28 September 2022
In August 2022 The Ministry for the Environment opened up a consultation process seeking feedback to retain or amend the application of the Resources Management (National Environmental Standards) for Freshwater (NES-F) to the coastal marine area.
Wetlands in the coastal marine area are the interface of freshwater and marine ecosystems. The (NES-F) was an original policy with the intent to restrict activities likely to cause the loss of degradation of all natural wetlands including those in the coastal marine area.
However, many councils and stakeholders initially interpreted the NES-F as applying only to natural inland wetlands (which are natural wetlands not in the coastal marine area).
In November 2021, the High Court held in Minister of Conservation v Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society Incorporated (the High Court decision) that the NES-F wetland provisions do apply to natural wetlands in the coastal marine area.
Following the High Court decision, some concerns have been raised, prompting the Ministry for the Environment to open up a consultation process with the release of the discussion document, Managing wetlands in the coastal marine area.
The full discussion document on Managing wetlands in the coastal marine area, can be read here.
Our network of early career researchers from Bioprotection Aotearoa came together to review the options outlined in the discussion document, and decided to submit feedback for consultation.
Director of Bioprotection Aotearoa, Amanda Black says this is a valuable exercise for our early career researchers. “It helps to extend their critical thinking skills to National Policy Plans that relate to our environment, and teaches our early career researchers on how to have a say.”
Fellow early career researcher, Maui Duley has prepared this submission on behalf of Bioprotection Aotearoa.