The 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 (MNZ) develops maritime and marine protection rules on behalf of the Minister of Transport, under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
Why we have new rules
The maritime and marine protection rules are statutory instruments (or secondary legislation) made by the Minister of Transport under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
While the Maritime Transport Act stipulates broad principles of maritime law, the rules contain detailed technical standards and procedures. Compliance with the rules is required because they form part of New Zealand maritime law. Failure to comply with the rules may be an offence under the act.
MNZ has the power to make emergency rules in certain circumstances, under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
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.
- Policy gap identified
- Decision made
A decision is made to address the gap with a new rule or rule change
- MNZ prepares the first draft
- Informal consultation takes place
- The first draft is reviewed and revised
- Invitation to comment
An invitation to comment on the draft rule is advertised widely to the maritime community and general public
- The draft rule is made available for comment
- Public submissions received
MNZ receives and considers submissions during the consultation period
- Revised draft may be circulated
The revised draft may, depending on the particular rule, be circulated to key stakeholders for final comment
- Final draft rule is prepared by MNZ
- Final rule is signed
The Minister of Transport signs the final rule into law
- Final rule is published and distributed
- The rule comes into force
- Ongoing evaluation
The rule is monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis
Commenting 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.