The Act allows the Minister for the Environment to classify activities as:
The activity can be undertaken provided the operator meets conditions specified in regulations.
Activities can be undertaken if applicants obtain a marine consent from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA may grant or decline consent and place conditions on the consent. The consent application will not be publicly notified.
Activities can be undertaken if applicants obtain a marine consent from the relevant marine consent authority (EPA, or Board of Inquiry from 1 June 2017). The marine consent authority may decline or grant a consent and place conditions on the consent. The consent application will be publicly notified, submissions will be invited and hearings will be held if requested by any party including submitters.
The activity may not be undertaken.
The classification chosen will depend on a number of considerations outlined in section 33 of the Act including the environmental effects of the activity, the importance of protecting rare and vulnerable ecosystems and the economic benefit to New Zealand of an activity.