Ministry for the Environment (New Zealand)

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Ministry for the Environment
Manatū Mō Te Taiao
Agency overview
JurisdictionNew Zealand
HeadquartersEnvironment House,
23 Kate Sheppard Place,
Wellington 6011
Annual budgetVote Environment
Total budget for 2019/20
Ministers responsible
Agency executive
  • Vicky Robertson, Chief Executive and Secretary for the Environment

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE; Māori: Manatū Mō Te Taiao) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with advising the New Zealand Government on policies and issues affecting the environment, in addition to the relevant environmental laws and standards. The Environment Act 1986 is the statute that establishes the Ministry.


Functions assigned by Section 31 of the Environment Act 1986 include advising the Minister for the Environment on all aspects of environmental administration, obtaining and disseminating information, and generally providing advice on environmental matters. Since 1988, the Ministry of the Environment has coordinated New Zealand's interdepartmental policy response to climate change.[3]

The Environmental Protection Authority was set up in 2011 to carry out some of the environmental regulatory functions of the MfE as well as other government departments.

The Ministry for the Environment administer a number of environmental funds:[4]

  • Waste Minimisation Fund
  • Environmental Legal Assistance Fund
  • Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund

It runs the Green Ribbon Awards, which have been given out by the Minister for the Environment since 1990.[5]

The Ministry owns the Environmental Choice New Zealand ecolabel,[6] but it is administered independently by the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust.[7]

In 1997 the Ministry released New Zealand's first State of the Environment report.[8] This was followed up in 2008 by a second report titled Environment New Zealand 2007.[9] Chapter 13 of this report was removed before final publication but was leaked to the Green Party. After news media reported the existence of the omitted chapter, the Ministry placed the contents on its website.[10]


The Ministry serves two portfolios and four ministers.[11]

Hon David Parker Lead Minister (Ministry for the Environment)
Minister for the Environment
Hon James Shaw Minister for Climate Change Associate Minister for the Environment (Biodiversity)
Hon Kiri Allan Associate Minister for the Environment
Hon Phil Twyford Associate Minister for the Environment

List of Ministers for the Environment[edit]


  National   Labour

No. Name Portrait Term of Office Prime Minister
1 Duncan MacIntyre Duncan MacIntyre Greg Tate (crop).jpg 9 February 1972 8 December 1972 Marshall
2 Joe Walding Joe Walding.jpg 8 December 1972 10 September 1974 Kirk
3 Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan.jpg 10 September 1974 12 December 1975 Rowling
4 Venn Young No image.png 12 December 1975 12 February 1981 Muldoon
5 David Thomson David Spence Thomson.jpg 12 February 1981 26 July 1984
6 Russell Marshall Russell Marshall.jpg 26 July 1984 17 February 1986 Lange
7 Phil Goff Phil Goff, 2003.jpg 17 February 1986 24 August 1987
8 Geoffrey Palmer Geoffrey Palmer.jpg 24 August 1987 2 November 1990
9 Simon Upton Simon Upton 01 crop.jpg 2 November 1990 10 December 1999 Bolger
10 Marian Hobbs Marian Hobbs.jpg 10 December 1999 19 October 2005 Clark
11 David Benson-Pope David Benson-Pope.jpg 19 October 2005 27 July 2007
- David Parker
David Parker, 2019.jpg 27 July 2007 31 October 2007
12 Trevor Mallard Trevor Mallard 2 (cropped).jpg 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
13 Nick Smith Nick Smith at Lincoln University, 2016.jpg 19 November 2008 21 March 2012 Key
- Chris Finlayson
Chris Finlayson-Net Hui 2011.jpg 21 March 2012 2 April 2012
14 Amy Adams Amy Adams politician (cropped).jpg 3 April 2012 6 October 2014
(13) Nick Smith Nick Smith at Lincoln University, 2016.jpg 8 October 2014 26 October 2017
15 David Parker Hon David Parker.jpg 26 October 2017 present Ardern

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Total Appropriations for Each Vote". Budget 2019. The Treasury.
  2. ^ a b "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  3. ^ Ratnasiri; et al. (12 June 1996). "Report on the in-depth review of the national communication of New Zealand". UNFCCC. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Sources of funding for projects and participation". Ministry for the Environment. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  5. ^ "The Green Ribbon Awards". Ministry for the Environment. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  6. ^ "About Environmental Choice New Zealand". Environmental Choice New Zealand. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  7. ^ "The New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust". Sustainable Business Council. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  8. ^ The State of New Zealand’s Environment 1997 Archived 9 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Report Ref. ME612, Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, New Zealand.
  9. ^ "State of Environment New Zealand report welcomed". New Zealand Government. 31 January 2008. Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  10. ^ "Ministry stands by decision to drop conclusion chapter Media release: 11 February 2008". Ministry for the Environment. 11 February 2008. Archived from the original on 2 April 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Summary of Ministers and Cabinet portfolios". Ministry for the Environment. Retrieved 16 November 2020.


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]