Marine protection forum submissions made public

The South-East Marine Protection Forum has released the 2803 submissions received through its consultation process in late 2016.

The Forum consulted on 20 proposed sites for possible inclusion in a network of marine protected areas from Timaru to Waipapa Point. The submissions received represent a wide range of stakeholders and demonstrate a high level of engagement and public interest.

Forum chair Maree Baker-Galloway says it is important that the views of those who took the time to provide feedback are available to all interested parties.

“We aim to be as transparent as possible. Now everyone who is invested in the outcome can see the wealth of information and opinions we are considering before making our final recommendations.”

The Forum has also released an independent Summary of Submissions and an independent Summary of Science Submissions. The documents are intended to make the information more accessible for the Forum and the public. The Forum will refer to the summaries and the original submissions throughout its deliberations.

The submissions and the summaries appear on the Forum website at Private and commercially sensitive information has been removed.

The Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries have approved an extension for deliberations until the end of September. The deadline for a final recommendation report to Ministers is under review. The Forum is aiming to complete the report by the end of 2017.



The chair of the South- East Marine Protection Forum, Maree Baker- Galloway says she wants all submitters to have confidence that their feedback has been considered and understood.

“We are going to take the time we need to be familiar with the wide range of feedback that we’ve received. The consultation was complex as we consulted on 20 site proposals. The majority of the 2800 submissions we received provided feedback on multiple site proposals, with many commenting on all twenty as well as providing feedback on what submitters think a network as a whole should look like.”

Submissions closed on December 20 last year and the Forum was to have delivered its final recommendations to government by the end of April.  However, in late March, the Forum recognised it required more time to digest public feedback before it could begin its deliberation process from a position that was well informed by the submissions.

The government agencies that support the Forum, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries, are presently working with the Forum to identify a realistic timeframe for the Forum to review the submissions, deliberate and then deliver the final recommendation report.

Public submissions are intended to be published on the Forum website in the near future, once personal information is removed.

Marine Protection Forum to request more time for Deliberations


30th March 2017

The South-East Marine Protection Forum/Roopu Manaaki ki te Toka has determined it needs more time for its deliberation process. The Forum have been working to a government deadline of 28 April 2017, for the delivery of its final recommendations for a network of marine protected areas on the south-east coast from Timaru to Waipapa Point in Southland. At a Forum meeting held over the last two days, members were unanimous in supporting a request to extend the delivery deadline for a period of up to four months.

Forum Chair Maree Baker-Galloway says the primary reason for requesting extra time has been the work load associated with the unexpected large volume of feedback, approximately 2800 submissions, that were received through the consultation process held in late 2016. She says, “The Forum wish to do justice to all the submitters who have taken the time to provide their feedback to us, and to do that we need more time to familiarise ourselves with all of the submissions. It’s fantastic that so many people have engaged with this process and every view presented deserves consideration.”

A summary of submissions which is being prepared by an independent analyst, is expected to be finalised within the next month. Once it has been officially tabled, it will be accessible to the public via the Forum’s website. A database of redacted submissions will also be publicly accessible in the near future. Information that submitters indicated they did not want to be made public will be withheld along with all individual submitter’s contact details.

The Forum expects to provide a formal request to Ministers before the end of April.

Marine protection forum given more time for consultation


Marine protection forum given more time for consultation


The South-East Marine Protection Planning Forum/Roopu Manaaki ki te Toka has been granted a 10 month extension for their planning process so that members of the forum can continue engaging with their stakeholder groups.

The forum, created in July 2014 with support from the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries, has been asked to recommend to the government what sites, from Timaru down to Waipapa Point in Southland, are deserving of marine protection and what type of marine protection the sites need.

The first stage of the planning process, consultation and information gathering, was to have been concluded by February 2016, followed by a formal submission process. However forum members were unanimous in wanting to have more time to engage with their stakeholder groups. Forum membership represents a broad spread of interested parties, including iwi, community groups, and fisheries, science, tourism and environmental interests.

