Just Transition

We have established a Just Transitions Unit to help share and coordinate the work of transitioning New Zealand to a low emissions economy.

What is a ‘Transition’?

Many factors affect the lives of New Zealanders, including global forces such as climate change, COVID-19, and economic changes (e.g. the Global Financial Crisis), as well as national factors such as policy and regulatory change.

At times, these factors will impact (or will potentially impact) a region heavily enough that if not addressed may result in negative impacts on certain communities (think of meat works closures in the 80’s). To best address this, a concerted effort will be needed by communities to adapt and manage the impacts and take advantage of opportunities – we call this a Transition.

What is a 'Just Transition'?

In general terms, a 'Just Transition' in New Zealand is a strategy to move a region toward a low carbon future. It is about a region leading their own transition to ensure that the impacts and opportunities that may arise from the transition are more evenly distributed. 

Transitions have traditionally disadvantaged some groups more than others. In a Just Transition, this is acknowledged and incorporated into planning to make the transition more fair, equitable and inclusive.

A Just Transition in New Zealand

A key focus of a Just Transition in New Zealand is to ensure that regions are activated and supported to plan and manage the social, economic, and environmental impacts of a transition. A successful transition is where regions can identify and then act upon new opportunities and manage the impacts in a way that is fair and just.

We recognise that there are many communities in a region and that their perspectives are imperative in order to achieve the ‘Just’ in a ‘Just Transition’. Previously this has been achieved through working with key Pou (or key groups) in a region such as:

  • Iwi
  • Local government
  • Education providers
  • Business
  • Workers(normally represented by unions)
  • Community organisations
  • Central government
In this section

The Just Transition Partnership team

The Just Transition Partnership team supports regional partners to understand, plan and navigate their transition in a way that is fair and equitable – a just transition.

Just Transitions for Taranaki

Following the announcement that there would be no new offshore oil and gas exploration permits in New Zealand in 2018, the Government embarked on a Just Transition Partnership with Taranaki where the oil and gas sector is a large part of the local economy.

Just Transitions for Southland

The Government has committed to support a just transition for Southland following the announcement that the owners of the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter at Tiwai Point are planning to close it in December 2024.

Contact us

To get in touch with the Just Transitions Unit please email justtransitions@MBIE.govt.nz.

Last updated: 15 November 2021