Each day during the month of April, the Institute will feature one of the 30 ‘perspectives’ from the One Ocean report. These short articles include a diverse range of views regarding oceans management in New Zealand. Enjoy!


Katherine Sammler, PhD candidate, School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, United States

An eye on ocean governance and seabed mining

As a researcher of marine territories and ocean governance, I have focused my investigations on New Zealand’s developing seabed mining legislation and the marine consent process. Several factors make this an ideal case study of the national foray into this experimental industry. The Exclusive Economic Zone is a territory that is still being defined and written by nations in different ways across the Pacific – and indeed around the world. Gaps in both regulatory and environmental knowledge within this zone are being filled in, even as exploration activities and permit hearings occur.

The recent denial of the Chatham Rock Phosphate permit was watched very closely across the South Pacific. It was also watched from as far away as Namibia, where phosphate is also abundant off its shores. In the denial of this permit, as well as the Trans-Tasman Resources project, it is in the eye of the beholder whether the governance of these activities has been a success. From a researcher’s perspective, further developments in New Zealand will continue to draw my observations.

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