Environmental markets for New Zealand: the barriers and opportunities

Suzie Greenhalgh, Susan Walker, Bill Lee, Theo Stephens, Robyn Jean Sinclair

Landcare Research Science Series No. 40

Environmental markets are one option in an array of interventions available to policymakers for reducing environmental degradation or improving environmental quality. While markets are not always an appropriate policy response, they are often promoted as a more palatable and cost-effective option for achieving an environmental goal than stand-alone regulation, especially by those regulated. This is because markets can allow greater flexibility to those causing environmental harm in how they meet their regulatory obligations – which may result in cost-savings.

Environmental markets first emerged in the 1970s and have become much more prominent internationally since the mid-1990s. A large number of markets now exist worldwide for a wide range of environmental commodities including water quality, water quantity, carbon, sulphurous and nitrous gases, fish stocks, wetlands, and threatened species. This growing international experience provides a basis for assessing whether, and in what circumstances, environmental markets are truly successful, and what is needed to establish a successful environmental market.

In this Science Series report, the authors ask what is required to establish successful environmental markets in general, and investigate some of the barriers to the development of such markets in New Zealand. They identify some actions that could facilitate the evolution of successful environmental markets for New Zealand, focusing primarily focus on compliance markets, in particular those for greenhouse gases, water quality, water quantity and biodiversity.


Product information

Author: Suzie Greenhalgh, Susan Walker, Bill Lee, Theo Stephens, Robyn Jean Sinclair
ISBN: 978-0-47-834718-0
Publisher: Manaaki Whenua Press
Publication date: 2010
Pages: 45
Format: Paperback