Introduction

Submissions closed 20 March 2022. We asked for your views on the proposed Hākaimangō-Matiatia Marine Reserve in Northwest Waiheke, Auckland.

Highlights

DOC has received an application to create a new marine reserve by the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc. Other parties besides DOC can apply for a new marine reserve under the Marine Reserve Act 1971 – this is what has happened here.

DOC is analysing objections and submissions

September 2022: DOC is currently analysing the objections and submissions to the proposed Hākaimangō-Matiatia Marine Reserve in Northwest Waiheke, Auckland. This is step five of the marine reserve application process.

DOC is also undertaking its own assessment of the application to determine if the proposed area meets the purpose of the Marine Reserves Act 1971. DOC is continuing to engage with iwi as part of its Treaty obligations.

This analysis and engagement will inform the advice provided to the Minister of Conservation. There is a range of technical advice, legislation and policy that must be considered, and this takes time.

DOC is aiming to provide the final advice to the Minister of Conservation by the end of 2022. This is an estimated timeframe, and any further updates will be supplied on this page.

On this page:

Submissions closed 20 March 2022

On behalf of the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc (the applicant), DOC invited submissions on this proposal to establish a new marine reserve. Submissions closed 20 March 2022.

Read the submissions

DOC received 1,293 submissions and objections on the proposal. Of these, 1,174 were in support, 25 were in partial support, 6 were partial objections and 88 were objections.

All submissions and their attachments can be accessed in the folders below.

The summary at the beginning of each submission shows if it has supporting documents. If it does have supporting documents, they can be found at the bottom of the submission.

Redactions of contact details and other information have been made in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982.

Submission index (PDF, 312K)

Find a submission

The index can be used to search for a particular submission. Search the index for a submitter's name and it will tell you which folder their submission is in.

Open that folder and then search for submitter's name to find the submission.

You can open the search function in PDF documents by pressing Ctrl + F on your keyboard. On mobile, select the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen.

Note that all submissions where names have been withheld are in their own file: Submissions folder 1. You will not be able to search these submissions by submitter name.

Response to objections

The applicant has provided their response to the objections made (as outlined under section 5(4) of the Marine Reserves Act 1971).

Response to Objections / Whakautu ki nga Whakahē (PDF, 7282K)

Process for a marine reserve application

The process to apply for a marine reserve is outlined in the Marine Reserves Act 1971, with additional requirements in the Marine and Coastal Area (Te Takutai Moana) Act 2011.

Below is a high-level overview of the process involved in this application. This is not a summary of the entire marine reserve application process. For the full process, see the Marine Reserves Act.

Diagram of the process

820 image.
Hākaimangō-Matiatia (Northwest Waiheke) Marine Reserve application process diagram. The steps are expanded below. 
Image: DOC

Key steps

1. Draft application for marine reserve

On 23 April 2021, the Friends of Hauraki Gulf Inc (the applicant) submitted a draft application to the Director-General of Conservation for the declaration of a marine reserve on the north-western end of Waiheke Island.

2. Pre-notification

The applicant undertook their own consultation with iwi, interested parties, community groups and the public.

3. Public notification – two-month public consultation period

On 20 January 2022, the applicant published their ‘notice of intention to apply’ for a new marine reserve. This was published in local and main centre newspapers.

People and organisations then had two months to make a written submission, objecting to or supporting the proposal. The public notification period ended on 20 March 2022.

Summary of DOC’s role during public notification and consultation

DOC provided a plan of the proposed marine reserve during the public notification stage. This was displayed at the Auckland Council and Citizens Advice Bureau offices, the DOC office at Devonport, and the public library on Waiheke.

DOC notified affected iwi, hapū, or whānau about the application, as required under section 48 of the Marine and Coastal Area (Te Takutai Moana) Act 2011.

Both DOC and the applicant received all submissions and objections, as required by the Marine Reserves Act.  

DOC consulted tangata whenua on the application.

(Note: Engagement with tangata whenua continues, to ensure their views can be accurately conveyed to the Minister of Conservation. This is also to ensure that DOC and the Minister meet their responsibilities under section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987, provisions of the Marine and Coastal Area (Te Takutai Moana) Act 2011, and relevant Treaty settlement agreements.)

4. Response to objections

The applicant has the right, under the Marine Reserves Act, to “answer” any objections within a period of three months from the date of first newspaper publication (ie one month after the close of the submissions).

The applicant provided its ‘Response to Objections’ document on 20 April 2022. DOC sent this document, along with all submissions and objections received, to the Minister, as the Act requires.

5. Department of Conservation’s assessment of the application

DOC is currently analysing the objections and submissions received and assessing the application against the requirements of the Marine Reserves Act 1971.

6. Advice to the Minister

DOC will provide its analysis and advice to the Minister of Conservation, taking care to accurately convey the views of tangata whenua. 

