NZ Legislation


The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty came into full force internationally on 14 January 1998, having been ratified by all Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties.  New Zealand ratified the Environmental Protocol through the Antarctica (Environmental Protection) Act 1994. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are responsible for administering the Act, including the issuing of permits and carrying out inspections for compliance.

Activities planned or conducted by New Zealanders in Antarctica are potentially affected by six different pieces of New Zealand environmental legislation:

  1. Antarctica (Environmental Protection) Act 1994
  2. Antarctic Marine Living Resources Act 1981
  3. Animal Welfare Act 1999
  4. Biosecurity Act 1993
  5. Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1999
  6. Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978

The download below provides a brief outline of the implications of each of these Acts for those planning activities in Antarctica.  It is intended as a guide only and does not substitute for the actual legislation and the requirements thereof.  Consult the relevant Act and/or the contact person listed in the guide if you have any doubts or require further information.

We recommend you also visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.