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Oceans Policy Cabinet Papers


November, 2001

Office of the Hon Pete Hodgson


Chair
Cabinet Policy Committee

Oceans Policy

Proposal

  • The ad hoc Group of Ministers for Oceans policy has delegated responsibility from Cabinet for the process to develop an Oceans Policy and is required to report to Cabinet following its consideration of the report from the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the outcome of the consultation strategy and at the conclusion of key milestones within the project.

  • This paper provides such a report to Cabinet and proposes that Cabinet
  • agree to the vision statement identified by the ad hoc group of Ministers responsible for Oceans Policy
  • approve the high level policy issues to be considered in Stage Two of the process to develop an Oceans Policy and
  • direct officials to prepare a work programme and timetable for Stage Two, including identifying the necessary project structure and resources.


Background

  • In July 2000 Cabinet agreed to develop an Oceans Policy to identify goals for managing New Zealand's marine environment and to provide an integrated and comprehensive policy and legal framework for achieving those goals.
  • It was agreed in September 2000 that the policy would be developed in three stages. Stage One was to Define a Vision for New Zealand's oceans and identify the goals and principles that should inform decision making about the marine environment. It was envisaged initially that Stage One would be completed by 31 October 2001 but delays in appointing the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Oceans Policy meant that completion of Stage One has been delayed until December 2001.
  • Stage Two is to Design the Vision. This will require analysing the status quo and identifying the tools, policies, legal and institutional frameworks necessary to achieve the vision. The original timetable approved by Cabinet envisaged the second stage would be completed by 1 October 2002 on the basis that Stage One would be completed by 31 October 2001.
  • Stage Three is Delivering the vision - creating the tools and legal and institutional framework identified in stage two and developing the policies and procedures necessary to achieve the vision, including a monitoring and assessment capacity. The current timetable for the project envisages Stage Three being completed by 30 June 2003.
  • The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Oceans Policy (the Committee), chaired by Dame Catherine Tizard, was appointed by Cabinet in March 2001 to undertake public consultation for Stage One.
  • The focus of the consultation was on identifying a vision and goals for New Zealand's oceans and the values and principles New Zealanders believe should inform decisions made about the marine environment. The committee held 47 meetings and 24 hui during June, July and August of this year and received 1,160 written submissions in the course of its consultation.
  • The Committee presented the ad hoc Ministerial Group on Oceans Policy with its report Healthy Sea: Healthy Society - Towards an Oceans Policy for New Zealand, which sets out the results of its consultation process in September of this year as required by its Terms of Reference.
  • Ministers released the report to the public on 1 November 2001. It has been distributed to key stakeholders and a summary of the report has been sent to all those who attended public meetings and indicated they wished to receive a copy of the summary. The full report and the summary are also available from the oceans policy website www.oceans.govt.nz.

Define the Vision

  • The Advisory Committee's report identifies what it describes as "essential components" of a vision to define the future of New Zealand's oceans and also identifies common values held by New Zealanders in relation to the processes and tools they think should be used to work towards achieving that vision. Attached as Appendix One to this paper is an extract from the Advisory Committee's report that sets out the components of a vision identified by the Committee, the common values and aspirations New Zealanders hold in relation to an Oceans Policy and the challenges that will need to be addressed when developing an Oceans Policy.
  • The ad hoc Ministerial Group responsible for Oceans Policy has considered the report and identified a vision statement that Ministers believe reflects the outcome of the consultation process and will provide direction for Stage Two of the process
  • The purpose of the vision is to define the kind of marine environment New Zealanders want for the future and to provide guidance for future policy development. It should describe the state of affairs that would exist if the vision were successfully achieved.
  • The vision should provide a future focus, reflect the need for collective responsibility toward our oceans, the range of values associated with them, the interdependence between the well being of New Zealanders and the health of the oceans and be clearly identifiable as about New Zealand's oceans.
  • It will also be important that the vision statement is credible across the range of stakeholders and interests within the marine environment and be seen to draw on the outcomes of the consultation process for Stage One. The language must, therefore, be inclusive and capable of being seen to include and accommodate the range of values and aspirations identified in relation to the marine environment.
  • All of these outcomes should be reflected in the vision statement. Joint Ministers have considered the report and identified a vision statement. It is proposed that the vision for New Zealand's oceans be:
    • Healthy Oceans: New Zealanders understand marine life and marine processes and, accordingly take responsibility for wisely managing the health of the ocean and its contribution to the present and future social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing of New Zealand.

