The Department of Conservation assists the Minister of Conservation in carrying out his or her 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 and Restricted Coastal Activities
- exercising powers of a regional council in the coastal marine area of specific offshore islands
- exercising powers of intervention (if used)
- deciding coastal permit applications for Restricted Coastal Activities publicly notified before 1 October 2009.