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coastal marine ecosystem

Guidance for Marine Offsetting and Compensation in New Zealand.

Greater Wellington Regional Council
Ecology, Coastal
Marine Ecology

The Ecology team at 4Sight – Part of SLR was engaged by Greater Wellington Regional Council in 2022 to develop a technical guidance document on how to mitigate or offset adverse effects on the coastal marine environment in New Zealand. Coastal developments can lead to adverse effects on marine habitats and indigenous biodiversity. Understanding and managing these effects is complex and is made even more difficult with the lack of relevant guidance for marine environments. Understanding the tools available to quantify the level of effects and identify suitable approaches to avoid, minimise, remedy, offset or compensate for adverse effects is an important first step in this process and one that 4Sight is well-placed to assist.

The purpose of the guidance document is to be used by consent applicants and local and central government regulators to ensure that adverse effects on marine ecosystems are managed appropriately, whether that is by mitigation, offsetting, or compensation.

The scope of the guidance includes the following:

  • Coastal marine ecosystems;

  • Identification of tools to assess the quantum of offsetting or compensation required to address adverse effects;

  • Practical measures and examples of offsetting and compensation for biodiversity loss in marine ecosystems, and guidelines for assessing them as part of a consenting decision;

  • Impact management considerations that are unique to the coastal marine environment; and

  • Limits to offsetting and compensation in the coastal marine environment.


The final guidance document is expected to be released mid-2023.

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