Stage Two - Design the vision

  • Cabinet has directed that Stage Two of the process focus on designing the policies, processes and tools necessary to ensure that the agreed vision is achieved. This will require assessing the status quo to determine the extent to which it needs to be amended or augmented to ensure the vision can be achieved and identifying any necessary legislative or institutional changes.
  • The Committee also identified in its report a number of challenges that it believed would need to be addressed when developing an Oceans Policy (see Appendix One).
  • The work programme for Stage Two must address those issues arising from the consultation report and any other issues identified as necessary to develop an overarching policy framework for managing our interaction with the marine environment. The work programme should not focus on operational issues but it will be necessary to ensure close liaison between the Oceans Policy project and existing operational processes.
  • Officials have considered the challenges identified in the Committee's report and identified seven key high level issues that it is proposed form the focus of the work programme for Stage Two. Set out below are the seven key issues identified by officials with a brief outline of the nature of the issues relevant to it:
    • Models for integrated management
      Identifying goals, developing processes to determine priorities for particular activities, systems for integrated and consistent decision making across the range of operational processes and activities.
    • Holistic management
      Developing management systems taking account of the range of values held in relation to the marine environment and management systems that reflect the physical reality of the marine environment.
    • Compliance and Enforcement
      Developing compliance and enforcement models consistent with the nature and extent of our responsibilities and developing policies and processes consistent with ensuring high degrees of voluntary compliance.
    • Decision making models
      Determining when, how and by whom decisions are made and implemented (nationally, regionally, locally)
    • Treaty of Waitangi
      Develop a framework to address Crown responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi in relation to the marine environment
    • Information management
      Develop a framework to identify what information is needed to allow effective management of our interaction with the marine environment and models for managing information about the marine environment
    • Monitoring and Measurement
      Develop effective systems to monitor implementation of management systems and processes for making changes as necessary

  • It is proposed that officials be directed to develop a work programme addressing such issues. When developing the work programme officials will fully scope the issues to ensure that the issues raised by the Committee's report are considered and any further issues are identified as necessary and submit such a work programme, with necessary resources identified, to the ad hoc Ministerial Group for approval.
  • The timetable currently approved by Cabinet for developing the Oceans Policy provides that Stage Two be completed by 1 October 2002. It is proposed that Ministers direct officials when preparing the work programme to consider whether such timeframe needs to be reviewed and to ensure that opportunities for participation by Maori, stakeholders and the public are included in the work programme.
  • The Ministerial Advisory Committee identified some common values that had emerged from the consultation process as common aspirations for an Oceans Policy and values that New Zealanders believe should inform the policies, processes and tools used to manage our interaction with the marine environment. (see Appendix One)
  • It is proposed that Ministers direct officials to consider these points raised by the Committee's report when developing the work programme for Stage Two and identify the values and principles arising from the report and submit them to the ad hoc Ministerial Group for approval in conjunction with the programme. The values and principles identified will guide the policy work in Stage Two.
  • It is proposed that officials be directed to submit such work programme and timetable to joint Ministers for approval by 31 March 2002.

