The process to establish a rule
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Rules go through a rigorous drafting, consultation and review process before they become law. Rule amendments go through the same process.
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) develops maritime and marine protection rules on behalf of the Minister of Transport, under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
Why we have new rules
The maritime and marine protection rules are statutory instruments (or secondary legislation) made by the Minister of Transport under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
While the Maritime Transport Act stipulates broad principles of maritime law, the rules contain detailed technical standards and procedures. Compliance with the rules is required because they form part of New Zealand maritime law. Failure to comply with the rules may be an offence under the act.
MNZ has the power to make emergency rules in certain circumstances, under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
Rule development process
The rule-making process was introduced in 1995 when the Maritime Transport Act 1994 came into force.
The chart below shows the rule development process. New rules and rule amendments go through the same process.
Commenting on rules under consultation
The invitation to comment on a draft rule is advertised in major newspapers and in the New Zealand Gazette - the official newspaper of the New Zealand Government.
You can view MNZ’s consultations that are open for comment as well as their associated consultation documents on this site. Those consultations that closed recently are also available as well as an explanation of our consultation process.
Viewing the final rules
All final rules are notified in the New Zealand Gazette and this website.
Rules come into force on the 28th day after notification in the New Zealand Gazette or at a later specified date.
Latest rule updates
The 2016 rule amendments correct minor errors contained in the rules to make them easier and clearer to read and understand.
About the rules
Maritime and marine protection rules contain detailed technical standards and procedures and form part of New Zealand’s maritime law.