Management Act.

    National Planning Standards on Ministry for the Environment website.

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