Process structure and Governance

  • The Oceans Policy process is led by the ad hoc Ministerial Group and managed by the Oceans Policy Secretariat, which has responsibility for supporting joint Ministers in developing an Oceans Policy. For Stage One the Secretariat has consisted of a full time official based in the office of the Hon Pete Hodgson, an inter-agency group of officials, including representatives from Local Government, meeting as required and from to time to time dedicated policy and administrative staff.
  • To ensure Ministers have the level of support necessary to successfully achieve the goals for Stage Two the structure and resources of the Oceans Policy Secretariat will need to be reassessed.
  • It is also important to ensure that the process for Stage Two provides a range of opportunities for Maori and stakeholder participation in the process and provides a clear link between the work of Stage One and Stage Two and that the structure provides Ministers with the capacity and support they need to achieve the goals of Stage Two.
  • It is proposed that there be a number of components to the structure for Stage Two. The project would continue to be lead by the ad hoc Ministerial Group provide leadership and direction for the project.
  • The first component would be a high level Oceans Reference Group with a direct relationship with the ad hoc Ministerial Group and responsibility for preserving the integrity of the outcome of Stage One - to act as guardians of the vision.
  • It is proposed that it be a small group of five people with a Chair appointed by Ministers. It is not proposed the group be a decision making group nor act as representatives or advocates for particular stakeholder interests. The Group would have the responsibility to operate as a resource for Ministers to assist them in their decision making. Ministers would convene the group as required.
  • It is proposed that Cabinet agree to establish such a group and delegate authority to the ad hoc Ministerial Group to approve Terms of Reference for the Oceans Reference Group and to appoint members.
  • The second component of the governance structure would be a Chief Executive Advisory Group comprised of the Chief Executives of the agencies reporting to the members of the ad hoc Ministerial Group, namely the Department of Conservation, Ministry for Economic Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry for Research Science and Technology and Te Puni Kokiri and have the power to second other Chief Executives as required.
  • The role of the group would be to ensure the capacity and capability of the Oceans Policy Secretariat to achieve the work programme for Stage Two and provide leadership within departments to ensure a successful cross government policy development process.
  • The other component of the governance structure would be the Oceans Policy Secretariat that would be responsible for policy development and public consultation as approved by Ministers.
  • Currently the agencies involved in the Oceans Policy process are Customs, Defence, DOC, DPMC, LINZ, Maritime Safety Authority, MED, MfE, MFish, MFAT, MORST, SSC, TPK, Ministry of Transport, the Office of Tourism and Sport, Treasury and a Local Government representative.
  • It is proposed that all those agencies continue to be involved in Stage Two of the project but that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry be included in the project for Stage Two. Two major issues identified by Stage One - biosecurity and the integration of land management and marine management - are relevant to the responsibilities of MAF and notwithstanding that lead responsibility for each of the issues rests with other agencies it is appropriate for MAF to contribute to policy development in Stage Two.
  • It is proposed that Ministers direct officials to develop a detailed management framework for the governance structure addressing roles and responsibilities, accountability and resources in conjunction with the work programme and present it to joint Ministers for approval by 31 March 2001.

Consultation

In preparing this paper the following agencies have been consulted: Customs, DOC, DPMC, LINZ, Maritime Safety Authority, MAF, Ministry of Defence, Ministry for Economic Development, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Research Science and Technology, State Services Commission, Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Transport, the Office of Tourism and Sport, Treasury and Local Government.

Fiscal implications

The project is currently funded as part of the BioDiversity package and has funding through to June 30 2003. It is proposed that officials be directed to develop a budget for Stage Two when planning the work programme. The Secretariat will consult in the first instance with the Central Government Co-ordinating Group of the BioDiversity Chief Executives if there are any fiscal implications identified. The ad hoc Ministerial Group will be advised of any fiscal implications identified by the budget planning process.

Recommendations

The Hon Pete Hodgson recommends that the Committee

a) note that on 5 July 2000 the Cabinet Policy Committee agreed to the development of an Oceans policy led by Hon Pete Hodgson, and established an Ad Hoc Group of Ministers to oversee the development of the policy [POL 00 M 16.3 refers];

b) note that the Ad Hoc Ministerial Group is required to report to Cabinet on the conclusion of Stage One

c) note that the Oceans Policy is to be developed in three stages with Stage One focusing on identifying a vision for New Zealand's oceans and the values and principles that should inform decision making about the marine environment

d) note that the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Oceans Policy was appointed in March 2001 and undertook public consultation during June, July and August 2001 to provide New Zealanders with an opportunity to participate in the process of identifying a vision for New Zealand's oceans

