Marine Environment Classification launched

Marine Environment Classification launched

The leader of the National Centre for Coasts & Oceans, Dr Ian Wright, talks with the Minister, and with Dr Barry Carbon, Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment, at the launch.

‘Not only is the MEC a great tool; it is a strategic tool.’ Hon Marian Hobbs, Minister for the Environment.

The Minister for the Environment, Hon Marian Hobbs, formally launched New Zealand’s first Marine Environment Classification (MEC) last month.

Hailing the MEC as a world-class environmental management tool, the Minister said that before the development of the MEC ‘there was no way of knowing how unique or ubiquitous any marine location was.’ Ms Hobbs highlighted examples of the MEC’s uses, including marine protected areas, fisheries management, and oceans policy.

The MEC can divide New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone into up to 300 classes of area with similar environmental and biological character. NIWA developed the MEC with funding from the Ministry for the Environment, DOC, and the Ministry of Fisheries.

For more information, user manual, working example, and to order the MEC on dvd, go to

Research subject: Oceans