Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Nominations are being called for a community-led forum to consider marine protection for the Otago coastline.

Date:  26 October 2013

Nominations are being called for a community-led forum to consider marine protection for the Otago coastline.

The Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Partnerships Director for South and Eastern South Island, Barry Hanson, said DOC and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) are calling for people to put their hands up to help shape the future of marine protection for the southern part of the South Island’s east coast.

“Anyone with an interest in the marine environment on the Otago coast can be nominated for the Otago Marine Protection Planning Forum and people can nominate themselves,” Mr Hanson said.

“This is a chance for people to have their say on marine protection in Otago and be involved in shaping the long-term vision for our coast.”

Tautuku Beach, Catlins coast. Photo: Sam O'Leary. DOC USE ONLY.
Tautuku Beach, Catlins coast

The Forum will have up to 14 members (including the chairperson), and nominations are expected from interested parties including Ngai Tahu, commercial fishers, recreational users, conservation groups, the tourism sector, aquaculture industry, marine scientists, the mining and petroleum sectors, local government and local communities. 

Forum members will be announced at the end of this year and the forum will be expected to make its recommendation to the Ministers of Conservation and Primary Industries in two years on the location and types of marine protected areas that should be established in the Otago region. 

Once the Forum is established, interested users and stakeholders can have their say about marine protection in Otago through the community consultation process. The Forum will consult widely with local communities and interest groups on their views about marine protection for the southern part of the South Island’s east coast. 

Technical support, information and advice will be provided to the Forum by DOC and MPI.

Nominations for forum members are due by Friday 22 November at 5:00 pm and written nominations may be made by any person or organisation. Nomination forms and further information is available from the DOC website as well as from DOC offices in Dunedin, Invercargill and Christchurch.

The Forum will focus on the coastline between Timaru in the north to Waipapa Point in the south.

Map of proposed Otago region Marine Protected Area (PDF, 1,730)


On 17 October Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced the establishment of the Otago Marine Protection Forum: Minister of Conservation’s media release 17 October 2013.

It will follow the successful models of forums that have established marine protection in areas such as the West Coast and the subantarctic islands. 

The chairperson will be appointed by the Ministers, while forum members will be endorsed by the Ministers. 

The Crown recognises tangata whenua as having a special role in this discussion and input from Ngai Tahu will be critical to the success of the process. 

New Zealand has a network of 34 marine reserves covering an area of 1.28 million hectares. Otago is the only region without a marine protected area.


Barry Hanson
DOC Partnerships Director for South and Eastern South Island
+64 3 474 6927 or +64 27 438 2399 

Andrea Crawford
Communications Advisor for South and Eastern South Island
+64 3 474 6905 or +64 27 22 22 735

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