All vessels, installations and ports in New Zealand waters must comply with a range of environmental regulations to ensure the sustainable use and protection of our oceans for future generations.
The requirement to comply with environmental regulations applies to the smallest recreational boat right up to the largest container ship or cruise ship; including offshore oil and gas installations and ports.
New Zealand's Marine Protection Rules made under the Maritime Transport Act regulate discharges of waste, including oil, chemicals and garbage. Breaching these regulations can lead to heavy fines. The discharge of sewage is regulated under the Reserve Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations.
Marine Protection Rules
Maritime Transport Act 1994 [New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office]
Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations 1998 [New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office]
Dumping of other wastes at sea is regulated in accordance with the 1996 Protocol and requires a permit from Maritime New Zealand. The 1996 Protocol refers to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes or Other Matter, 1972. It is also known as the London Convention.
Ship’s Routeing measures are in place to protect the areas surrounding the Poor Knights, Three Kings Islands and the extended Taranaki offshore.
Maritime New Zealand encourages all vessel operators, installations and ports to adhere to generally accepted international environmental practices in order to preserve the values of our unique marine environments. The unique beauty of our marine environment draws people from all over the world.
To find out more about the requirements for vessels, installations and ports, please use the links below:
Environmental protection – requirements for recreational boaties
Requirements for commercial operators
Ship routeing to reduce pollution potential
Operating tourist vessels in New Zealand waters
Requirements for offshore oil and gas installations
New Zealand standards for offshore installations
Safety zones and precautionary areas
Discharge management plans
Requirements for port operations
Port waste reception facilities
Requirements for submarine cables and pipelines
Oil and oily waste
Chemicals and their risk to the marine environment
Garbage disposal in the marine environment
Sewage discharge regulations
Certificates of insurance