1. Why is the direction from the Minister of Conservation and not the Minister for the Environment?
Because the application relates only to activities within the coastal marine area, the Resource Management Act (RMA) gives authority to decide whether the proposal is nationally significant and who should consider and decide it - to the Minister of Conservation, as opposed to the Minister for the Environment.
2. What is the role of Marlborough District Council in this process?
The Marlborough District Council was required to provide its views on whether the matter should be directed to a board of inquiry, the Environment Court or referred back to them.
The Board consulted with Marlborough District Council in deciding whether to accept or reject the plan change requests. The Board accepted the plan change request/s, and Marlborough District Council was then required to prepare the proposed plan change/s and serve that back on the EPA for public notification.
Marlborough District Council also provided the EPA with a key issues report (under s149G of the RMA). The RMA also allows for Marlborough District Council to make a submission/further submission on the proposal.
3. Why is the EPA involved in this process?
The proposal was lodged with the EPA as the applicant considers it a proposal of national significance.
4. What is the role of the EPA in this process?
The EPA assessed the proposal for whether any further information was required. It made a recommendation to the Minister as to whether the proposal should be directed to a board of inquiry, the Environment Court or to the Local Authority.
Now that the proposal has been directed to a Board, the EPA’s role is to give public notice, receive submissions, assist the Board and administer the process for hearing and deciding on the proposal.
The EPA does not have a decision making role.
5. How have NZ King Salmon been able to request plan changes in an area where marine farming is presently a prohibited activity?
The Resource Management Amendment Act (No 2) 2011 commenced on 1 October 2011. This legislation is part of recent aquaculture legislation reforms by central government.
The RMA as amended by these reforms removes the requirement for aquaculture management areas (AMAs) to be established before consent applications can be made. The reforms also allow for private plan changes for aquaculture to be lodged concurrently with related resource consents where aquaculture is currently a prohibited activity.
More information on the aquaculture reforms can be found on the Ministry of Fisheries website at: