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Review of sustainability measures for pāua (PAU 2) – 2023 April round

Update – 31 August 2023 

Minister’s decisions for the central and lower North Island pāua fishery (PAU 2) released

Following consultation, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has made decisions on sustainability measures for the central and lower North Island pāua fishery (PAU 2).

Summary of the minister's decisions


Stock (area)


Decision summary



- / *

  • Set the TAC at 192.188 tonnes
  • Retain the TACC at 121.188 tonnes
  • Set the allowance for customary Māori at 12 tonnes
  • Set the allowance for recreational fishing at 48 tonnes
  • Set the allowance for all other mortality caused by fishing at 11 tonnes


Central area


  • Reduce the recreational daily bag limit for pāua in PAU 2 from 10 of each species per fisher to 5 of each species per fisher

*The minister set TAC and allowances for the PAU 2 stock for the first time.

Decision letter, advice paper, and submissions

The minister's decision letter provides further details and reasons for the decisions.

PAU 2 decision letter – Minister for Oceans and Fisheries [PDF, 337 KB]

Review of sustainability measures for pāua (PAU 2) for 2023/24 [PDF, 4.3 MB]

Submissions received during consultation [PDF, 13 MB]

Consultation background

Fisheries New Zealand consulted on proposed changes to sustainability measures for pāua (PAU 2) as part of the 2023 April sustainability round. We invited feedback from tangata whenua, stakeholders, and the public on these proposed changes.

Submissions for the review of PAU 2 closed at 5pm on Friday 24 March 2023.

Review of sustainability measures for 1 April 2023

About the proposed changes

Fisheries New Zealand reviews catch limits for selected stocks twice a year. This is consistent with the purpose of the Fisheries Act 1996 to allow for sustainable utilisation.

Fisheries New Zealand reviewed catch limits, allowances, and recreational daily bag limits for PAU 2 (lower and central North Island).

The proposals for PAU 2 were assessed:

  • in the context of the relevant statutory requirements
  • using the best available information, including the latest scientific information on the status of the stocks and tangata whenua and stakeholder input.

Consultation document

Review of sustainability measures for pāua (PAU 2) for 2023/24 [PDF, 649 KB]

Related consultation

Review of sustainability measures for 1 April 2023

Summary table of the proposals

This table summarises the PAU 2 measures that were under review as part of the April 2023 sustainability round.

Abbreviations used in the table are:

  • TAC: Total allowable catch.
  • TACC: Total allowable commercial catch.


Stock (area)


Rationale for review



East Cape, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, and Taranaki



PAU 2 is a shared fishery highly valued by customary Māori, recreational, and commercial fishers. The stock covers a large area – all the lower and central North Island. Fisheries New Zealand is proposing to set a TAC and allowances for the 1 October 2023 fishing year, noting that only a TACC is currently set. Fisheries New Zealand is also proposing options to address recreational harvest pressure following concerns of localised depletion across many areas.

Legal overview

Our legal overview of sustainability measures provides the main legal requirements as they relate to decision-making on sustainability measures. It also references the relevant provisions in the Fisheries Act 1996.

Legal overview of sustainability measures [PDF, 369 KB]

Related information

Fisheries Act 1996 – NZ Legislation

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 – NZ Legislation

About the Quota Management System (QMS)

The Harvest Strategy Standard

Operational Guidelines for New Zealand's Harvest Strategy Standard [PDF, 843 KB]

The Deemed Values Guidelines [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Glossary of relevant terms

National Fisheries Plan for deepwater and middle-depth fisheries [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Regional plan provisions and policy statements [PDF, 352 KB]

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website.

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