The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill passed its final reading last night. The Bill sets up an environmental management regime for New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone.

Two key amendments were made to the Bill in the weeks leading up to the final reading. These were incorporating 'sustainable management' into the purpose clause (consistent with the Resource Management Act 1991), and an increase in the maximum penalty for offences from $600,000 to $10 million.

The Bill passed by 72 to 49, with the Labour, Green, and Mana parties voting against.