Marine Legislation Bill

The Committee heard submissions on the Marine Legislation Bill over the past two weeks.  The Bill is an omnibus Bill, proposing amendments to Acts governing the marine area, such as the Maritime Transport Act.

Several regional councils submitted on the Bill.  The regional councils raised common concerns such as the impact of the Bill on their resources and ratepayers.  Some councils also noted that the Bill should retain flexibility due to variations between environments between different jurisdictions.  The Otago Regional Council submitted that the Bill is too narrow and missed the opportunity to legislate on a nationally coherent basis.

Other submitters raised concerns relevant to specific areas of the Bill.  For example:

Port CEO Group raised concerns about the drafting of "port facility" and the ability of the Director of Maritime New Zealand to order an audit of a port operation.

Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand submitted that more needed to be done in terms of opening New Zealand to international agreements.

Trans-Tasman Resources cautioned that the Bill should not make unnecessary amendments to the EEZ Act, as it would create uncertainty.

Oil and exploration companies focussed on the Bill's transitional provisions relating to discharge consents and dumping.

Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou submitted that the ongoing renegotiation between Ngati Porou and the Crown in relation to the foreshore and seabed may have some bearing on the Bill.  It also supports stronger penalties for breaches of maritime safety and environmental protections.