Stronger rules and response needed to protect beaches from oil spills

Stronger rules and enforcement to protect our beaches and marine environment are needed in the wake of new information that more than 360 oil spills have occurred in New Zealand waters since the 2011 Rena disaster, the Green Party said today.

“With summer just around the corner, we need better ways of protecting the beaches and seas that are so important to Kiwi ways of life,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“Every New Zealander has a birthright to swim in clean water, lie on clean sand, and catch fish that are safe to eat.

“The fact that people and vessels have spilled nearly four tonnes of oil and fuel into New Zealand’s coastal waters, in 363 spills in the last four years, shows that the current system isn’t working. Stronger rules, enforcement, and response capability are needed.

“It looks as if some regional councils respond more effectively than others when oil spills are reported, so the Ministry for the Environment needs to do its job and make sure all councils are up to scratch.

“Everyone on the water has a responsibility to take care and avoid making pollution, including recreational boaties. It’s clear that the oil and commercial fishing industries in particular need to do much better.

“The Green Party has a plan to protect beaches and the marine environment. Our plan includes through introducing compulsory shipping lanes like Norway and the UK have to reduce the risk of collision, improving Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill preparedness and response capability, holding people who spill oil financially accountable, and stopping risky deep sea oil drilling," said Ms Sage.

Latest Environment Announcements


Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More


More action on waste – Government funds recycling infrastructure, moves to standardise kerbside collections

$36.7m Government investment in high-tech recycling plants nationwide Plan to standardise and improve the nation’s kerbside collections As part o...
Read More


New rules for the outdoor storage of tyres

The Government is introducing environmental standards for tyres stored outdoors announced Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage. “A ...
Read More


Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem p...
Read More