Long Point from Papatowai

Image: DOC


DOC and Fisheries NZ (FNZ) are inviting public feedback on proposals to establish a network of marine reserves and protected areas along the south-east coast of the South Island. Submissions close on 3 August 2020.

Public consultation was started on 17 February 2020 and withdrawn on 9 April due to New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, which limited people’s ability to participate meaningfully.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

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

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.

Maps of the proposed network

Kelp protection area:

Type 2 Marine Protected Areas:

Marine Reserves:

Call for submissions

We want to hear from iwi, hapū and whānau, stakeholders, groups and the public on how to progress the network of marine protected areas to best protect our environment and valuable marine biodiversity. We also want to understand what impacts any protected areas might have on you.

We know the network proposed will have an impact on the people who rely on the sea for their livelihoods or enjoy fishing as part of their lifestyle. We want to better understand that impact and encourage those directly affected to have their say.

People have two months from 3 June to 3 August 2020 to make objections and submissions on the proposed network and individual marine protection measures within it.

How to make a submission


The consultation document with maps and information about the proposed marine reserves and marine protected areas, and a link to make online submissions, are available on the consultation website.

Submit on south-eastern South Island marine protected areas


Alternatively, submissions can be emailed to southeast.marine@publicvoice.co.nz.


If you're unable to make an online submission, you can post a submission to:

Proposed south-east marine protection network
Department of Conservation
Conservation House
PO Box 10420
Wellington 6143

How to see a hardcopy

If you're unable to access the consultation document online or want to access a hard copy, printed copies are available for viewing at the following locations during office hours:

  • Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
  • Mahaanui/Sockburn Office (DOC)
  • Raukapuka/Geraldine Office (DOC)
  • Waimate Public Library
  • Oamaru Public Library
  • Ōtepoti/Dunedin Office (DOC)
  • Dunedin Visitor Centre
  • Balclutha Public Library
  • Murihiku/Invercargill Office (DOC)

See details for visitor centres and DOC offices.

Hard copies are also available on request by emailing semp@doc.govt.nz.

Further information

DOC plans to provide email updates to stakeholders during the consultation period. If you have any further questions or would like to receive these updates, email us at semp@doc.govt.nz.

DOC is investigating options for live online question and answer sessions with the public. Should these go ahead, details of these sessions will be updated on this webpage.


Listen to an interview about the consultation – 8 June 2020.

If you have already submitted

If you have already made a submission on the proposed network after consultation began in February 2020, this has been saved and will be included in this consultation unless you want to change or withdraw it.

We will be contacting those who made submissions during February to April 2020, to check if you want to include your submission unchanged, or update or withdraw it.

If you made or began making an electronic submission and we have your email address, we will contact you by email with further instructions. If you posted your submission, we will be in contact by mail or email.

If you made a submission but don’t hear from us, email semp@doc.govt.nz.

If your submission incomplete

If you started but did not complete an electronic submission, this will not be included in the consultation unless it is completed and submitted.

We will contact you by email with further instructions but if you don’t hear from us, email: semp@doc.govt.nz.

What happens next

DOC and Fisheries New Zealand (FNZ) will continue to consult with our Treaty partner Ngāi Tahu about the proposed network and their aspirations for co-managing marine protection in the region.

FNZ are also planning to undertake targeted consultation with affected commercial fishers.

Once consultation closes, the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of Fisheries (the Ministers) will make decisions considering all available and relevant information, the submissions received, and the merits of the proposals.


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.

Back to top