Long Point from Papatowai
Image: DOC


Public consultation on proposals to establish a network of marine reserves and marine protected areas along the south-east South Island closed on 3 August 2020.

Submissions closed 3 August 2020.

DOC and Fisheries NZ thank all those who participated in this consultation process and provided submissions on the proposals.

Public consultation was started on 17 February 2020 and withdrawn on 9 April 2020 due to New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, which limited people’s ability to participate meaningfully. Consultation was recommenced on 3 June 2020 for two months until 3 August 2020.

The proposed network is unchanged from that initially consulted on in February.

What happens next

Submissions will be analysed by public research and engagement company, Public Voice. We intend to make the report available to the public.

As per statutory requirements, DOC and Fisheries NZ will brief the Ministers of Conservation and Fisheries about the results of the public consultation process and consultation with Treaty partner Ngāi Tahu.

Decisions on the proposed marine protection network will likely be made following the election.

The Ministers of Conservation and Fisheries’ decisions will be informed by agency advice and other relevant information including the submissions received, and the merits of the proposals.

Submitters will be advised of the outcome once Ministerial decisions are finalised.

Proposed marine protection

The proposed network aims to protect a range of unique coastal and estuarine habitats and feeding areas for marine mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates, which are currently under pressure from the effects of human activities including climate change.

The proposed network is made up of six marine reserves, five Type 2 marine protected areas (MPAs), and one kelp protection area, covering a total of 1267 km2 from Timaru in South Canterbury to Waipapa Point in Southland.

The six proposed marine reserves are being consulted on under the Marine Reserves Act, while the five proposed type 2 MPAs and the proposed kelp protection area are being consulted on under the Fisheries Act.

Consultation document (PDF, 9,547K)

Maps of the proposed network

Kelp protection area:

Type 2 Marine Protected Areas:

Marine reserves:


Listen to an interview about the consultation – 8 June 2020


In May 2019, the Ministers announced their intention to progress the network of marine reserves and marine protected areas. The network is based on Network 1 – one of two options put forward by the South-East Marine Protection Forum/ Roopu Manaaki ki te Toka in 2018 for marine protection for the region.

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