Sunrise at Kaikoura
Image: Chris Gin | ©


Kaikōura Marine Guardians advises the Ministers of Conservation and Primary Industries on matters affecting Te Tai-o-Marokura.

Establishment and purpose

The Kaikōura Marine Guardians were established by the Kaikōura Marine Management Act 2014. They are appointed by the Ministers for Conservation and Primary Industries to advise the Ministers on any matter that affects Te Tai-o-Marokura, and may also advise any other person or organisation that makes decisions that may affect this area.

The scope of the Guardians is set by the Act, and it requires that their work, and the protection provided by the Act, is reviewed no later than September 2024. This review does not include matters not covered by the Act, such as general fisheries management measures. 

Functions and administration

The Kaikōura Marine Guardians have a direct responsibility to advise the Ministers over issues affecting the purposes of the Kaikōura Marine Management Act 2014, and are an advisory committee to Ministers and persons exercising statutory powers, on biosecurity, conservation, and fisheries matters in the Kaikōura Marine Area. Ministers and persons exercising statutory powers will take the Kaikōura Marine Guardians’ advice into account, where it relates exclusively to the Kaikōura Marine Area.

The Kaikōura Marine Guardians (eleven) will represent Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the Kaikōura community, biosecurity, conservation, education, environment, fishing, marine science and tourism interests.

The statutory Guardians and Te Korowai are closely linked and currently 10 out of 11 Guardians are members of Te Korowai. The committee appointments will be for a term of up to five years. The Ministers will review these terms of reference every three years in consultation with the committee.

The Act established a number of marine protection and sustainable fisheries measures in the Kaikōura marine environment. These include:

  • a New Zealand Fur Seal Sanctuary at Ōhau Point to limit human disturbance to fur seals, while allowing the public to view the colony from a safe distance
  • a new marine reserve that will encompass the Kaikōura canyon area and connects to the coast south of the Kaikōura township
  • two taiāpure-local fisheries to provide traditional food gathering areas around the Kaikōura Peninsula that will allow commercial fishing to continue
  • three mātaitai reserves where commercial fishing will be prohibited to protect the traditional food gathering areas and allow for recreational fishing.

Annual reports


The Chairperson
Kaikōura Marine Guardians
PO Box 51, Renwick
Marlborough 7243

Phone: +64 3 572 9100

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