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A New Marine Protected Areas Act – Have Your Say On Protecting Our Ocean

Bohar Snappers gather at Shark Reef in the Red Sea during summer
The Government is seeking views on a new approach to marine protection in New Zealand. Make a submission now and help protect our oceans.



The Government is seeking views on a new approach to marine protection in New Zealand. A new Marine Protected Areas Act: Consultation document sets out the Government’s proposal for this new approach to marine protection. If agreed, the policy recommendations would form a new Marine Protected Areas Act. This new act would replace the outdated Marine Reserves Act 1971.

We believe that the Government’s proposal falls short of achieving key measures such as how future Marine Protected Areas will be implemented, managed and monitored, including the exclusion of the majority of New Zealand’s waters, the Exclusive Economic Zone which covers over 4 million square kilometres of ocean. There are many extraordinary habitats and animals which exist only in these deep seas and need certainty of protection. Penguins, albatross, petrels, whales, dolphins, giant manta rays, rare sharks, and sea lions all swim through or forage in the deep-sea, and there are also other deep-water sea creatures that deserve protection, many of which only exist in New Zealand.

If the consultation document is not changed, the New Zealand public will miss out on having a say in how this marine environment should be fairly and equitably used. We will not have the potential to create a meaningful network of representative marine reserves (fully protected areas) and other marine protected areas throughout the vast majority of our oceans. This means that examples of the full range of marine communities and ecosystems will miss out on protection, as will outstanding, rare, distinctive or important marine habitats.

Have your say

New Zealand’s oceans and marine wildlife need your help. This is an opportunity to create legislation that allows meaningful protection of our oceans. Let’s make sure the Government gets it right. Together, we have the opportunity to turn the Marine Protected Areas Act proposal into a bill that genuinely protects our marine ecosystems and wildlife. To make your own submission go to the Consultation on proposed reforms to the management of marine protected areas web page or alternatively use our form below.

Submissions are due by 5.00pm Friday 11 March 2016.

Make a submission

Use the form below to make a submission and let’s make sure the 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).

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