Managing our wetlands in the coastal marine area

Closed 21 Sep 2022

Opened 10 Aug 2022

Results updated 9 May 2023

From 10 August to 21 September 2022, the Ministry for the Environment consulted on options to retain or amend the application of the NES-F to the coastal marine area.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Our wetlands in the coastal marine area are the interface of freshwater and marine ecosystems.  

Why we are consulting

The original policy intent of the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards) for Freshwater (NES-F) was to restrict activities likely to cause the loss or degradation of all natural wetlands including those in the coastal marine area.  

However, many councils and stakeholders initially interpreted the NES-F as applying only to natural inland wetlands (which are natural wetlands not in the coastal marine area).  

In November 2021, the High Court held in Minister of Conservation v Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society Incorporated (the High Court decision) that the NES-F wetland provisions do apply to natural wetlands in the coastal marine area. 

We consulted on options to retain or amend the application of the NES-F to the coastal marine area in response to concerns raised following the High Court decision.  

Read the discussion document [PDF, 819 KB]


The Ministry is currently proposing changes to the wetland provisions in the NES-F and NPS-FM as part of the Managing our Wetlands work programme. The proposal in this discussion document relates to, but is distinct from, that work. 

Feedback previously provided to the Ministry through the Managing our Wetlands consultation regarding the coastal marine area will be included in our analysis.

What happens next

Officials will analyse submissions and take all feedback into consideration when providing advice to the Government.