Read the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS) 2010 implementation guidance introductory note.

Download the introductory note

Implementation guidance introductory note (PDF, 668K)


This introductory note explains the guidance prepared by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to support implementation of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS). It also sets out overview guidance to be noted when working with the NZCPS and discusses the relationship between the NZCPS and other national policy statements prepared under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

An overview summary of the Supreme Court decision, Environmental Defence Society Inc v New Zealand King Salmon Company Limited [2014] NZSC 38 (the King Salmon decision), and Davidson v Marlborough District Council (2016) NZEnvC 81, [2017] NZHC 52, and [2018] NZCA 316 is provided as well as the findings in relation to how the NZCPS is to be read.

Explanation of the NZCPS guidance notes

DOC has prepared guidance notes as an online resource to support the implementation of the NZCPS. This includes guidance on each policy of the NZCPS. It does not form part of the NZCPS. This guidance was prepared with support and input from local government. It is not legal advice.

The intended audience for this online resource is the agencies and practitioners that have responsibilities for coastal planning and management under the RMA. Local authorities have a key role to play in achieving the RMA’s purpose in the coastal environment in New Zealand. This material has been developed primarily for local authorities but is likely to be of interest to anyone involved in coastal management and planning.

Guidance notes are provided on Policies 1–28 of the NZCPS. For each policy the notes identify the other NZCPS objectives and policies that should also be considered when giving effect to the individual policy.  Links are provided where resources exist that aid implementation of the NZCPS. A number of technical, guidance and background reports are available on the DOC, Ministry for the Environment, Quality Planning and NIWA websites, and can be referred to directly for additional technical guidance. The Board of Inquiry’s report and recommendations to the Minister of Conservation on the proposed NZCPS 2008 is also a useful resource.

This guidance will be updated periodically as the RMA, policy, case law, practice and methodologies develop further. While this guidance may be amended in the future to reflect new case law, it should not be relied on for up-to-date summaries of relevant case law. The guidance note for each NZCPS policy is dated according to when it was last updated.


DOC would like to thank the local government planning and consent staff from regional and district councils and the external coastal management specialists who provided advice and feedback in the preparation of the implementation guidance.


This guidance, including the guidance on policies of the NZCPS, is intended as general guidance on implementing the NZCPS. It has been written primarily for local government practitioners. This guidance does not substitute for professional advice where and when that is needed. It should not be taken as providing legal advice or the Crown's legal position. This guidance is not official government policy.


Send any feedback on the NZCPS 2010 implementation guidance to

Back to top