Pieces of coral and clam seized at New Zealand's border

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We asked you to have your say on how to improve the TIES Act to help New Zealand support endangered species. Submissions closed 25 October 2019.

During September and October 2019, we asked your view on the ways we proposed to update the TIES Act and help regulate elephant ivory trade.

The updates aim to improve the Act’s definitions so it can be implemented clearly and efficiently. We also asked for your view on options to ban or restrict the elephant ivory trade.

What was proposed?

Our consultation discussion document set out the challenges and ways to solve them. In it, we asked a series of questions to guide feedback for the consultation.

The document includes reviews and suggestions for the following areas:

  • the trade of elephant ivory
  • travel with taonga
  • travel with personal and household effects
  • technical errors on permits
  • cost of certain activities


The TIES Act implements the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in New Zealand. It also promotes the protection of endangered species to enhance their survival. 

Things have changed since the Trade in Endangered Species (TIES) Act became law in 1989. In the 1989 version, technical issues and unclear definitions have made it harder for New Zealand to implement the Act.

This includes growing concern worldwide about elephant ivory sales and its role in the decline of elephant populations through poaching. As of 2019, there is no ban or restrictions on the elephant ivory trade in New Zealand.

What happens next?

All feedback is being reviewed and will help inform DOC’s recommendations to the Minister of Conservation to amend the TIES Act.

Cabinet will decide on changes to the TIES Act based on these recommendations in 2020.

Once Cabinet agrees on these changes, the Government will draft an Amendment Bill which will be introduced to Parliament.

After the Bill is introduced it will be referred to Select Committee. At this stage, there will be another opportunity for public input before it progresses further to become law.


We are no longer taking feedback on the discussion document. However, if you have questions about the feedback review or next steps, email:


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