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Proposed reforms to the management of marine protected areas

Your views sought

The Government is seeking feedback on proposed reforms to how we protect our marine environment within New Zealand's territorial sea. If agreed, they would form the basis of a Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act. This new Act would replace the Marine Reserves Act 1971.

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) is leading the consultation.

What's proposed?

The proposed MPA Act would establish 4 types of marine protected areas.

The reforms aim to achieve an appropriate balance between:

  • protecting our marine environment
  • maximising commercial, recreational and cultural opportunities now and into the future.

They would ensure we have the most effective approach for the sustainable management of our marine environment while enhancing, protecting and restoring marine biodiversity.

They would not affect special legislation for marine protection, such as in Fiordland or Kaikoura. Nor would they affect the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

Consultation document and public meetings

A consultation document can be downloaded from the MfE's website. MfE is also holding a series of public meetings and hui to discuss the proposals.

Making your submission

You can find out how to make a submission on the Ministry for the Environment website:

Find out more

Read the ministers' press release about the proposals – Beehive website

Who to contact

If you have questions about this consultation, email