7. Minister of Conservation’s decisions

The Minister must first decide whether to “uphold” any objections. If the Minister upholds any objections, the area will not be declared a marine reserve. If the Minister does not uphold any objections, the Minister must then decide whether the area should be declared a marine reserve, considering the matters in section 5(9) of the Marine Reserves Act (which include whether to declare a reserve is in the best interests of scientific study).

8. Concurrence of the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister of Transport

If the Minister of Conservation decides the area should be declared a marine reserve, the Minister must seek the agreement of the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister of Transport.

9. If approved, the marine reserve can be established

If both the Ministers for Oceans and Fisheries and Transport agree, the Minister of Conservation can then recommend that the Governor-General establish the new marine reserve by Order in Council, either unconditionally or subject to conditions.  

Summary of the proposal

Where

The proposed Hākaimangō-Matiatia Marine Reserve is off the northwest coastline of Waiheke Island, Auckland. The proposal covers 2,350 ha off the north-western corner of Waiheke Island. It would span from Hakaimango Point to Matiatia Point.

Map of the proposed marine reserve (PDF, 249K)

What a marine reserve is

Marine reserves are areas that are fully protected from the sea surface to the seafloor, including the foreshore. Activities that “take”, alter or disturb marine life, are generally not allowed in a marine reserve.

Activities that do not harm the marine environment are encouraged such as:

  • studying the marine life
  • swimming
  • snorkelling
  • boating
  • diving.

The main aim of a marine reserve is to create an area free from alterations to marine habitats and life, providing a place of study to learn about the marine environment.

Under the Marine Reserves Act 1971, marine reserves may be established in areas that:

  • contain underwater scenery, natural features, or marine life of such distinctive quality, or
  • are so typical, beautiful, or unique that their continued preservation is in the national interest.

Application document

The application includes a background to the proposal, including the applicant’s reasoning for the proposal, and research into the marine environment which informed their decision to apply for a new marine reserve at the proposed site. It takes around 70 minutes to read in full.

Marine reserve application (PDF, 3,245K)

You can get a printed copy of the application document and map at:

  • DOC Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Office
  • The Waiheke Library, 133/131 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island
  • Waiheke Local Board Office, 10 Belgium Street, Ostend, Waiheke Island
  • Citizens Advice Bureau, 141 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island

Background to the proposal

On 23 April 2021, the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc, gave formal notice to the Director-General of DOC of their intention to apply for an Order in Council to establish a new marine reserve.

The Director-General established the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf were eligible and agreed to work with them and support them through the Marine Reserves Act 1971 process.

About Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc

The Friends of the Hauraki Gulf is a Waiheke Island based incorporated society originally established in 2013. They describe their purpose as ‘to research and advocate for the setting aside of marine protected areas, especially no-take marine reserves…’ and ‘to encourage and facilitate the scientific study of marine life and the natural history of the Hauraki Gulf.’

More about Friends of the Hauraki Gulf.

Roles in the process

In the Marine Reserves Act 1971 process there are defined roles for the applicant, DOC, and the Minister of Conservation.

The applicant’s role

The role of the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc in this process is to:

  • inform and engage with tangata whenua, the public, and interest groups or stakeholders about the proposal
  • publically notify the application – which then starts a two month period where objections and submissions can be made to the Director General of Conservation
  • answer any objections within one month of the close of submission period, if they choose to.

DOC’s role in this process

DOC’s role is to facilitate the Marine Reserves Act 1971 process – the proposal is not a DOC led proposal, however, DOC is required to:

  • advise and support the applicant to understand and meet process requirements
  • prepare an official map of the proposed area
  • consult with affected iwi, hapū and whānau to understand their views on the proposed marine reserve and to meet obligations set out in under section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987, Te Takutai Moana Act 2011, and relevant Treaty settlement agreements
  • support the two month public notification process by displaying the map and application at local DOC offices
  • receive all public submissions provided during the public notification period and manage information as per the Official Information Act 1982 and Privacy Act 2020 requirements
  • analyse the submissions and assess the application against legal requirements, and provide independent advice to the Minister of Conservation to support decision making.

Minister of Conservation’s role in this process

The role of the Minister of Conservation in this process:

  • Make decisions about whether to uphold any objections and whether to declare a new marine reserve as proposed. The Minister of Conservation must have particular regard to the views of those affected iwi, hapū, or whānau in considering the application or proposal.
  • If the Minister of Conservation decides the area should be declared a marine reserve, seek the agreement of the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister of Transport.
  • If concurrence (agreement) of both the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister of Transport is obtained, the Minister can recommend the Governor-General establish the new marine reserve by Order in Council, either unconditionally or subject to conditions.

The full procedure of declaring a Marine Reserve can be found within the Marine Reserves Act (1971).

Contact

If you have any questions about the proposal, contact Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc.

Email: info@friendsofhaurakigulf.nz

If you have any questions about this process, contact us.

Email: marineprotection@doc.govt.nz

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