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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

Have your say

Fisheries New Zealand and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are inviting public feedback on proposals to establish a network of marine reserves and protected areas along the south-east coast of the South Island.

The proposed network aims to protect a range of unique coastal and estuarine habitats and feeding areas for marine mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates, which are currently under pressure from the effects of human activities including climate change.

The proposed network is made up of 6 marine reserves, 5 Type 2 marine protected areas (MPAs), and one kelp protection area, covering a total of 1267 km2 from Timaru in South Canterbury to Waipapa Point in Southland.

The 6 proposed marine reserves are being consulted on under the Marine Reserves Act, while the 5 proposed type 2 MPAs and the proposed kelp protection area are being consulted on under the Fisheries Act.

Full details are in the consultation document.

Tell us what you think

We want to hear from iwi, hapū and whānau, the community, and stakeholders on how to progress the network of marine protected areas to best protect our environment and valuable marine biodiversity. We also want to understand what impacts any new MPAs might have on you.

We know the network proposed will have an impact on the people who rely on the sea for their livelihoods or enjoy fishing as part of their lifestyle. We want to better understand that impact and encourage those directly affected to have their say.

People have 2 months from 17 February to 17 April 2020 to make objections and submissions on the proposed network and individual marine protection measures within it.

Consultation document and ways to make a submission

An external website has been developed where you can:

  • find the consultation document with maps and information about the proposed marine reserves and marine protected areas
  • make an online submission.

Emailing and posting submissions

If you don’t use the online form, email your submission to

While we would prefer to get online or email submissions, you can also post your feedback to:

Proposed southeast marine protection network
Department of Conservation
Conservation House
PO Box 10420
Wellington 6143
New Zealand.

What to include in your email or post submissions

Make sure to include:

  • the title of the consultation document
  • your name and title
  • your organisation’s name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation, and whether your submission represents the whole organisation or a section of it)
  • your contact details (phone number, address, and email).

Some MPI offices have copies of the consultation document to view  

Printed copies of the consultation document are available for viewing at Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) offices at Christchurch, Dunedin, and Invercargill during office hours.

Other and next steps

Fisheries New Zealand and DOC will continue to consult with our Treaty partner, Ngāi Tahu, about the proposed MPA network and their aspirations for co-managing marine protection in the region.

Fisheries New Zealand is also planning to undertake targeted consultation with affected commercial fishers.

Once the consultation closes, the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of Fisheries will make decisions considering all available and relevant information, the submissions received, and the merits of the proposals.

Submissions are public information

Note, that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have good reasons for withholding them. That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it is commercially sensitive or it’s personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

MPI may post all or parts of any written submission on its website. We’ll consider that you have consented to its publication unless clearly stated otherwise in your submission.  

Background to this consultation

In May 2019, the ministers announced their intention to progress the network of marine reserves and marine protected areas. The network is based on Network 1 – one of 2 options put forward by the South-East Marine Protection Forum/Roopu Manaaki ki te Toka in 2018 for marine protection for the region.

Find out more

South eastern South Island marine protection – DOC