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Second notice of an application for a mātaitai reserve at Ōmāui, Southland

Have your say

Te Rūnanga o Awarua has applied for a mātaitai reserve along the coastline from the Mokomoko Inlet (southwest of Invercargill) to Cable Bay (west of Bluff). Fisheries New Zealand invites submissions from persons having a fishing interest in the stock or stocks in the proposed mātaitai reserve area. People with a fishing interest are those 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.

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.

Find out more about mātaitai reserves

Earlier consultation held with the local community

Te Rūnanga o Awarua and Fisheries New Zealand have previously consulted with the local community on the application.

Find out more about the consultation with the local community (closed 11 November 2019)

What's being proposed?

The application is seeking approval for a mātaitai reserve over the South Island fisheries waters in the Mokomoko Inlet (on the south side of the New River Estuary), and then extending westwards then southwards around the Ōmāui coastline to Cable Bay (on the opposite side of the ithsmus from Ocean Beach, near Bluff).

The proposed reserve extends offshore half a nautical mile and covers 23 square kilometres. It covers those South Island fisheries waters within the following lines:

  1. From the starting point on the mean high-water mark at 46°30.517'S and 168°17.621'E; then
  2. By a straight line in a north-northwesterly direction for approximately 0.5 nautical miles to a point offshore at 46°29.919'S and 168°17.510'E; then
  3. By a line in a generally westerly then south-easterly direction, every point of which is 0.5 nautical miles from the mean high-water mark, to a point offshore at 46°36.228'S and 168°18.133'E; then
  4. By a straight line in a north-easterly direction to a point on the mean high-water mark at 46°35.644'S and 168°18.468'E; then
  5. By a line in a generally north-westerly then easterly direction along the mean high-water mark to the starting point.

Exception sought for commercial fishing

On establishment, mātaitai reserves prohibit all commercial fishing.

However, Te Rūnanga o Awarua has proposed an exception to the prohibition on commercial fishing in the proposed mātaitai reserve to allow for the commercial taking of all finfish species (including flatfish).

Consultation documents

Ōmāui mātaitai application [PDF, 487 KB]

Proposed Ōmāui mātaitai reserve map [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Making your submission

The closing date for submissions is 8 March 2021.

Email your submission to

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

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

Public notices

Public notices about the call for submissions are scheduled to appear in:

  • The Southland Times on 23 January 2021
  • Southland Express on 28 January 2021.

Submissions are public information

Note that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision Fisheries New Zealand makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.