South-East Marine Protection Forum – Have Your Say

South-East Marine Protection Forum – Have Your Say



The South-East coast of New Zealand and the surrounding waters are home to a diverse collection of wildlife and habitats, that include deep sea canyons and bryozoan beds, giant kelp forests, rich bird life, and iconic species such as the New Zealand sea lion, Yellow-eyed penguin, Hector’s dolphin, Northern Royal albatross, just to name a few.

The South-East is the only region in the country without any form of Marine Protected Area. Marine Reserves will help to ensure protection of the most iconic and ecologically significant marine habitats and help protect the places and things people value most about the South-East coast.

The South-East Marine Forum has developed 20 sites for potential protection with each proposed site labelled either Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 sites are being consulted on as marine reserves or ‘no take’ areas. Type 2 sites are proposed as marine protected areas with restrictions specific to what is being targeted for protection; ‘a fit-for-purpose’ set of restrictions. Type 2 marine protected areas still allow some fishing and harvesting, but restrict specific fishing methods and other activities (e.g. mining) in the interests of biodiversity protection, particularly those that cause sea bed disturbance.

Only 5.3% of the marine area proposed by the Forum is designated Type 1, or no-take marine reserves. Our view is that the Forum and the Government should prioritise focus on the establishment of Type 1 marine reserves and to increase the size of the proposed areas under consultation.

Read more about why Biodiversity conservation should focus on no-take Marine Reserves.

View the Forum consultation documents

New Zealand has made international commitments to protect marine biodiversity. Those commitments include conserving at least 10% of our coastal and marine area by 2020. New Zealand is currently well short of achieving this target.

This consultation is a chance to have your say on creating a meaningful network of representative marine reserves (fully protected areas) in the South-East coastal and marine environment.

Have your say

Your submission will help ensure the Forum recommends the full network of proposed marine reserves and protected areas, with expansions and additions that better protect and represent the region’s unique marine species and habitats. To make your own submission go to the Forum’s online submission form web page or alternatively use the form below which is based on Forest & Bird’s public submission points and also aligned with our views.


Make a submission

Use the form below to make a submission and let’s make sure the Forum and Government gets this right. Please edit this text how you see fit, with personal notes of why marine reserves are important to you including your own experience of/in them and why you would like to have more of these areas for the future. Consider making a case for wanting to have all values considered not just economic values (of commercial activities).