View from Cape Reinga
Image: Benhi Dixon | Creative Commons


The Department of Conservation has a role in managing New Zealand's coastline, through the resource management system.

    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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