Small but critical flaws in EEZ bill

Press Release – Parliamentary Commissioner For The Environment

Small but critical flaws in EEZ bill – Environment Commissioner The emphasis on economic concerns in proposed Economic Exclusive Zone legislation undermines its environmental purpose says Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan …Small but critical flaws in EEZ bill – Environment Commissioner

The emphasis on economic concerns in proposed Economic Exclusive Zone legislation undermines its environmental purpose says Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright in her submission released today.

The Bill is intended to regulate activities in the EEZ including deepwater oil exploration and iron sand prospecting, but contains clauses that are inconsistent with the Law of the Sea – an international convention New Zealand signed in 1996.

Dr Wright says she welcomes the Bill but has some serious concerns about it.

“The Law of the Sea gives us rights to minerals found in an area of ocean twenty times the size of New Zealand, says Dr Wright. But these rights come with the responsibility to “protect and preserve the marine environment”. As it stands, the proposed legislation would not fulfil this responsibility.

“My concern is that the legislation could allow economic arguments to swamp environmental concerns when decisions are made on marine consent applications.

“Only few small changes in wording are needed to ensure this legislation matches our international obligations. I have suggested these changes in my submission.”
ENDS

A copy of the submission is available here

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