Government publishes review of NZ Coastal Policy Statement’s affect on decision making

New analysis of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS ) was released by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage on Sunday. The Department of Conservation’s review of the NZCPS looked at how it has influenced decision making under the Act.

Under the Resource Management Act, the NZCPS guides local authority management of the coastal environment, and council and Environment Court decision making under the RMA.  The review identified the need for guidance to support the coastal hazard policies in the NZCPS.

The review also found while some local authorities have embraced the NZCPS and made good progress, others had work to do.

Other key findings included:

  • Councils who resource and implement a strategic and integrated approach to managing their coastal areas are making better progress in using the NZCPS to achieve good coastal management
  • Lack of accepted and consistent methods has been a problem in mapping and risk assessment relating to natural character and outstanding natural landscapes.
  • Consistent ways of working and further implementation guidance are still needed for councils
  • The views among sector groups on the implications of the Supreme Court’s 2014 King Salmon decision for resource management planning and decision making are strongly divided.

The review of the NZCPS was initiated by DOC in 2016 to fulfil its monitoring responsibilities for the NZCPS in 2016 and was completed last year.  It completes the first stage of monitoring the policy and points to the further monitoring work that is needed to provide a national perspective on coastal management trends.

The full review can be found at

About the NZCPS:

The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 was prepared under the RMA and is a key instrument for central government to influence local government’s implementation of the RMA in the coastal environment. It states policies to achieve the RMA’s purpose of promoting sustainable management on a range of issues including preservation of natural character, coastal subdivision, use and development, and coastal hazard risks. It is the only mandatory policy statement under the RMA. Regional policy statements, regional plans and district plans must give effect to it.