Long Point from Papatowai
Image: DOC


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

New marine reserves announced

In October 2023 the Minister of Conservation announced six new marine reserves will be established along the southeast coast of the South Island from Timaru to Waipapa Point in Southland.

More information about the marine reserves

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Public consultation was started on 17 February 2020 and withdrawn on 9 April 2020 due to New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, which limited people’s ability to participate meaningfully.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.

Submissions made before the consultation was withdrawn are included with those received when consultation recommenced. This is unless the submitter asked for it to be withdrawn. All submissions have now been released for transparency.

We’ve also redacted some information for privacy, such as names and emails. This was in line with the Privacy and Official Information Acts.

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

Read the submissions

DOC and Fisheries NZ received 4,056 submissions on the proposed network of marine protected areas. All submissions can be downloaded below.

Most submissions are included in bundles of 20 searchable PDF files and named according to how they were received. These bundles are named from A to T, and each of their submissions are listed on our index sheet.

Read submissions sent via:

Otago Rock Lobster Industry Association:

Our online survey, A - D bundles

Forest & Bird's website, E - L bundles

A fishing club, M - Q bundles

Email or post to DOC or Fisheries NZ, R - T bundles

Find your submission

Find which file and page your submission is on by using our index sheet. This is an excel sheet listing submissions by source with other information.

To find your submission, take the following steps to first find out which file and page your submission is on:

  • open our Index sheet (XLS, 199K)
  • click the arrow at the top of the first column and untick all the sources but the one you used to submit and click 'Ok' to reduce the list to submissions
  • use the search function and type in your surname or organisation's name to find your submission
  • if your name is not searchable, it may have been removed for privacy reasons. Instead use the arrows at the top of other columns to filter by other data such as your main concern
  • once you've found your submission, use the ID in the second column to identify the file your submission is in. The letter before the dash is the file, and the numbers after the page it's on. For example, P-207 would mean the file starting with the letter P, on page number 207.

Once you have your bundle's letter and page number, open the folder with your file in it from the list above. Open or download the appropriate PDF and use your search function to find your submission. 

What happens next

Submissions have been summarised in a report by public research and engagement company, PublicVoice. DOC and Fisheries NZ are now working on a detailed analysis of all submissions.

Once complete, DOC and Fisheries NZ will brief the Minister of Conservation and Minister of Ocean and Fisheries on the results of the consultation with the public and with our Treaty partner, Ngāi Tahu.

DOC and Fisheries NZ led this consultation together, but both Ministers have distinct decision-making roles on the results:

  • the Minister of Conservation will make decisions about the six marine reserve proposals under the Marine Reserves Act. The Minister will look to agree these with the Ministers for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister for Transport.
  • the Minister for Ocean and Fisheries will make decisions about the five Type 2 marine protected areas and one kelp protection area under the Fisheries Act.

Agency advice and other relevant information will inform each Minister’s decision. This includes the submissions.

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 for Conservation and Fisheries 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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