Marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration

Certain activities are permitted in the EEZ without a marine consent as long as you follow certain rules.

Marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf (CS) is regulated under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects- Permitted Activities) Regulation 2013.

Sticking to the rules Plus

Under regulation 5, marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration are permitted activities if you follow certain rules. These include pre- and post- activity requirements.

Your pre-activity requirements are set out in regulation 5 and Schedule 1 of the regulations. These includes notifying the EPA and iwi, no later than 40 days and 25 days before activity commences, respectively. The EPA will provide you with a list of iwi to contact. No later than five days before activity commences you must report to the EPA on your contact with iwi and also provide an initial environmental assessment and sensitive environments contingency plan. The required content of the assessment is set out in Schedule 2 of the regulation. 

Your post- activity requirements are set out in regulation 5 and Schedule 4 of the regulations. These include notifying the EPA within 24 hours of commencement and completion of your activity, as well as reporting on the activity to the EPA within 60 days of completion.

You must also comply with the logbook requirements set out in Schedule 3 of the regulations.

Have a look at our guidance document for more information on marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration permitted activities and how to comply with the conditions.

View guidance on marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration permitted activities

To find out more about the requirements visit the Legislation New Zealand website and search for the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects - Permitted Activities) Regulation 2013. A link to the website is provided at the bottom of this page.  

Forms and submission Plus

Links to the Notice of commencement and Notice of completion Forms, as well as the logbook template are provided below. The other Forms and Schedules you need to comply with the requirements are found in the Permitted Activities Regulation 2013. You can find this on the New Zealand Legislation website, which is owned and updated by the Parliamentary Counsel Office. A link to the website has been provided at the bottom of this page. The deadline for submission is includd in brackets.

We prefer electronic summission of your forms, logbooks and reports. The email to which you attach your documents must include details of the person undertaking the activity ('the operator'), the name of the person supplying the completed form(s), and a statement that the person is authorised to supply the form on behalf of the operator.

You can email these to:

permitted.compliance@epa.govt.nz 

If you prefer to submit your documents by mail you can send hard copies to: Environmental Protection Authority, Private Bag 63002, Wellington 6140

Form - Pre-activity - notice to the EPA (docx 137KB)  (40 working days before activity commences)

Form - Pre-actitivty - noice to relevant iwi (docx 1.06MB) (25 working days before activity commences)

Form - Pre-activity - environmental assessment and sensitive environments contingency plan (docx 1.06MB) (5 working days before activity commences)

Form - Notice of commencement (docx 1.04MB) (24 hours after activity commences)

Logbook -Template for permitted activities (xlsx 98KB)

Form - Notice of completion (docx 1.05MB) (24 hours after activity complets)

Form - Post-activity report (docx 1.06MB) (60 woring days after activity complets)