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Application for a mātaitai reserve at Ōtara, Southland

Update – 17 July 2023

Minister's decision

Following consultation, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has declared a mātaitai reserve at Ōtara, Southland. The reserve comes into effect on 8 August 2023.

Ōtara Mātaitai Reserve map [PDF, 7.4 MB]

Ōtara Mātaitai Gazette notice

Commercial fishing in this mātaitai reserve is prohibited under regulation 24(2) of the Fisheries (South Island Customary Fishing) Regulations 1999.

Consultation background

Te Rūnanga o Awarua applied for a mātaitai reserve extending from north of the Tokanui River mouth to east of Waipapa Point. Fisheries New Zealand and Te Rūnanga o Awarua held a public meeting on the application, and invited submissions on the proposal.

A mātaitai reserve is an identified traditional fishing ground, and is established for the purpose of customary food gathering. Mātaitai reserves are limited to fisheries waters and do not include any land area.

Find out more about mātaitai reserves

What was proposed?

The proposed mātaitai reserve extended around the coastline from 350 metres north of the Tokanui River mouth to 475 metres east of Waipapa Point. The proposed reserve extended offshore 0.5 nautical miles, and covered 7.25 square kilometres. It covered those South Island fisheries waters within the following lines:

  1. From the starting point on the mean high-water mark at 46°36.699'S and 168°49.940'E; then
  2. by a straight line in a westerly direction for approximately 0.5 nautical miles to a point offshore at 46°36.671'S and 168°49.167'E; then
  3. by a line in a generally south-easterly direction, every point of which is 0.5 nautical miles from the mean high-water mark, to a point offshore at 46°40.113'S and 168°51.148'E; then
  4. by a straight line in a northerly direction to a point on the mean high-water mark at 46° 39.600'S and 168°51.187'E; then
  5. by a line in a generally north-westerly direction along the mean high-water mark to the starting point.

Map of proposed Ōtara mātaitai reserve [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Application document

Download a copy of the application [PDF, 543 KB]

Public notices

Public notices about the meeting with the local community and the call for written submissions were scheduled to appear in the Southland Times on:

  • Wednesday 11 December 2019.
  • Thursday 19 December 2019.

A notice was also planned to appear in the Southland Express on Thursday 13 February 2020.

A second consultation was held

After the local community consultation period closed, Fisheries New Zealand held a second consultation. This invited written submissions from persons who take fish, aquatic life, or seaweed, or own quota, and whose ability to take such fish, aquatic life, or seaweed or whose ownership interest in quota may be affected by the proposed mātaitai reserve.

Find out about the second consultation

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 a good reason for withholding it. 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's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision Fisheries New Zealand makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.