The assessment process is staged depending on the nature and scale of the activity:
Under the Antarctica (Environmental Protection) Act (which implements Annex I provisions), all activities organised in New Zealand or proceeding to Antarctica from New Zealand must complete an environmental evaluation in one of these categories as part of planning a visit to Antarctica, well in advance of travelling south. The evaluation must be approved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) before the activity can commence. Antarctica New Zealand coordinates the provision of environmental evaluations to the Ministry for the activities it supports. Proponents of activities not supported by Antarctica New Zealand should deal direcly with MFAT.