The Minister for the Environment has responsibilities under a number of pieces of legislation including:
The Resource Management Act 1991(RMA)
The Minister makes recommendations on national policy statements and environmental standards, decides whether to refer matters that are nationally significant to a Board of Inquiry or the Environment Court, recommends applicants be approved as a requiring authority, decides on water conservation orders, and monitors the effect and implementation of the RMA.
The Waste Minimisation Act 2008
The Minister can accredit voluntary and mandatory product stewardship schemes, declare a product to be a priority product so a product stewardship scheme must be developed and accredited, approve funding of any project to promote or achieve waste minimisation, monitor and review the effectiveness of the waste minimisation levy, and request advice from the Waste Advisory Board.
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996
The Minister can 'call-in' and decide on hazardous substances or new organisms applications in certain specified circumstances, including when the decision will have significant effects on identified matters.
Fiordland Marine Management Act 2005
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The Minister of Climate Change has direct responsibility for the overall climate change policy direction at the domestic and international level.
This includes responsibilities under the:
Climate Change Response Act 2002
The Minister is responsible for the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. This includes ensuring allocations plans are in force, authorising certain people to become inspectors to investigate and verify estimates of greenhouse gas emissions, and initiating a review of the NZ ETS at any time. The Minister also has responsibilities for the Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy and the setting of targets under the Act.
With the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, the Minister is also now responsible for setting emissions budgets, and preparing emissions reduction and national adaptation plans.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Minister is responsible for representing New Zealand in international negotiations on climate change.