An inanga whitebait

Image: Stephen Moore | ©


Have your say on proposed changes to how we manage whitebait in New Zealand. Submissions close 9 am, 2 March 2020.

In this section

Whitebait are an important part of Kiwi culture. They are taonga to iwi and fishing for whitebait is an important tradition for many New Zealanders. But changes are needed to conserve whitebait species and ensure the future of whitebait fishing.

Four of the six whitebait species are classified as 'at risk' or 'threatened'. From 2018, we have been working with New Zealanders on how to ensure healthy and restored whitebait populations and provide for a sustainable fishery.

The discussion document details proposed management changes for whitebait. It proposes:

  • a management goal for the six species fished as whitebait
  • management outcomes for the whitebait fishery
  • amendments to the whitebait fishing regulations
  • to phase out export of the whitebait species.

Now we want to know what you think:

Have your say

For this consultation, you can submit your feedback in writing using one of the methods below. DOC will also hold discussion sessions that will answer questions to help you prepare their feedback.

You can submit just on topics important to you, or on the full range of proposals. You can also tell us if you think we should consider other options or additional information to improve whitebait management.

Feedback in writing

You can provide your feedback by completing the online survey.

You can also write your own submission for email or post. Include your name, contact (email preferred), organisation if appropriate, and if the submission, or part of the submission, is an organisation's view.

Online: Fill in our survey



Whitebait Management Consultation
Department of Conservation
P. O. Box 10420
Wellington 6143

Attend a discussion session

To help you prepare your submission, you can ask questions about the proposals in the discussion document at our public discussion sessions. These sessions will take place around New Zealand in January and February 2020.

Whitebait management proposals public consultation meetings 2020
Region Venue Date Time
Timaru Washdyke Community Squash Lounge 27 January 12.30 - 2.30 pm
New Plymouth New Plymouth Club 29 January 2-4 pm
Christchurch Distinction Hotel Christchurch 29 January 10 am - 12 pm
Westport NBS Theatre 29 January 12.30 - 2.30 pm
Kaitaia Te Ahu Kaitaia 30 January 2-4 pm
Invercargill Corinthian Convention Centre 30 January 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
Hokitika Hokitika RSA 30 January 1.30 - 3.30 pm
Fox Glacier Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier 3 February 2-4 pm
Whangārei Whangarei Public Library, May Bain Room 4 February 10 am - 12 pm
Tuakau Madill Community House 4 February 1.30 - 3.30 pm
Whanganui Peter Snell Function Room, Cooks Gardens 4 February 10 am - 12 pm
Blenheim Marlborough Convention Centre 4 February 1.30 - 3.30 pm
Haast Heartland Hotel Haast 4 February 1-3 pm
Napier Napier Conference Centre 5 February 2-4 pm
Wellington Terrace Conference Centre 5 February 9-11 am
Nelson Old St Johns Hall 5 February 11.30 am - 1.30 pm
Dunedin Otago Museum, Kakapo room 5 February 2-4 pm
Auckland Grand Mercure Hotel 10 February 10 am -12 pm
Masterton Sport Wairarapa House 10 February 1.30 - 3.30 pm
Ōtaki Otaki Memorial Hall 12 February 10 am - 12 pm
Ōtorohanga Waitomo Cave Hotel 13 February 1-3 pm

What happens next?

We'll review all the submissions received during this consultation. The submissions will inform our final recommendations to the Minister of Conservation.

We will also prepare a summary of submissions and set out how we have responded to these in developing our recommendations.

The Minister of Conservation and Cabinet will then consider our recommendations and decide on the changes to whitebait management that should be progressed. 

DOC will confirm on this website whether the whitebait fishing regulations have changed for the 2020 season.


Back to top