Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry for the Environment

Protection of sensitive information

158 Protection of sensitive information

(1)

The Environmental Protection Authority may, on its own initiative or on the application of any party to any proceedings or class of proceedings, give a direction described in subsection (3) where it is satisfied that the order is necessary—

(a)

to avoid causing serious offence to tikanga Māori or to avoid disclosing the location of wāhi tapu; or

(b)

to avoid disclosing a trade secret or to avoid causing unreasonable prejudice to the commercial position of the person who supplied, or is the subject of, the information.

(2)

Despite subsection (1), the EPA may not give a direction described in subsection (3) if, in the circumstances of the particular case, the public interest in making the information available outweighs the importance of avoiding such offence, disclosure, or prejudice.

(3)

The EPA may give a direction for the purpose of subsection (1)—

(a)

requiring the whole or part of any hearing or class of hearing at which the information is likely to be referred to be held with the public excluded:

(b)

prohibiting or restricting the publication or communication of any information supplied to it, or obtained by it, in the course of any proceedings, whether or not the information may be material to an application.

(4)

A direction given under subsection (3)(b) in relation to—

(a)

any matter described in subsection (1)(a) may be expressed to have effect from the commencement of any proceedings to which it relates and for an indefinite period or until such date as the EPA considers appropriate in the circumstances:

(b)

any matter described in subsection (1)(b) may be expressed to have effect from the commencement of any proceedings to which it relates but will cease to have any effect at the conclusion of those proceedings.

(5)

On the date that a direction prohibiting or restricting the publication or communication of information is given under subsection (3)(b), the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982 cease to apply to the information while the direction remains in effect.

(6)

Any party to any proceedings or class of proceedings before the EPA may apply to the Environment Court for an order under section 279(3)(a) of the Resource Management Act 1991 cancelling or varying any direction given by the EPA.

(7)

Where, on the application of any party to any proceedings or class of proceedings, the EPA has refused to give a direction described in subsection (3), that party may apply to the Environment Court for an order under section 279(3)(b) of the Resource Management Act 1991.

(8)

In this section, information includes any document or evidence.