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Proposed temporary fishery closure and a netting ban at Tutukaka Harbour, Ngunguru Bay and Ngunguru River, Northland

Update –11 January 2024

Minister's decision

Following consultation, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has imposed a temporary fisheries closure and fishing method prohibition at Tutukaka Harbour, Ngunguru Bay, Ngunguru River, Horahora River and surrounding areas (Rehuotane Ki Tai).

The fisheries closure will be in effect from 5 February 2024, and applies to cockle, garfish, mussel, octopus, pāua, pipi, rock lobster, rock oyster, sea cucumber, seahorse, starfish, tuatua, and several species of crab and sea snail. The fisheries closure excludes the following species:

  • pipi and cockle in the Ngunguru Estuary. The estuary is already closed to the take of pipi and cockle by the Fisheries (Ngunguru Estuary Cockle and Pipi Harvest Closure Notice 2015)
  • Asian paddle crab. 

The method prohibition will be in effect from 5 February 2024 and prohibits fishing with nets within Tutukaka Harbour, Ngunguru River and Horahora River (including Ngunguru and Horahora estuaries). The method prohibition excludes the following nets:

  • Danish seine net
  • trawl net
  • the use of a landing net to secure fish.

Tutukaka Harbour, Ngunguru Bay, Ngunguru River, Horahora River and surrounding areas (Rehuotane Ki Tai) closure map [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Published Gazette notice [PDF, 51 KB]

Customary fisheries management areas, rules, and maps

Consultation background

We sought feedback on a request for a temporary fishery closure and a method prohibition banning the use of nets. The request was from the tangata whenua o Ngāti Takapari, Te Waiariki, and Ngāti Korora "Whangai Mokopuna" Rohe Moana.

The temporary fishery closure and the fishing method prohibition were requested under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996. The proposed closure area would be called Rehuotane Ki Tai and covers Tutukaka Harbour, Ngunguru Bay, and Ngunguru River (Northland) and nearby areas.

The request was for a 2-year closure and would prohibit the take of:

  • all shellfish, excluding kina
  • seahorse (all species)
  • piper/garfish.

The definition of shellfish includes but is not limited to:

  • blackfoot and yellowfoot pāua
  • rock lobster and packhorse rock lobster
  • mussels (all species)
  • octopus
  • squid.

The taking of scallops is already prohibited under section 11 of the Fisheries Act 1996.

The requested method prohibition would ban the use of nets, including scoop nets, gill nets, set nets and drag nets.

The proposals

Fisheries New Zealand invited written submissions in response to the request from anyone who had an interest in the species concerned or in the effects of fishing in the areas concerned.

Download a copy of the closure request [PDF, 307 KB]

Supporting document for the Ngunguru 186a application [PDF, 500 KB]

Area boundaries of the proposed closure

The proposed area included the New Zealand fisheries waters between the Middle Gable, north of Tutukaka Head, Northland, and Paparoa, north of Parauwanui Beach, Northland, and offshore approximately 3 nautical miles. The proposed area included:

  1. The Horahora River, upstream to near the intersection of Pataua North Road and Mangahui Road, and
  2. The Ngunguru River, upstream to near the intersection of Ngunguru Road and Old Kiripaka Road.

The size of the proposed closure area was about 73.6 square kilometres (including the rivers).

Map of the proposed Rehuotane Ki Tai temporary closure [PDF, 3.8 MB]

Related information

Section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996 allows the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries to temporarily close an area, or temporarily restrict or prohibit the use of any fishing method in respect of an area, if satisfied that the closure, restriction, or prohibition will recognise and provide for the use and management practices of tangata whenua in the exercise of non-commercial fishing rights.

Find out more about temporary closures

Making your submission

Submissions closed at 5pm on Monday 8 May 2023.

Public notice

A public notice about the call for submissions was scheduled to appear in the Whangarei Leader and Northern Advocate on 22 March 2023.

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