The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • helping individual governments assess progress in achieving their environmental goals

  • promoting continuous policy dialogue and peer learning

  • stimulating greater accountability from governments towards each other and public opinion.

This report reviews New Zealand’s environmental performance since the second review in 2007. Progress in achieving domestic objectives and international commitments provides the basis for assessing the country’s environmental performance. Such objectives and commitments may be broad aims, qualitative goals or quantitative targets. A distinction is made between intentions, actions and results. Assessment of environmental performance is also placed within the context of New Zealand’s historical environmental record, present state of the environment, physical endowment in natural resources, economic conditions and demographic trends.

The OECD is indebted to the government of New Zealand, the Auckland Council and Environment Canterbury for their co-operation in providing information, for the organisation of the review mission to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington on 9-13 May 2016, and for facilitating contacts both inside and outside government institutions.

Thanks are also due to the representatives of the two examining countries, Miranda Lello (Australia) and Pete Fox (United Kingdom).

The authors of this report were Carla Bertuzzi, Ivana Capozza, Britta Labuhn, Hannah Leckie and Eugene Mazur from the OECD Environment Directorate. Nathalie Girouard and Ivana Capozza provided oversight and guidance. Carla Bertuzzi provided statistical support; Annette Hardcastle provided editorial and administrative support; and Mark Foss copy-edited the report. Preparation of this report also benefited from the co-operation of Sylvia Beyer of the International Energy Agency, as well as from inputs and comments from several members of the OECD Secretariat, including Christophe Andre, Johanna Arlinghaus, Andrew Barker, David Carey, Delphine Clavreul, Guillaume Cohen, Anthony Cox, Kwame Frimpong, Michelle Harding, Elisa Lanzi, Xavier Leflaive, Alexander Mackie, Walid Oueslati, Aleksandra Paciorek, Jehan Sauvage, Clara Tomasini, William Tompson, Elena Tosetto, Ioannis Tikoudis, Simon Upton and Kurt Van Dender.

The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance discussed the draft Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand at its meeting on 9 November 2016 in Paris, and approved the Assessment and Recommendations.