Offshore renewable energy

As part of Electrify NZ, the Government has committed to delivering a regulatory regime for offshore renewable energy, to enable investment and deliver clean energy at scale.

Developing a regulatory framework

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is progressing work on developing a regulatory regime for offshore renewable energy. The proposed regime focuses on addressing gaps in our current system to enable development of our offshore renewable energy resources. The regime will work alongside, and not duplicate, existing regulatory regimes, including those under the Resource Management Act, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act, the Marine Mammals Protection Act, and Electricity Industry Act.

The Minister for Energy is expected to announce policy decisions on the regime shortly.

Indicative timeline for the proposed regulatory regime 

Below is the indicative timeline for the development of the regime. The timeline is indicative only and is subject to final Cabinet decisions. Timeframes will be brought forward where possible.

Milestone/Activity Indicative timing
Cabinet decisions on regime June 2024
Introduction of Bill By the end of 2024
Select Committee process Once the Bill passes first reading
Passing of the Bill Mid-2025
Secondary legislation in force and permit application guidance issued After Bill passes*
First feasibility round initiated By late 2025
First feasibility permits granted 2026

*Secondary legislation will be prepared alongside the Bill to enable implementation as soon as possible.

Consultation on an offshore renewable energy regime

In late 2023, MBIE sought feedback on proposed regulations to enable renewable energy development at sea. This was the second discussion document for public consultation on proposals for offshore renewable energy regulation. Getting our regulatory settings right will allow development to begin as early as possible, while protecting the interests of New Zealanders now and in the future.

Public consultation on this document, as well as a package of discussion documents to advance New Zealand’s energy transition, ended on 2 November 2023. We received over 50 submissions in relation to offshore renewable energy development. 

All submissions provide us with valuable insight to inform our ongoing work programme. We have analysed submissions and plan to publish a summary report of the key themes shortly.

As detailed in the consultation document, we will also be publishing submissions in full unless the submitter has requested specific redactions.

Between December 2022 and April 2023, MBIE consulted on proposed approaches to enabling feasibility studies for offshore renewable energy developments. MBIE received 59 submissions from a wide range of stakeholders and iwi, and a comprehensive summary of what we heard from this consultation can be found here: 

Contact us

MBIE is engaging regularly with those who have expressed an interest in the development of the offshore renewable energy regime. To be kept informed of these opportunities and to receive updates on progress please register your interest:

Register your interest

This page will be updated with significant milestones and developments as the work progresses.

Last updated: 24 May 2024