Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act Consultation

Government consultation process January 2016


On 12 January 2016 the Government released a consultation document: A New Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act, with the aim of providing a better system of marine protected areas in the territorial sea, from the coastline out to the 12 nautical mile limit.

Four types of MPAs are proposed: 

  • Marine reserves
  • Species-specific sanctuaries
  • Seabed reserves
  • Recreational fishing parks. One in the Hauraki Gulf and another in the Marlborough Sounds.

The existing Marine Reserves Act would be repealed and replaced by the new Marine Protected Areas Act. This Act would enable different protection measures to be applied in the same area ie. a species sanctuary could be established in a recreational fishing park.  

Submission deadline is 11 March 2016. Send your submission to 

NZSFC views

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council advise recreational fishers to be cautious in their support for recreational fishing parks because there will be trade-offs and strings attached. 

The Council has provided an initial analysis and a preliminary view of the proposals, as below.

As you will appreciate, the more we learn about this process the more our thinking develops. As further documents are finalised we will upload them for your review. 

Click on the link to read or download the document. Most recent activity is at the top of the list. 

Submission. MPA Act proposals. NZSFC. 11 March 2016

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council submitted in support of a more integrated approach to marine protection in New Zealand, with different Marine Protected Area categories to meet the specific environmental needs of an area, while taking into account existing and future uses and values. Read the full submission to understand how we can achieve abundance and diversity across New Zealand's marine environment. 

Submission MPA Act Proposals NZSFC 11 March 2016

LegaSea Update. March 2016

Curious proposals to protect marine areas. Recent government proposals to create recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds as a solution to enhancing recreational fishing are curious given that none of the measures will restore fish abundance or catchability. 

LegaSea Update March 2016

LegaSea Update. 11 February 2016

Are recreational fishing parks the answer? A document discussing four types of Marine Protected Areas, including recreational fishing parks, has been released for consultation. This consultation process is a joint effort between the Ministers for Primary Industries, Conservation and Environment. Deadline for submissions is March 11th 2016.

LegaSea Update February 2016

LegaSea Update. January 2016

Coastal zones for public fishing. If ever there was a time for coastal zones free from industrial fishing it is now. There is increasing concern from coastal communities about the lack of fish, shellfish and poor water quality inshore. Local groups are trying their best to deal with a raft of problems but there are few institutional structures to support their needs. 

LegaSea Update January 2016

LegaSea Update. January 2016

Recreational fishing parks. At first glance recreational fishing parks with limited commercial fishing in the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds seems like a good idea. However, we need to pause and consider the costs and test any potential conservation benefits in the government proposals. 

LegaSea Update Recreational Fishing Parks January 2016

Initial analysis and preliminary view. NZSFC. 31 January 2016

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council has reviewed the Marine Protected Areas Act proposals and provides this initial analysis and preliminary view on each of the four types of MPAs proposed in the document. Other aspects that need to be considered include, but are not limited to, the existing Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, views of commercial fishers and Maori, environmental groups's views, compensation and the new process to establish marine reserves. 

MPA Preliminary view NZSFC January 2016

MPA consultation document. NZ Government. 12 January 2016

The New Zealand Government issued the document: A New Marine Protected Areas Act on 12 January 2016. The Government proposes four types of MPAs which can be used together or separately to protect biodiversity. The intention is to create a network of marine protected areas around the coasline within the 12 nautical mile limit, the Territorial Sea. The basis for these proposals is the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity. [Document size: 3.5MB]

MPA Consultation Document January 2016

Convention on Biological Diversity. United Nations. 1992 

New Zealand is one of 193 parties to the United Nations's Convention on Biological Diversity. This Convention is an international legally binding treaty with three main goals: conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Article 8 (on page 8 attached) outlines the need for a network of MPAs to conserve biological diversity. 

Biodiversity Convention UN 1992