Skip to main content

Process to establish a rule

Rules go through a rigorous drafting, consultation and review process before they become law. Rule amendments go through the same process.
Maritime New Zealand develops maritime and marine protection rules on behalf of the Minister of Transport, under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

Why new rules may be required

The identification of a gap in maritime policy, or a problem with existing policy, is generally the first step towards developing a new rule or amending an existing rule.

Policy issues are usually raised by the Ministry of Transport, Maritime New Zealand or stakeholders from within the maritime industry.

Rule development process

The rule-making process was introduced in 1995 when the Maritime Transport Act 1994 came into force.

The chart below shows the rule development process. New rules and rule amendments go through the same process.

  1. Policy issue identified
  2. Decision made to address the issue with a new rule or rule change
  3. Maritime New Zealand prepares the first draft
  4. Informal consultation takes place
  5. The first draft is reviewed and revised
  6. An invitation to comment on the draft rule is advertised widely to the maritimecommunity and general public
  7. The draft rule is made available for comment
  8. Maritime New Zealand receives and considers submissions during the consultation period
  9. The revised draft may, depending on the particular rule, be circulated to key stakeholders for final comment
  10. The final draft rule is prepared by Maritime New Zealand
  11. The Minister of Transport signs the final rule into law
  12. The final rule is published widely
  13. The rule comes into force
  14. The rule is monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis

Comment on rules under consultation

The invitation to comment on a draft rule is advertised in major newspapers and in the New Zealand Gazette - the official newspaper of the New Zealand Government.

New Zealand Gazette [The Department of Internal Affairs]

You can view Maritime New Zealand’s consultations that are open for comment as well as their associated consultation documents on this site. Those consultations that closed recently are also available as well as an explanation of our consultation process.

Public consultation on maritime interests, including rules

View the final rules

All final rules are notified in the New Zealand Gazette and this website.

Rules come into force on the 28th day after notification in the New Zealand Gazette or at a later specified date.

To view all of the in-force and final maritime and marine protection rules online use the links below.

List of all maritime and marine protection rules
Latest rule updates

Printed copies of the final and in-force rules can also be purchased from Baseline.
Purchase printed copies of rules

Contact us for further information

Questions and general enquiries about the process to establish a rule should be directed to: