Vision

The life force and life-supporting capacity of the ocean are vibrant and vigorous. All human relationships with the marine realm are regenerative of nature and people.

Summary

Making use of our greatest ally, Te Ao Tūroa, the long-standing natural world, through active kaitiakitanga practice and precautionary, adaptive, integrated stewardship is essential in caring for all coastal and aquatic ecosystems. Doing all we can to support a naturally-regenerating ocean is essential for its health, for all that it gives us, and for the fundamental role it has in enabling climate stability. The Green Party will promote Te Tiriti-based governance of the seas of Aotearoa New Zealand that works to measurably regenerate mauri, prevent damage from human activities, increase resilience to climate change, and enable thriving marine ecosystems that underpin a healthy, well-managed blue economy.

Values and Principles

  • Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Kaitiakitanga, led by tangata whenua, should guide our relationship with the sea, ensuring it is better cared for. Māori regard all life forms within Te Ao Tūroa as taonga and require appropriate consideration as ordained by kawa, and determined in tikanga. 
  • Ecological Wisdom: Regenerating ocean ecosystem health is paramount for humanity to thrive in generations to come. The mauri, mana, and tapu - the intrinsic vitality, potency, and sanctity of the ocean and all who dwell within and around it are fundamental to the enduring life-support system that is our planet Earth.  Indeed, honongatanga - interconnections between species, whanaungatanga - connections within species and further indigenous frameworks hold critical perspectives that can ensure we not only have enough fish to fish, but also help us to address the climate and biodiversity crises. 
  • Social Responsibility: We should equitably provide for the sustainable livelihoods and recreational and spiritual opportunities valued by New Zealanders that healthy oceans and coasts offer.
  • Appropriate Decision-Making: A range of different interests at both local and national levels must be involved in decisions made concerning coastal and marine management. Decisions must include consideration of the needs of future generations and the entire environment.
  • Non-violence: Human activity in the marine environment should be restorative, not harmful, to the intrinsic mauri, mana, and tapu of those in the marine environment.
  • Urgency: Given the biodiversity crisis, declining health of ocean ecosystems and climate change impacts such as acidification and increasing sea temperatures, significant increases in investment and pace of implementation are urgently needed to regenerate coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • Interconnection: Ki uta ki tai - from the mountains to the sea. Marine management requires integrated management of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including the vital role of Hine-Tu-I-Te-Repo, swamps, in our coastal wetland and estuarine zones. The health of people, land, and our oceans are inextricably linked.

Strategic Priorities 

The Green Party’s strategic goals include: 

“All our waters will be in transition to becoming clean, and able to support healthy ecosystems.

All native species and their habitats will be thriving or on a path to recovery in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.

Our laws and practices will respect the biological integrity of all life while prioritising the health of indigenous species and ecosystems.

The customary and decision-making roles of whānau, hapū and iwi will be integral to decisions about resource use.

Decision-making about resource use will provide for community participation and environmental justice.”

Actions from this policy that work towards these goals include: 

1.1 Establish a well-resourced and politically independent Ocean Commission to develop and establish Te Tiriti-based ocean governance of our entire marine area, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and to advise Government on legislative, policy and institutional reform.

2.1 Reform fisheries and marine protection legislation and establish a national, comprehensive, and coherent system of no-take, marine protected areas.

2.4 Resource mātauranga Māori organisations and promote the use of marine cultural health indices to empower community action and well-being to inform policy, management, and operations.

4.1 Halt any further degradation of marine and estuarine habitats through the extraction of natural resources, destructive fishing practices or inappropriate construction of our built environments.

5.1 Phase out bottom trawling, prioritising seamounts and areas with high levels of sequestered carbon and biodiversity for protection.

5.4 Enable kaitiakitanga, including upholding and underpinning Māori fisheries rights in the transition of the QMS to an ecosystem-based management.

Connected Policies

This policy is one of several Green Party policies that focus on Environmental Protection. The mauri of the oceans is also connected to human activity on land, notably Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Forestry, Housing and Sustainable Communities, Transport, and Waste and Hazardous Substances. Climate Change is also an important connection.

See also our 2020 Election Priorities for Thriving Oceans

DOWNLOAD FULL POLICY

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

NZ needs strong protection against water privatisation

New Zealanders deserve strong protection against the future privatisation of water assets, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Nature missing in RMA reform

The Government has missed a crucial opportunity to redesign the resource management system with climate and nature at its heart. 
Read More

Story

Report shows reducing actual farming emissions vital

Evidence shows that relying on offsets to reduce agriculture’s impact on the climate will not work, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More

Latest Conservation Announcements

Story

Swimmable rivers and healthy lakes could soon be out of reach

The Green Party is calling on the Government to tighten the rules on synthetic fertiliser use and intensive land use, including intensive winter gr...
Read More

Story

Bill to ban mining on conservation land pulled from biscuit tin

Following months of work by the Green Party and community and environmental organisations, Parliament will have the opportunity to pass legislation...
Read More

Story

Stewardship land recommendations fall short of protecting nature

The proposed reclassification of stewardship land on the West Coast doesn’t go far enough to protect nature and the area’s spectacular landscapes, ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

The time to protect our oceans is now

The Green Party is calling on the Government to support a strong global treaty at the United Nations to protect our oceans, as Greenpeace hands ove...
Read More

Story

Protect seamounts and ban bottom trawling right now

The Green Party is renewing its call for Minister for the Environment, David Parker to immediately ban bottom trawling on seamounts.
Read More

Latest Fisheries Announcements

Story

Greens join Pacific leaders to call for an end to deep sea mining

Greens Oceans & Fisheries (Pacific) spokesperson Teanau Tuiono has joined together with other Pacific Parliamentarians to launch The Pacific Pa...
Read More

Story

Seaweek 2021: Green Party call on Fisheries NZ and DOC to do better to stop by-kill of our precious NZ seabirds

The Green Party can reveal that in 2019/2020, more seabirds were reported as killed by fishing than the previous four years.
Read More

Story

Greens commit to ensuring strong oceans protection this term

The Green Party will work with Labour this term to ensure better protections for our oceans, Green MP Eugenie Sage said today.
Read More

Story

Successful prosecution of Talley’s deep-water fishing division shows need for more marine protected areas and better enforcement

Today’s ruling that Talley’s deep-water fishing division, Amaltal, is guilty of bottom trawling in the Hikurangi Marine Reserve demonstrates the ne...
Read More

Story

Reports of great whites finned alive cement case for cameras on boats

Claims of illegal fishing and live finning of great whites in New Zealand waters show once again that cameras on fishing boats are long overdue, an...
Read More