Market-based instruments (MBIs) for resource management create financial incentives for people and businesses to use resources more efficiently, within a regulatory context designed to ensure that ecological, social and cultural objectives are also met. Three case studies were done to identify factors influencing the adoption or rejection of market-based instruments in New Zealand. Case studies included Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) for New Zealand's inshore fisheries, Transferable Water Permits (TWPs) in Tasman District and Waikato Region, and charges for occupation of coastal space at both the national and regional levels in New Zealand. This paper provides a summary of findings from these case studies. These include: MBIs are difficult to implement if they threaten the position of existing users. It is important to have clear objectives. Norms and values can be an obstacle to MBIs, especially where they help to protect the interests of key stakeholders, but value-based opposition can be overcome if practical concerns are addressed.