Introduction

Have your say on a proposed marine reserve in Hakaimango-Matiatia (Northwest Waiheke), Auckland. Submissions closed 20 March 2022.

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.

We want to hear from you – submissions are open to everyone.

Submissions closed 20 March 2022

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

On this page:

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

How to make submissions

Submissions close 20 March 2022.

There are three ways you can make a submission:

  • make a submission online – preferred
  • using email, or
  • written submission.

Online submissions

Make a submission online.

The online form ensures basic information is collected and allows for your individual views to be conveyed.

Email and written submissions

1. Prepare your submission

Your submission should include your:

  • name
  • if you’re an affected iwi, hapū or whānau who exercises katiakitanga in the proposed area – include which iwi, hapū or whānau you affiliate to
  • organisation if you’re submitting on behalf of an organisation
  • contact details and preferences
  • why you support or object to the proposed marine reserve.

Please include your specific reasons for your support or your objections – this detail will help to inform the Minister’s decision making.

2. Send us your submission

You can send your submission by either email or post.

Email: waihekeproposal@publicvoice.co.nz

You’ll get a confirmation email to let you know we have received your submission.

Post:

Planning Permissions and Land Unit
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10420
Wellington 6143
New Zealand

RE: Proposed Hākaimango-Matiatia (Northwest Waiheke Island) Marine Reserve

Your submission may be released publicly

Any submission you make will be shared with the applicant. It will also become public information. This means that anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 – DOC may decide to proactively release all submissions at some point.

The Official Information Act states that we must make information available unless there is a good reason for withholding it and provides a list of such reasons in sections 6, 9 and 18. If you think there is a good reason to withhold specific information, please state this in your submission. A good reason may include commercial confidentiality or that it is personal information.

Any decision that is made by DOC to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information to be released.

DOC seeks views of affected iwi, hapū or whānau

The Minister of Conservation must have particular regard to the views of affected iwi, hapū and whānau in considering the proposal to create this marine reserve under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011.

Kaitiakitanga under the Takutai Moana Act means “the exercise of guardianship by the tangata whenua of an area in accordance with tikanga Māori in relation to natural and physical resources, and includes the ethic of stewardship.”

An important part of DOC’s role in this process is identify views from affected iwi, hapū and whānau who exercise kaitiakitanga in this area.

If you think you are “affected” as defined under the Act, please provide your views in writing to DOC, clarifying:

  • your iwi, hapū and whānau affiliation, and
  • that you exercise kaitiakitanga in a part of the common marine and coastal area affected by the proposal.

More details about how to make a submission are above.

Background to the proposal

On 23 April 2021, the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc (the applicant), 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 Section 5 of the Marine Reserves Act (1971).

What happens next

After submissions close:

  1. For 1 month after the submission period closes, the Friends of Hauraki Gulf Inc will have the option to answer any objections to the Director-General of Conservation.
  2. DOC will analyse submissions and provide advice to the Minister of Conservation.
  3. The Minister of Conservation will make decisions about whether to uphold any objections and whether to declare a new marine reserve as proposed.
  4. If the Minister of Conservation decides the area should be declared a marine reserve they will seek agreement of Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister of Transport.
  5. If agreement is reached, the Minister of Conservation may recommend the Governor-General establish the new marine reserve by Order in Council, either unconditionally or subject to conditions.

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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