Marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration

Operators undertaking marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration activities in the EEZ must keep the EPA informed of their activity.

This page has information about ongoing activities, or activities about to commence.

For more information about how this activity is regulated, see the section on undertaking a marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration.

NIWA Plus

Quantifying benthic habitats

We have received a Pre-activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific within the EEZ across the Campbell Plateau. NIWA will survey the seabed benthic community through video transects and occasional sediment coring to better understand the ecosystem within this region. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf, 628 KB)

Commenced: 19 May 2020

Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) Buoys

We have received a Pre-activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific within the EEZ and beyond in the Pacific. NIWA will deploy six DART buoys as part of a tsunami early detection and warning system. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf, 1 MB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf, 967 KB)

Commenced: 13 December 2019

Phase 1 Completed: 23 December 2019

Kaikoura earthquake turbidites 

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific research on the Hikurangi margin. NIWA will use a multicorer to collect samples to quantify the sedimentary response on the seabed to strong shaking from the 14 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf, 747 KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf, 939KB)

Commenced: 24 October 2019

Completed: 27 October 2019

Autonomous echosounder mooring on Campbell Plateau 

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific research on the Campbell Plateau. NIWA will deploy an autonomous echosounder to collect acoustic data on mid-trophic level organisms. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf, 762 KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf, 893 KB)

Commenced: 3 September 2019

Completed: 3 September 2019

Chatham Rise

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific research on the Chatham Rise. NIWA will use a range of techniques to determine how sea-floor communities will respond to disturbances from human activities in the deep sea. This activity has a duration of two years, in 2020 moorings will be removed and a small survey will be undertaken. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf, 2.6 MB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf, 2.8 MB)

Commenced: 11 June 2019

Beach Energy Resources NZ Limited Plus

Environmental Survey of the Canterbury Basin

We have received a Pre-activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from Beach Energy to conduct marine exploration within the Canterbury Basin off the South Island. They intend to map the seafloor for benthic environments and take a number of sediment cores using a multi-corer system. 

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf, 460 KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf, 500 KB)

Read the post-activity report (pdf, 788 KB)

Commenced: 20 February 2020

Completed: 11 March 2020

Ports of Auckland Limited Plus

Seabed Video Transects

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) to conduct marine scientific at the Cuvier Disposal Site. POAL will perform video transects just outside of the disposal site to assess the presence of rare and endangered species and sensitive habitats.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 452KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 581KB)

GNS Science Plus

Glider Deployment

We received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environment Assessment from GNS to conduct marine scientific research in various locations off the east of the North Island.

GNS Science use an unmanned underwater vehicle known as a glider to periodically survey instruments on the seafloor to measure horizontal movement of the tectonic plates. This research forms part of a larger six year project to assist in determining the likelihood and effects of future subduction zone earthquakes from the Hikurangi subduction zone.

We issued a waiver of procedural requirement for this activity.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 767KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 565KB)

Commenced: 24 January 2019

Hikurangi ocean bottom investigation of tremor and slow slip  II (HOBITSS II)

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environment Assessment from GNS under Regulation 11(a) of the EEZ (Environmental Effects–Permitted Activities) Regulations to deploy a variety of moored scientific instruments along the East Coast of the North Island. These instruments will passively monitor tectonic processes for up to 6 years, with retrievals and redeployments tentatively scheduled annually. The activity was scheduled to commence on 19 June 2015 and is scheduled to be completed by June 2021.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 351KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 531KB)

Commenced: 22 July 2015

 

Sea Education Association Plus

Water column sampling

We received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from Sea Education Association (SEA) to conduct marine scientific research along the East Coast of the North Island. It intended to sample the upper water column for chemical analysis as well as collect phytoplankton and zooplankton. Some above-water and instrument-driven observations were planned, as well with hourly visual surveys, and aerial drone surveys.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 972KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 913KB)

Commenced: 18 February 2020

Read the Post-Activity Report (pdf 693KB)

Completed: 17 March 2020

Texas A&M University Plus

South East New Zealand, Paleogene Climate study

We have received a Pre-activity Notification and Initial Environment Assessment from Texas A&M University to conduct marine scientific research in the EEZ, south east of New Zealand. They will take sediment cores using a variety of methods, and analyse these to gain insights into past climates. The activity is set to commence on 3 January 2020, and will run for 17 days within the EEZ.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf, 13 MB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf, 1.4 MB)

Read the post-activity report (pdf, 396 KB)

Commenced:16 January 2020

Completed: 26 January 2020