For the environment
Regulation is an important component of a well-functioning society. In New Zealand, regulations are structured to meet requirements around the risk they pose to human health and safety or environmental impacts.
The New Zealand regulatory system is largely governed through Acts, Regulations, cited Standards and Codes of Practice. These pieces of legislation are managed and enforced by government agencies and regulatory bodies.
This means businesses may be required to comply with multiple regulatory regimes mandated by different regulators depending on industry.
New Zealand has a range of government agencies responsible for maintaining, preserving and managing our unique environment. The following agencies work with thousands of New Zealand businesses each year, granting resource consents, lowering energy consumption, or helping businesses to import and export goods. All are an invaluable source of information and guidance for small businesses.
On this page:
- Biosecurity New Zealand
- Department of Conservation
- Environmental Risk Management Authority
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority
- Ministry for the Environment
- Ministry for Primary Industries
Biosecurity New Zealand is the division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry charged with leadership of the New Zealand biosecurity system. It encompasses facilitating international trade, protecting the health of New Zealanders and ensuring the welfare of our environment, flora and fauna, marine life and Maori resources.
Biosecurity New Zealand’s Standards and Regulations Internet portal contains information and guidance for small businesses intending to import and export products. This covers all plant and animal material, wooden products, vehicle imports and shipping containers.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is responsible for the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. It works to protect marine mammals, indigenous freshwater fisheries, recreational fisheries and freshwater habitats, and is responsible for conserving indigenous wildlife wherever it lives.
DOC provides a variety of online resources for businesses wanting to enter the tourism market, or businesses wishing to commercially operate within DOC-managed conservation land. DOC also provides opportunities to form partnerships with private businesses on particular environmental projects or initiatives.
Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) New Zealand’s purpose is to safeguard people and the environment by regulating the introduction and use of hazardous substances and new organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act. ERMA regulates the importation, development and use of plants, animals and other new organisms including genetically modified organisms.
ERMA provides guidance and information for businesses applying for resource consent as part of the Resource Management Act (1991) as well as providing businesses with certification, qualifications and licenses for managing hazardous materials.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is a Crown entity that encourages, supports and promotes energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the use of renewable sources of energy. EECA sets and monitors minimum energy performance standards and mandatory energy rating labels for a range of products including vehicles.
EECA also offers Programme Partners - businesses with the specialist, technical expertise to help other businesses identify and implement cost-effective projects. They can also access any funding businesses may be eligible for.
The Ministry for the Environment (MFE) advises the Government on all matters related to the environment and is one of its major advisers on the sustainable development of New Zealand. The Ministry is responsible for policy advice and implementation of government decisions in both the Environment and Climate Change portfolios, covering both domestic and international matters.
MFE offers free-to-use publications and resources on a range of topics relevant to businesses, including sustainable business, resource management and hazardous waste disposal. MFE can also help to market and promote sustainable businesses as part of its Business Partnerships for Sustainability programme.
Ministry for Primary Industries ( MPI) is the agency responsible for leading the protection and sustainable development of New Zealand’s biological resources. Its mission is to enhance New Zealand's natural advantage by:
• Encouraging high-performing sectors.
• Developing safe and freer trade.
• Ensuring healthy New Zealanders.
• Protecting our natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
MPI is the lead agency for the implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme for agriculture, and for New Zealand's involvement in the Global Research Alliance on Agriculture Greenhouse Gasses.
MPI Fisheries works to ensure fisheries are used in a sustainable way and New Zealand has a healthy aquatic ecosystem. It is responsible for ensuring that people and companies comply with fisheries laws and regulations so all New Zealanders can get the best value from this resource.
MPI protects and enforces New Zealand’s commercial Quota Management System (QMS). It controls the total commercial catch for virtually all the main fish stocks found within New Zealand’s 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Find out more about regulatory authorities for: