A+ Sustainable Management Framework

A+ is a world class sustainable management framework which enables the New Zealand aquaculture industry to better engage with our communities, continuously improve our environmental practices and strengthen global demand for our seafood.

The A+ objectives align with those of world leading accredited certification programmes and focus on:

  • Healthy ecology
  • Responsible waste management
  • Guarantee of food safety
  • Enhancing our communities
  • Clean clear water quality
  • Efficient use of resources
  • Valuing Iwi participation

A key element of A+ is the system of self-reporting checklists that are hosted and supported here through the A+ web application. This will allow all marine farmers to securely record and view their own sustainability progress. Aquaculture New Zealand, as an administrator of the system, will be able to view and report on industry trends over time but all individual information will remain confidential. This reporting system will be positive proof of the industry’s integrity and provide a valuable communication tool with regulators, kiwis and the international market.

For further information visit the A+ website aplusaquaculture.nz.

You may find it useful to have this help page open in one browser tab, and the A+ application in another tab. Click here to do this.

The help information below is for a non-admin user of the A+ application (e.g., a grower).

What's new in 2018

  • Home page. New home page (aplus.org.nz) with summary of A+ programme; links to A+ website; links to demo checklists for each species; and login button for registered users.

  • Demo checklists. Public access to demo checklist for each species (no login required).

  • New 2018 checklists. Simplified questions, with more uniformity across species. Connected to 2017 checklist questions for statistical/reporting purposes.

  • Checklist information. A checklist shows reporting year, date range, and due date; list of grower's users who have read/edit access to the checklist; link to A+ website, to view/download SMF documents.

  • Checklist progress/navigation. Click checklist progress button to focus on checklist section. An answered question shows a green bar on the right side of the question box; an unanswered question shows a red bar. (An optional question has no coloured bar.)

  • Question help. Most sections, subsections, and questions provide popup help. Question help can include links to useful web resources or reference documents.

  • Yes-No buttons. Yes-No buttons are larger and colour-coded: Yes=green; No=red; n/a=yellow. If you select an option, it shows a tick mark. Some Yes-No questions no longer have the n/a option.

  • Industry statistics. Many questions show industry statistics, so you can see how your answers compare with the industry.

  • Printable. Checklists are suitable for printing or to be saved as a pdf document (e.g., optimised for whitespace, colours, hidden elements).


After you've logged into A+, the initial page shows a list of your checklist summaries, followed by a list of your farms. Each checklist summary is for a specific species and reporting year.

Checklist summary

A checklist summary box shows how many questions have been answered for each checklist section. You'll see icons representing the sections, e.g., a tree for the "Ecology" section. The box under an icon represents the percentage of questions answered in that section:

  • A white box means no questions have been answered for that section.
  • A green box means some questions have been answered; the shade of green represents the percentage.
  • A box with a tick means all required questions have been answered.

Click a checklist summary to see the checklist details, and to answer checklist questions.

Please note that 2017 checklists are available for viewing only (editing disabled).

Checklist information

The top of the checklist shows the following:

  • Reporting year, date range, and due date.
  • List of grower's users who have read/edit access to the checklist.
  • Date/time the checklist was created and last updated.
  • Link to A+ website, to view/download SMF documents.
  • Checklist summary similar to the one in the dashboard (see "Checklist sections" below).
  • Colour coding for questions (see "Answered questions" below).

Checklist sections

The checklist page shows questions and answers, grouped by checklist section.

At the top of the checklist, you'll see a checklist summary (similar to the one in the dashboard). Click a checklist progress square/button to focus on the corresponding checklist section. Click "Show all sections" to show whole checklist.

Question help

Most sections, subsections, and questions provide popup help information. This can include links to useful web resources or reference documents.

Click a light-brown "?" button to show help. Click "Show question help" at top of checklist to show all question help.

Yes-No questions

Yes-No buttons are colour-coded: Yes=green; No=red; n/a=yellow. (Only some questions have the n/a option.)

If you want to undo/clear a Yes-No answer, just click it again.

If "No" represents a positive outcome for a question (e.g., "Were any wildlife injury or death incidents recorded relating to your farms?"), the Yes-No buttons are swapped: the "No" button is green and the "Yes" button is red.

Answered questions

An answered question shows a green bar on the right side of the question box; an unanswered question shows a red bar; an optional question has no coloured bar. See the key at the top of the checklist.

Text/narrative questions and file uploads are always optional. Some Yes-No and numeric questions are optional (set by AQNZ).

Dependent questions

Some questions are disabled by default — they appear faded out. They are enabled when you answer "Yes" to a question above it (or, less often, when you answer "No").

Auto-saving your answers

A checklist is always in edit mode. Any change you make to a checklist will be automatically saved to the A+ server. A checklist answer flashes a light green to confirm it has been saved.

Note that the "Updated" date (top of checklist) changes after an answer is saved to the server. Also, the checklist progress boxes (also at top of checklist) are dynamically updated.

When you're done viewing or editing the checklist, click the browser's "back" button, or click "Home" at the top of the page.

Industry statistics

AQNZ selects a subset of checklist questions as reporting questions, used for tracking industry statistics.

For a 2018 checklist, each reporting question shows (a) your answer from 2017 (if available); (b) industry-averaged statistics from 2017. (2017 checklists also show 2017 answers/statistics because no previous year is available.) The industry statistics help you see how your answers compare with the industry.

A Yes-No reporting question shows a percentage breakdown of how the industry answered the question, weighted by farmed hectares. The graph colours correspond to colours used for Yes-No buttons (Yes=green; No=red; n/a=yellow), plus gray for unanswered questions.

A numeric question usually shows a metric per hectare (or per 100 hectares). For example, landfill waste might be 1.5 tonnes per hectare over the industry.

Farm-level questions

If you operate more than one farm, there's sometimes an extra step when you answer "Yes" to a question. When answering "Yes", you'll sometimes see a list of all your farms appear. Your farms are grouped by region and growing area.

Tick the farms that correspond to your "Yes" answer. Essentially, this lets you answer the question at a farm level: "Yes" for some farms and "No" for others.

Click the "farms" button to hide/show the farm list — this button is labelled with text like "2 farms" or "90% farms".

Farm list

Your list of farms is in the main dashboard page, under the checklist summaries.

To edit a farm's details, click on a blue link in the farm list (usually the farm region/area). This will bring you to the "Edit farm" page.

To create a new farm, click the "Add farm" button. This will bring you to the "Create farm" page (similar to the "Edit farm" page, above).