e) note that the Committee reported to the ad hoc Ministerial Group responsible for Oceans Policy on 28 September 2001 and that such Ministers have considered the report and issues arising from it

f) note that the Committee's report identified the components of a vision for New Zealand's oceans on the basis of the consultation undertaken

g) note that the purpose of the vision is to define the kind of marine environment New Zealanders want for the future and to provide guidance for future policy development

h) agree that the vision for New Zealand's oceans be based on the outcome of the public consultation undertaken by the Committee

i) agree that the vision for New Zealand's oceans be

    • Healthy Oceans: New Zealanders understand marine life and marine processes and, accordingly take responsibility for wisely managing the health of the ocean and its contribution to the present and future social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing of New Zealand.

a) agree that the ad hoc Ministerial Group continue to lead the development of the project and provide leadership and direction of the process to develop an Oceans Policy

b) agree that the structure and processes used for Stage Two should provide both opportunities for Maori and stakeholder to participate in the process and Ministers with the capacity and support necessary to achieve the goals of Stage Two

c) note that to ensure joint Ministers have the level of support necessary to successfully achieve the goals for Stage Two the structure and resources of the Oceans Policy Secretariat will need to be reassessed

d) agree that the project structure for Stage Two have four components

  • ad hoc Ministerial Group - responsible for leading the project
  • Oceans Reference Group - an external resource group for Ministers
  • Chief Executive Advisory Group - responsible for ensuring capacity and capability of the project
  • Oceans Policy Secretariat - responsible for policy development and public consultation processes

a) agree that officials develop a management framework with Terms of Reference for each component of the governance structure together with roles and responsibilities, accountabilities and necessary resources by 31 March 2002

b) agree that the Ad Hoc Ministerial Group have delegated authority to approve the Terms of Reference for each component of the governance structure and the management framework for the structure and to appoint members of the Oceans Policy Reference Group

c) agree that the agencies involved in Stage Two be Customs, Defence, DOC, DPMC, LINZ, MAF, Maritime Safety Authority, MED, MfE, Mfish, MFAT, MOSRT, SSC, TPK, Ministry of Transport, the Office of Tourism and Sport, Treasury and Local Government.

d) note that the project is currently funded as part of the BioDiversity package and has funding through to 30 June 2001 and officials will develop a budget for Stage Two. The Secretariat will consult in first instance with the Central Government Co-ordinating Group of the BioDiversity Chief Executives if there are any fiscal implications identified in the budget planning process. The budget will be submitted to the ad hoc Ministerial Group for their consideration.

e) agree that the work programme for Stage Two be based on the outcome of the public consultation process in Stage One and address seven key issues being Models for Integrated Management, Holistic Management of the Marine Environment; Compliance and Enforcement Regimes, Decision making models, Treaty of Waitangi, Information Management in Relation to the Marine Environment and Monitoring and Measurement Processes.

f) agree that officials develop a work programme to address such issues and ensure that all issues raised by the Committee's report are considered and identify any further issues necessary to successfully developing an Oceans Policy

g) agree that officials develop a timetable for such work programme and ensure that opportunities for participation by Maori, stakeholders and the public are included in the work programme and timetable

h) agree that such work programme and timetable identify necessary resources and be submitted to joint Minister's for approval by 31 March 2001

i) note that the Committee's report identified some common values emerging from the consultation process

j) agree that officials consider the Committee's report and identify the values and principles that should guide the development of policy in Stage Two and submit such values and principles to joint Ministers for approval by 31 March 2001

Hon Pete Hodgson
Chair, ad hoc Ministerial Group
Oceans Policy

Appendix One - Extract from report Healthy Sea: Healthy Society
Components of a Vision

Many other general points emerged from our consultation that indicate values and principles that might inform an Oceans Policy. There are some things that can be clearly identified as essential components of a vision to define the future of New Zealand's oceans. New Zealanders want:

  • Clean water so they can eat safely from their sea.
  • Clean water to swim in.
  • The marine environment to be healthy and productive, with biodiversity protected from external threats.
  • The intrinsic and intangible values of the ocean recognised.
  • Management of human interaction with the marine environment to reflect New Zealand perspectives and in particular the Maori world view.
  • The ability to enjoy the economic benefits without compromising the health and well-being of the oceans.
  • Certainty and clarity of the rights and responsibilities associated with use and enjoyment of the marine environment.
  • Ready individual access to the sea and coastline to meet a wide range of social and recreational needs.
  • All New Zealanders to take responsibility for the well-being of the seas and to have access to appropriate information to allow them to act responsibly and to participate constructively in decision-making
  • To have management that does not compromise future interests and needs, and ensures that a healthy sea is part of the heritage of New Zealand's children.

Values for an Oceans Policy

We believe we have identified some common values held in relation to the processes and tools New Zealanders think should be used in achieving that vision. New Zealanders want an Oceans Policy that will:

  • set clear goals
  • integrate separate management processes
  • provide open and transparent decision-making that allows for informed participation
  • provide fair and equitable means to balance competing aspirations
  • reflect the range of values held in relation to the marine environment
  • strike a balance between the need for adaptability and consistency
  • provide for the optimal realisation of economic benefits without compromising the quality of the environment
  • ensure that management decisions are informed by adequate knowledge and due caution is exercised
  • promote a collective sense of responsibility.

Challenges for an Oceans Policy

The sheer vastness, complexity, and fragility of New Zealand's oceans, coupled with high expectations from a small but value-laden society, means that no solution will be easy or immediate. The context in which these challenges will be addressed is a combination of the physical, cultural and social heritage of New Zealand. Solutions will have to reflect:

  • the diversity and size of the area for which we are responsible
  • the implications of a long and, in many places, isolated coastline
  • a small population base
  • strong social and cultural connections to the sea
  • economic dependence on the sea - direct and indirect
  • the Maori world view
  • rights accorded Maori under Article Two of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The consultation process has identified a number of key issues and requirements that will need to be addressed in order to develop a successful Oceans Policy for New Zealand.

A healthy sea It will be necessary to:

  • Find the means to clean up the sea within the relatively short timeframe that people are seeking.
  • Protect biodiversity from environmental damage induced by human impact.
  • Protect the abundance of species, especially those commonly harvested.
  • Develop a strategy to help protect or restore the abundance of marine life by optimal use of no-take marine reserves and other management tools, including customary means, without unduly eroding existing rights and interests.
  • Develop effective strategies to reduce the threats to marine life of invasive pests and diseases and ensure swift response to any incursions.

A healthy society It will be necessary to:

  • Enable productive use of the ocean's living and mineral resources without compromising the integrity and health of the marine environment.
  • Strike a balance between the social, environmental and economic demands on the marine environment.
  • Provide for the world view of Maori within the management framework developed for the marine environment.
  • Strike a balance between the call for universal access to the coast and the sea and the restrictions on access consequent upon various forms of use.
  • Develop management systems with the agility and flexibility to allow new opportunities to be explored and developed without compromising the health and well-being of the marine environment.
  • Give legal effect to Maori customary knowledge and resource management practices like rahui within marine management systems without compromising the integrity of such tikanga.

Framework for the Future It will be necessary to:

  • Create processes for marine management that take whole ecosystems into account.
  • Expand knowledge of marine life and habitats, how marine ecosystems work and the nature and extent of threats to ecosystems.
  • Develop management processes to integrate decisions about land use and the marine environment.
  • Achieve high levels of voluntary compliance with management systems, and develop affordable ways to ensure enforcement of management regimes for the fourth largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of marine management activity and make any necessary changes to management systems and processes in a timely manner.
  • Develop management responses consistent with the physical reality of the marine environment and its connections with other physical systems such as climatic forces.
  • Identify the range of decisions needed to manage interaction with the marine environment and decide who makes such decisions.
  • Develop processes for making decisions that promote informed participation of those who wish to be involved and provide for constructive resolution of conflict.
  • Develop open and transparent processes both for allocating space and other resources and for determining priorities attached to particular uses.
  • Define the rights and responsibilities associated with activities.

 

 

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