Last line of defence: a summary of an evaluation of environmental enforcement in New Zealand


  • Marie A Brown



Environmental Defence Society, compliance, monitoring, enforcement (CME), Resource Management Act, Ministry for Primary Industries, QEII Trust and private land conservation covenants, Fish and Game New Zealand, Department of Conservation (DOC), Environmental Protection Authority


In 2016 the Environmental Defence Society embarked on an analysis of compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental law in New Zealand (Brown, 2017). The responsibilities for ensuring that the aspirations of law and policy are met with respect to the environment are shared across a wide range of acts and several agencies. Different agencies operationalise compliance in different ways, affording it different priority and thus achieving different outcomes.  This article summarises the key findings of the project and briefly canvasses the primary groups of solutions. New Zealand’s environment would benefit from a far more robust approach to achieving regulatory outcomes and this requires injections of resourcing and capability into our enforcement agencies and dissolution of prevailing political influences.


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