Minister’s foreword

Clean, renewable energy generation will be critical to realising our vision for Aotearoa New Zealand’s energy system to be highly renewable, sustainable and efficient by 2050.

A strong renewable energy system will help us achieve our goals to have a low-emissions and high-wage economy, while we support international efforts to limit global temperature rises.

New Zealand is very lucky to have access to significant renewable energy sources, and we are well positioned to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy generation. Offshore renewable
energy sources – like wind and tidal – have the potential to be a key part of our future energy mix.

This is why our first Emissions Reduction Plan commits to accelerating the development of new electricity generation technologies and ensuring that by 2024, we have regulatory settings in place to enable investment in offshore renewable energy.

The right regulatory environment can be a springboard for the kind of innovation and investment that will help deliver the offshore renewable infrastructure needed to help us get
to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We want to ensure that any regulatory settings are carefully considered to be in the best interests of New Zealanders now and in the future, while enabling targeted research and exploration as early as possible.

To allow for this consideration, the Government has agreed to consider the regulatory settings in 2 steps:

  • The first step, this discussion document, focuses on the regulatory settings necessary to enable prospective developers to explore the feasibility of developing offshore energy infrastructure in our waters. Recognising that these exploratory studies can take several years, it is critical we establish these settings soon.
  • The second step is further consultation in 2023, to focus on the broader regulatory settings for how infrastructure will be constructed, operated, and decommissioned.

I look forward to hearing the views of Māori, industry, and communities on these proposals and invite you to stay engaged in future consultations on this topic.

Hon Dr Megan Woods

Minister of Energy and Resources