Marine consents in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf

We are responsible for managing the effects of particular marine activities in our offshore waters.

The Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf is a mapped area of ocean that starts 12 nautical miles out from New Zealand's coast. It is one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, 20 times the size of our land mass.

New Zealand's oceans are split into three areas:

  • The Territorial Sea - 0 to 12 nautical miles offshore.
  • The Exclusive Economic Zone - 12 to 200 nautical miles offshore.
  • The Continental Shelf - the area where New Zealand’s submerged landmass extends beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone.

We are responsible for managing the effects of specified restricted activities on the environment in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf under the EEZ Act. We consider applications for marine consents, monitor compliance, carry out enforcement, and promote public awareness of the requirements of the EEZ Act and associated regulations.

Factsheet: Our role in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (PDF, 273KB)

Factsheet: The types of activity we regulate in New Zealand's offshore waters (PDF, 225KB)

Process for marine consents

If you would like to undertake a specified offshore activity, there are procedures and processes to follow.

Marine consent conditions

You can apply to change or cancel conditions of your marine consent.

Compliance monitoring

We are responsible for ensuring people comply with the rules and conditions of their marine consent. Find out how.

Decisions under consent conditions

Some consent conditions require us to review plans, results and reports that are submitted by consent holders.