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Application for mātaitai reserve around the Ruapuke Island Group, Foveaux Strait, Southland

Your views sought

Topi Whānau, Whaitiri Whānau, and Te Rūnaka o Awarua have applied for a mātaitai reserve around the Ruapuke Island Group, Foveaux Strait. This application is made on behalf of landowners of the Ruapuke Island Group.

Topi Whānau, Whaitiri Whānau and Te Rūnaka o Awarua and Fisheries New Zealand will hold a public meeting to discuss the application and invite submissions on the proposal from the local community.

This is the first of 2 consultations that will be held about the application.

Find out about the second consultation

This is a new mātaitai reserve application for Ruapuke Island. Those who submitted on a similar application in June to September 2023 will be contacted individually and will have the opportunity to amend or withdraw based on the new application.

What's being proposed?

The approximate area of the proposed mātaitai reserve includes the South Island fisheries waters around the Ruapuke Island Group, Katiapā (Seal Rocks), Papatea / Kauati-a-Tamatea (Green Island), Hinewaikārara (the Hazelburgh Group), Motuharo / Motuhara (Bird Island), Pōhutuwai (White Island), and includes the nearby named and unnamed rocks and isletsPōhutuwai (White Island), and includes the nearby named and unnamed rocks and islets. 

Consultation documents

Map of the proposed Ruapuke mātaitai reserve [PDF, 572 KB]

Application for Ruapuke mātaitai reserve [PDF, 253 KB]

Public meeting planned for Bluff

As part of this consultation, a public meeting will be held in Bluff to discuss the application.

Date: Thursday, 25 July 2024.
Time: 7pm.
Venue: Te Rau Aroha Marae, 8 Bradshaw Street, Bluff.

Contact details and location of marae – Te Rau Aroha Marae

Making your submission

Written or electronic submissions are invited from the local community on the application. The local community is defined as those who own land in the proximity of the proposed mātaitai reserve, or have a place of residence in the proximity of the proposed mātaitai reserve and have been in occupation for a cumulative period of no less than 3 months in the 3 consecutive years immediately prior to June 2024.

Submissions close at 5pm on Monday, 19 August 2024.

Email your submission to

While we prefer email, you can post your submission to:

Fisheries Management – Spatial Allocations
Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

Public notices about this consultation

Public notices about the meeting with the local community and the call for submissions are scheduled to be published in the Otago Daily Times and the Southland Times on:

  • Tuesday 9 July 2024
  • Thursday 18 July 2024.

A notice is also scheduled to appear in the Southland Express on Thursday, 11 July 2024.

A second consultation is planned

After the local community consultation period has closed, Fisheries New Zealand will hold a second consultation.

This will invite written or electronic 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.

The second consultation will be advertised in the same newspapers and on this website.

The application proposes a number of conditions to allow specified commercial fishing activities to continue.

About mātaitai reserves

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.

Mātaitai reserves do not change any existing arrangements for access to private land.

Mātaitai reserves do not affect private landowners’ land titles, or their ability to exercise resource consents for such things as taking water or extracting gravel or sand. Resource consents are managed under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Find out more about mātaitai reserves

Fisheries (South Island Customary Fishing) Regulations 1999 – NZ Legislation

Recreational fishing

When a mātaitai reserve is established, the recreational fishing rules do not change. However, the Tangata Tiaki for a mātaitai reserve may propose changes to the rules at a later date.

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation