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Application for Ruapuke mātaitai reserve, Foveaux Strait, Southland

UPDATE – 27 June 2023

Public meeting postponed and written submission date extended

The public meeting on Tuesday 04 July 2023, at Te Rau Aroha Marae, has been postponed, a new date for this meeting will be confirmed. However, submissions are still open and extended until 4 September 2023.

Your views sought

Topi Whānau, Whaitiri Whānau, and Awarua Rūnanga have applied for a mātaitai reserve around Ruapuke Island, Foveaux Strait.

Fisheries New Zealand, Topi Whānau, Whaitiri Whānau, and Awarua Rūnanga will hold a public meeting to discuss the application and invites 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

What's being proposed?

The approximate area of the proposed mātaitai reserve includes the South Island fisheries waters around Ruapuke Island, Green Island, the Breaksea Islands, the Hazelburgh Group, Bird Island, White Island and Lee Island, and includes the nearby named and unnamed rocks and islets.

Consultation documents

Map of the proposed Ruapuke mātaitai reserve [PDF, 577 KB]

Application from Topi Whānau, Whaitiri Whānau and Awarua Rūnanga about the Ruapuke mātaitai reserve [PDF, 266 KB]

Public meeting planned for Bluff

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

Time: TBC
Date: TBC
Venue: TBC

Note, The public meeting on Tuesday 04 July 2023, at Te Rau Aroha Marae, has been postponed, a new date for this meeting will be confirmed.

Discussion about potential mātaitai reserve bylaws

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. These are called mātaitai reserve bylaws.

The nominated Tangata Tiaki for the proposed Ruapuke mātaitai reserve would like to discuss with the local community potential bylaws at the public meeting. These may include, for example, seaweed and shellfish gathering prohibitions, reductions in the shellfish and finfish daily bag limits, method restrictions, area closures, increased size limits, and recreational reporting.

Any proposed bylaws will be consulted on separately, and the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries must approve them.

Making your submission

The closing date for submissions has been extended, date TBC.

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 appear as follows:

The Otago Daily Times and the Southland Times:

  • Tuesday, 20 June 2023.

The Southland Express:

  • Thursday, 22 June 2023.

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.

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

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