Find out when you are permitted to construct and maintain access related structures and tracks on Sounds Foreshore Reserve and how to apply for an authorisation.

Purpose of Sounds Foreshore Reserve

In the Marlborough Sounds, the Sounds Foreshore Reserve is:

  • a local purpose reserve for sounds foreshore purposes under the Reserves Act 1977, but subject to the Reserves and Other Land Disposal Act 1982
  • a strip averaging 20 m above mean high tide mark and covering 900 km of a 1200 km coastline in the Marlborough Sounds
  • owned by the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders and managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The main purpose of the Sounds Foreshore Reserve is to:

  • provide public access to the foreshore
  • protect existing access across the Sounds Foreshore Reserve for owners of adjoining properties.

The Sounds Foreshore Reserve  must also be managed:

  • to protect scenic and other features
  • in accordance with the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Management strategy and the Marlborough Sounds Maritime Park Management Plan 1986.

Authorisations for structures on Sounds Foreshore Reserve

Any “activities” (including building) on public conservation land, including Sounds Foreshore Reserve, must have an authorisation from DOC.

Authorisations may take various forms, such as:

  • an easement
  • a licence to occupy
  • a permit to carry out works.

Authorisations are usually issued under the Conservation Act 1987.

In the case of Sounds Foreshore Reserve, owners of adjoining land may also be granted a licence to occupy for certain structures under the Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Act 1982.

How to get an Authorisation

Due to the complexity of the Sounds Foreshore Reserve authorisations you are strongly advised to have a pre-application meeting with DOC prior to submitting any application.

What a pre-application meeting is

DOC can advise you on what sort of authorisation you need, supply you with the right application form and show you how to apply. You will be required to pay a processing fee for any application regardless of whether your application is granted or not.

You must contact the Marlborough District Council for any building permit or resource consent requirements.

Contact Marlborough District Council

For an existing structure on your property

You should contact the DOC's Waitohi/Picton office and arrange a pre-application meeting.

Contact us

For more information or assistance with your Sounds Foreshore Reserve application contact the Waitohi/Picton Office.

Waitohi / Picton Office
Phone:   +64 3 520 3002
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Port Marlborough Building
14 Auckland Street
Picton 7220
Postal Address:   PO Box 161
Picton 7250
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