New Zealand Regulatory Resources
The Ministry for the Environment
National environmental standards are regulations issued under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). They prescribe technical standards, methods and other requirements for environmental matters. Local and regional councils [or local government] must observe these standards and are responsible for their enforcement (or they can enforce stricter standards when the standard provides for this). In this way, national environmental standards ensure consistent minimum standards are maintained throughout all New Zealand’s regions and districts.
There are 4 specific national environment standards published by September 2011.
- NES for telecommunication facilities
- NES for electricity transmission
- NES for air quality
- NES for sources of water for human drinking
MfE has published a guide document for companies to use in reporting on their greenhouse gas emissions. It improves objectivity, defines a standard scope and procedure and provides the conversion factors to be used.
The Commerce Commission
ComCom has released guidelines which inform businesses about their obligations surrounding carbon offset and neutrality claims and how they are affected by the Fair Trading Act.
www.comcom.govt.nz under Fair Trading Act
Government Position as at 18 May 2010
The Government, with Maori Party support, has passed an Act to revise the Emissions Trading Scheme to ensure New Zealand takes a responsible approach to the global problem of greenhouse gas pollution and climate change.
Features of the amendment Act include:
- revised entry dates of 1 July 2010 for transport, energy and industrial sectors and 1 January 2015 for agriculture
- a transitional phase until 1 January 2013 with a 50 per cent obligation and $25 fixed price option for the transport, energy and industrial sectors
- a production-based industry average approach to allocations for trade exposed, emissions intensive businesses
- a phase-out of industry support aligned with trading partners and the Government’s long-term -50 by 2050 emissions reduction target
incentives for afforestation created by a domestic and international market for carbon credits
- enhanced transitional support for the fishing industry.
- a Treaty of Waitangi clause.
The Government has also announced an emissions reduction target range of 10-20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 to signal New Zealand’s commitment to a successful and ambitious outcome from the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December (2009).