The RMA/EEZA Strategy sets out the priorities for DOC’s engagement in Resource Management Act processes and our approach around advocacy.

DOC has a responsibility to advocate for the conservation of natural and historic resources, both on and off land or waters managed by DOC. See Resource Management Act for more information about our role.


  • RMA: Resource Management Act
  • EEZA: Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 

Purpose of the strategy

The RMA/EEZA Strategy ensures DOC focuses its advocacy to help councils and other decision-makers to protect New Zealand’s natural environment; threatened native species and ecosystems; and significant natural features and landscapes from the adverse effects of development.

Download the strategy: Strategic priorities for RMA/EEZA engagement (PDF, 525K)

The strategy provides high-level national guidance for when DOC should engage in RMA/EEZA processes. It is supported by systems and a prioritisation tool to ensure advocacy is consistently targeted across the country to protect our significant natural areas and biodiversity.   

Priorities for each region depend on the natural environments, ecosystems and native species present and how these relate to the priority conservation values in the strategy.

DOC’s RMA strategic priorities

Four strategy priorities are set out in full in the RMA/EEZA Strategy. In summary they are:

  1. Planning processes where proposed provisions may impact on Priority Conservation Values
  2. Resource consent applications under the RMA and the EEZA where potential effects on Priority Conservation Values are more than minor
  3. RMA and EEZA processes where provisions may impact on DOC as a land manager, or provisions/proposed activities are inconsistent with a DOC Management Planning document
  4. Implementing and advocating for values protected under the NZ Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS).

DOC’s priority conservation values

Priority conservation values include:

  • threatened or at-risk native species and ecosystems
  • the natural character of New Zealand’s ocean (EEZ), coastal areas, rivers and lakes, and
  • wetland environments.

See the RMA/EEZA Strategy for a comprehensive list of all priority conservation values.

The strategy also clarifies that it is not DOC’s priority to advocate for historic heritage, recreation and public access, amenity values and sports fish and fisheries outside of public conservation land, for which other agencies are advocates.


The strategy is a high-level guide as to when DOC will engage in an RMA or EEZA process. However, each case will be investigated and evaluated separately based on its own merits.

Email if you have a query related to a specific or proposed RMA process.

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