We help everyone – from small businesses to big organisations – understand and comply with environmental regulations.
The Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Group is integral to the EPA's role in protecting the environment and the health of New Zealanders.
Effective regulation is about making decisions to achieve the best outcomes, and to influence behaviour. We do this through educating, engaging, monitoring and investigating, and taking enforcement action when necessary.
This approach benefits the environment, the economy and communities, and means we can focus our resources (including our enforcement powers), on tackling the most important environmental issues.
Our team of compliance, monitoring and enforcement officers work together, supporting each other to maintain and uphold New Zealand's environmental regulatory regime for the good of all of Aotearoa New Zealand today, and for future generations.
Our group structure means we can provide balanced and integrated regulation, and address problems before they become significant issues. The group is split into three units.
We identify and analyse trends, insights and feedback, and use data to support decision-making right across the EPA.
Compliance and monitoring
We identify potential non-compliant activities through monitoring and inspections, and from being notified of incidents. Our responses to non-compliant activities are evidence based, impartial and fair.
We connect with other regulators during investigations when appropriate. Outcomes are evidence based and proportionate.
Our compliance role
Compliance, monitoring, and enforcement is an essential part of our regulatory role. We take a targeted and proportionate approach to compliance. We use regulations and our powers to respond to unlawful actions. Where we have a compliance role we will intervene to:
- stop the unlawful conduct
- encourage compliance
- deter future unlawful conduct
- punish offenders.
Our work is far reaching. Our compliance, monitoring, and enforcement powers under different environmental legislation cover activities from monitoring compliance with marine consents in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone, through to ensuring house paints include appropriate labelling around the substances they contain.
We also work with those importing and manufacturing hazardous substances to ensure they comply with the rules we set.
Our compliance principles
- Our compliance strategies and implementation plans look to the future.
- We are transparent in our priorities, and the outcomes of compliance activities.
- We help and educate regulated parties to understand their obligations.
- We are connected with other agencies that operate within the same systems as the EPA.
- We make evidence-driven decisions.
- We are confident in our compliance activities and decision-making.
- We take enforcement action to achieve compliance outcomes.
Our compliance policy
The overarching compliance monitoring and enforcement policy provides high-level principles. We:
- are responsive to Māori interests
- are a proactive regulator
- take a targeted and proportionate approach to compliance
- use statutory and non-statutory interventions.
Hazardous substances: Roles and responsibilities of enforcement agencies
Enforcement of the hazardous substances component of the HSNO Act is carried out by a large number of central and local government agencies.
We have developed a decision process to provide enforcement agencies with certainty about when they should be the lead agency, and/or when they need to be involved, following a non-compliance or an incident.