2 Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

Commissioner means the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment appointed under this Act

consent means an authorisation, permission, a licence, a permit, a right, and any other approval of any type whatsoever, capable of being granted under—

(a)

any Act specified in the Schedule:

(b)

any regulation, rule, Order in Council, Proclamation, notice, or bylaw in force under any of those Acts:

(c)

any operative regional plan or district plan or proposed plan under the Resource Management Act 1991

and which it is necessary to obtain before the lawful commencement of any undertaking or activity which may affect the environment

contaminant, means any substance (including gases, liquids, solids, and micro-organisms) or energy (including radioactivity and electromagnetic radiation but excluding noise) or heat, that either by itself or in combination with the same, similar, or other substances, energy, or heat—

(a)

changes or has the potential, when discharged into water, to change the physical, chemical, or biological condition of that water; or

(b)

changes or has the potential, when discharged onto or into land or into air, to change the physical, chemical, or biological condition of the land or air onto or into which it is discharged

ecosystem means any system of interacting terrestrial or aquatic organisms within their natural and physical environment

environment includes—

(a)

ecosystems and their constituent parts including people and communities; and

(b)

all natural and physical resources; and

(c)

those physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contribute to people’s appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, and cultural and recreational attributes; and

(d)

the social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural conditions which affect the matters stated in paragraphs (a) to (c) or which are affected by those matters

hazardous substance means any substance which may impair human, plant, or animal health or may adversely affect the health or safety of any person or the environment, whether or not contained in or forming part of any other substance or thing

local authority has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Local Government Act 2002

Minister means the Minister for the Environment

Ministry means the Ministry for the Environment established under this Act

natural hazard means any atmospheric or earth or water related occurrence (including erosion, volcanic activity, landslip, subsidence, sedimentation, fire, or flooding) the action of which adversely affects or may adversely affect human life, property, or the environment

natural and physical resources includes water, air, soil, minerals, hydrocarbons, and energy, all forms of flora and fauna (whether native to New Zealand or introduced) and any building, structure, machine, device, or other facility made by people

pollution means any process, whether natural or artificial, resulting in the introduction of any contaminant into the environment; and noise; and pollutant has a corresponding meaning

public authority means—

(a)

a Minister of the Crown:

(b)

a government department:

(c)

any instrument of the Executive Government of New Zealand:

(d)

any local authority

Secretary means the Secretary for the Environment appointed in accordance with section 29

territorial sea means the territorial sea of New Zealand as defined by section 3 of the Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, and Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1977

Treaty of Waitangi means the Treaty of Waitangi as set out in Schedule 1 of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975.

Section 2 consent paragraph (c): substituted, on 1 October 1991, by section 362 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (1991 No 69).

Section 2 contaminant: substituted, on 1 October 1991, by section 362 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (1991 No 69).

Section 2 environment paragraph (a): amended, on 1 October 1991, by section 362 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (1991 No 69).

Section 2 environment paragraph (c): substituted, on 1 October 1991, by section 362 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (1991 No 69).

Section 2 environment paragraph (d): added, on 1 October 1991, by section 362 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (1991 No 69).

Section 2 hazardous substance: substituted, on 2 July 2001, by section 149 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (1996 No 30).

Section 2 local authority: substituted, on 1 July 2003, by section 262 of the Local Government Act 2002 (2002 No 84).

Section 2 pollution: amended, on 1 October 1991, by section 362 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (1991 No 69).

Section 2 territorial sea: amended, on 1 August 1996, pursuant to section 5(4) of the Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 74).