National Marine Plan - A Summary of Objectives and Policies

Summary document containing the objectives and policies from the National Marine Plan.

Shipping, Ports, Harbours, and Ferries

Objectives and policies for this sector should be read subject to those set out in the General Policies and Strategic Objectives. It is recognised that not all of the objectives can necessarily be achieved directly through the marine planning system, but they are considered important context for planning and decision making.

1 Economic Social

Safeguarded access to ports and harbours and navigational safety.

2 Economic Social

Sustainable growth and development of ports and harbours as a competitive sector, maximising their potential to facilitate cargo movement, passenger movement and support other sectors.

3 Economic Social

Safeguarded essential maritime transport links to island and remote mainland communities.

4 Economic Social Marine Ecosystem

Linking of ferry services with public transport routes and active travel routes to help encourage sustainable travel where possible.

5 Economic Climate Change - Adaptation Climate Change - Mitigation

Best available technology to mitigate and adapt to climate change, where possible, supporting efficiencies in fleet management and ensuring port infrastructure and shipping services are able to adapt to the consequences of climate change. Consideration of the provision of facilities for shoreside power in new developments to allow for this to be provided when markets require it, if it becomes cost effective to do so.

Marine planning policies

Economic Social TRANSPORT 1: Navigational safety in relevant areas used by shipping now and in the future will be protected, adhering to the rights of innocent passage and freedom of navigation contained in UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS). The following factors will be taken into account when reaching decisions regarding development and use:

  • The extent to which the locational decision interferes with existing or planned routes used by shipping, access to ports and harbours and navigational safety. This includes commercial anchorages and defined approaches to ports.
  • Where interference is likely, whether reasonable alternatives can be identified.
  • Where there are no reasonable alternatives, whether mitigation through measures adopted in accordance with the principles and procedures established by the International Maritime Organization can be achieved at no significant cost to the shipping or ports sector.

Economic Social TRANSPORT 2: Marine development and use should not be permitted where it will restrict access to, or future expansion of, major commercial ports or existing or proposed ports and harbours which are identified as National Developments in the current NPF or as priorities in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan.

Regional marine plans should identify regionally important ports and harbours, giving consideration to social and economic aspects of the port or harbour and the users of the facility subject to policies and objectives of the Plan. Regional plans should consider setting out criteria against which proposed activities and developments should be evaluated. <applies to inshore waters only>

Economic Social TRANSPORT 3: Ferry routes and maritime transport to island and remote mainland areas provide essential connections and should be safeguarded from inappropriate marine development and use that would significantly interfere with their operation. Developments will not be consented where they will unacceptably interfere with lifeline ferry services.

Economic Social TRANSPORT 4: Maintenance, repair and sustainable development of port and harbour facilities in support of other sectors should be supported in marine planning and decision making. <applies to inshore waters only>

Economic Climate Change - Adaptation TRANSPORT 5: Port and harbour operators should take into account future climate change and extreme water level projections, and where appropriate take the necessary steps to ensure their ports and harbours remain viable and resilient to a changing climate. Climate and sea level projections should also be taken into account in the design of any new ports and harbours, or of improvements to existing facilities. <applies to inshore waters only>

Economic Marine Ecosystem Climate Change - Mitigation TRANSPORT 6: Marine planners and decision makers and developers should ensure displacement of shipping is avoided where possible to mitigate against potential increased journey lengths (and associated fuel costs, emissions and impact on journey frequency) and potential impacts on other users and ecologically sensitive areas.

Economic Social Marine Ecosystem TRANSPORT 7: Marine and terrestrial planning processes should co-ordinate to:

  • Provide co-ordinated support to ports, harbours and ferry terminals to ensure they can respond to market influences and provide support to other sectors with necessary facilities and transport links.
  • Consider spatial co-ordination of ferries and other modes of transport to promote integrated and sustainable travel options.

Regional policy: Regional marine plans should consider identifying regionally important ports and harbours and setting out criteria against which proposed development and use should be evaluated. <applies to inshore waters>


Back to top