Taieri Mouth
Image: John Barkla | ©


The South-East Marine Protection Forum was established in 2014 to provide recommendations to the Ministers of Primary Industries and Conservation on a network of Marine Protected Areas from Timaru to Waipapa Point.

The Forum formally completed their work in 2018 when they provided their recommendations report (PDF, 17,879K) to Ministers. See below for information about the Forum, the process they followed for consultation, and the public submissions that were received.


The Forum operated from 2014 until early 2018 when they delivered their recommendations to Ministers. Members of the Forum represented the interests of tangata whenua; commercial and recreational fishers: conservation groups; the tourism, aquaculture and marine science sectors, the local community; and local government.

Forum members and the sectors they represented were:

  • Maree Baker-Galloway – Chairperson, Partner at Anderson Lloyd specialising in Environmental Law, Queenstown
  • Edward Ellison – Deputy Chair, representing the three Otago Rūnaka, Dunedin
  • Dr Philippa Agnew – environmental sector representative, Oamaru
  • Steve Bennett – recreational fishing sector, Dunedin *
  • Stephanie Blair – representing Te Rūnaka o Awarua, Invercargill
  • Simon Gilmour– commercial fishing sector, Dunedin
  • Ate Heineman – commercial fishing sector, Dunedin
  • John Henry – representing Arowhenua and Waihao, Timaru
  • Dr Chris Hepburn – marine sciences sector, Dunedin
  • Sue Maturin – environmental sector, Dunedin
  • Neville Peat – community sector, Dunedin
  • Dr Tim Ritchie – recreational fishing sector, Dunedin
  • Fergus Sutherland – Tourism sector, The Catlins
  • Carol Scott – commercial fishing sector, Nelson
  • Emeritus Professor Khyla Russell – representing the three Otago rūnaka (alternate)
  • Gail Thompson – representing Te Rūnaka o Awarua, Bluff (alternate)
  • Pauline Reid – representing Arowhenua and Waihao, Kāi Tahu (alternate)
  • Nelson Cross – recreational fishing sector, Kaka Point

* Steve Bennett replaced Nelson Cross as a recreational fishing sector representative in December 2016.

Forum consultation

In late 2016, the Forum consulted with the public, industry and stakeholders on 20 sites for possible inclusion in the network of Marine Protected Areas. This included public and stakeholder meetings, scientific input and a community questionnaire.

More than 2,800 submissions were received by the Forum for their consideration.

Public submissions

While the Forum members undertook to read and understand each and every submission, independent analysts were commissioned to provide summaries of the submissions received to support the Forum in their deliberations process. The independent summaries below sought to provide an overview of the key points raised in submissions.

The 2,803 submissions were received either online, in paper form or via email and equate to thousands of pages of feedback. They are collated below; all private and commercially sensitive information has been removed.

Additionally many submitters completed ‘template’ submissions (referred to as proforma submissions) which were drafted by Fish Forever, Forest and Bird, and Tautuku Fishing Club.

Note: This links to our Cerberus download site. Get help on downloading files.

Every submission, including proforma submissions represented by these examples, was given equal weight by the Forum.

Proforma submissions that contained additional comments or information have been included as unique submissions in the collated submission files above.

Forum recommendations

The South-East Marine Protection Forum delivered its final recommendations for Marine Protected Areas on the South Island’s south-east coast to the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of Fisheries on 23 February 2018.

The recommendations were made taking into account the views and information received from the public during the consultation process.

Due to the wide-ranging views of the Forum and the sectors they represented the Forum was unable to reach consensus. This resulted in two alternate networks being recommended to Ministers:

  • Network 1 – which covers 14.2% (1267 km2) of the region and includes six Marine Reserves and five Type 2 MPAs. Network 1 was supported by the Forum’s environment, tourism, community and science representatives, as well as one of the two recreational fishing representatives.
  • Network 2 – which covers 4.1% (366 km2) of the Forum region and includes three Marine Reserves and two Type 2 MPAs. It was supported by the commercial fishing representatives and one of the two recreational fishing representatives.

After considering advice Ministers decided to progress Network 1 because it best meets the objectives of the Marine Protected Areas Policy.

Back to top