Working paper

The breaking wave

A conversation about reforming the oceans management system in Aotearoa New Zealand
Marine management Sector regulation Stewardship Environmental management New Zealand
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The breaking wave 24.02 MB

This working paper outlines the way in which the Environmental Defence Society are thinking about New Zealand's ocean management system and breaking it up for analysis. It identifies key biophysical problems and issues with the existing system, how it operates and considers various options for reforming the system in the future.

Management includes the following public interventions in relation to the marine resources/environment:

  • Regulation: requiring or restricting human action (you must/must not)
  • Behavioural incentives: influencing human action (you should)
  • Resourcing/funding: enabling human action (you can)
  • Strategy: making a plan for how the above three interventions will happen over time and space

In order to generate the following kinds of actions:

  • Limiting or preventing human activities to manage adverse impacts on the environment or other users (whether resources are used, and how)
  • Influencing the use of resources for environmental, social and economic benefit (economic and social planning, and environmental enhancement – how and why resources are used)
  • Shaping the spatial distribution of resource use, protection and enhancement (spatial planning – what happens where)
  • Shaping the temporal distribution of resource use, protection and enhancement (strategic planning – when things happen)
  • Distributing resources to different parties or communities of interest (allocation – who gets what) The concept of “management” therefore includes all human activities that use or protect natural and physical marine resources (eg conservation, recreation, shipping, fisheries, mining etc).

The final report, due for publication at the start of 2022, will provide a more complete analysis and range of options, including in relation to institutional design, public participation, non-regulatory tools and incentives, and the flow of information and money. It will also draw various threads together to present three overall models for what a future system could look like.

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