Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Australian and New Zealand Governments exchanged notes today at a ceremony
in Wellington to bring into force a new treaty to establish our respective
maritime boundaries. The Treaty between Australia and New Zealand establishing
certain Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries and Continental Shelf Boundaries
settles what was Australia's longest unresolved maritime boundary.
In one of his last official duties before returning to Canberra, outgoing
High Commissioner, Dr Allan Hawke, welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty
as a sign of the strong state of trans-Tasman relations.
"The Treaty is an excellent outcome for both Australia and New Zealand
and brings certainty of jurisdiction over the maritime area between our two
countries. It details the jurisdiction over the water column and the
seabed between Australia and New Zealand where the areas claimed by both
countries previously overlapped," Dr Hawke said.
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides
the legal framework for this Treaty. Under UNCLOS, coastal States with overlapping
claims are required to delimit their respective jurisdiction by agreement
in order to achieve an equitable solution.
The entry into force of the Treaty comes after complex scientific analysis
of the continental shelf in the Tasman Sea and four years of extensive negotiations
which concluded in July 2004.
The following map outlines the new maritime boundaries agreed with
Contact: (DFAT) 02 6261 1555