Forum chair Maree Baker-Galloway says that from the outset the forum has been committed to involving as many people as possible in the planning process and that the forum still has some way to go to fully achieve that objective. She says a further 10 months will enable wider consultation and greater information gathering before proposed areas of protection are refined and then notified for the formal submission process.

“We want to reach more people so that everyone who has something to say in this formative stage can do so. We want the proposal that gets notified for the submission process to be based on the best information possible, including what the people want. We will be holding more public meetings and events over the next year and urge those who use and love our coastal waters to become involved and have their say. We need to know what people want.”

The forum wants to understand the history of the marine environment, what has changed, what people value about it, what the threats are to those values and what communities want to see happen to their marine environments in the future.

The formal submission process is now expected to begin in September 2016 and final recommendations are scheduled to be provided to government by April 2017.

For further information:

Forum Chair: Maree Baker-Galloway Ph: +64 3 471 5447 or +64 27 295 4704 Email:

Media Liaison: Gillian Thomas 0274272254


Marine Protection Forum Needs More Time for Public Consultation and Education


Marine Protection Forum Needs More Time for Public Consultation and Education

The South-East Marine Protection Planning Forum/Roopu Manaaki ki te Toka has requested more time for their planning process so that members of the forum can continue engaging with their people and stakeholder groups. Consultation was to have been completed by October this year. Since that request was made the forum also discovered that misleading information regarding the process has been circulated within the region. The forum believes this highlights the need to ensure that the planning process includes sufficient time for effective and well informed engagement with stakeholders.

The forum, created in July 2014 with support from the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries, has been asked to recommend to the government what sites, from Timaru down to Waipapa Point in Southland, are deserving of marine protection and what type of marine protection the sites need.

At this point no areas have been confirmed for marine protection or even for the formal submission process, but up to 46 options have been identified for further discussion based on their biodiversity values.

Forum chair Maree Baker-Galloway says that the forum has become aware that a set of maps, outlining some of the areas of interest which have been discussed by the Forum, have been circulated amongst the public without accompanying information required to understand their significance.

“We were made aware this week that there is a set of maps on the wall at the Owaka pub, and that a similar set had been delivered to several cribs.  The explanation of the maps at the pub was completely misleading and gives the impression that all the areas marked might become protected areas.  This is incorrect.  What they actually are is a collection of ideas and options for debate and significant culling and refining, in fact they are earlier working drafts that have already been further refined with areas eliminated and changed.”

“Understandably this incorrect information has caused much consternation and some anger. We don’t know how widely the maps have been distributed. To correct public understanding of the maps and the areas that are being scrutinised, the Forum has now posted them on their website for public viewing  Information on the Vision, Objectives and Guiding Principles of the Forum, as well as the types of protection being looked at, can also be found here.”

The forum has not made any decisions about the number of sites. But, the network of marine protected areas is expected to be representative of the region’s biodiversity. It is to achieve this by including examples of typical habitats. Consideration will also be given to protecting rare or outstanding habitats.

The forum will be looking for options that minimise adverse effects on Treaty settlements and existing users, and the 46 areas are a starting point for discussions about such options. The minimum requirement is for at least one area to be designated as a marine reserve, and for at least one other area to be included that may have a lesser level of protection.

Maree Baker-Galloway says that the process of refinement, before the public is formally consulted through the submission process, is exactly what the Forum is in the process of doing now.  The working draft maps were used by Forum members to consult with their networks and bring feedback and more information back to the Forum.

“Depending on the information we get out of the ongoing consultation and submission process, the final set of recommended areas could look completely different to these working drafts.  It really is an interactive process that is dependent on the information we have in front of us”.

“There is consultation in the form of formal submissions, and there is consultation in the form of Forum members talking to their own people or interest groups.  We want to do as much of the latter as we can to get feedback on ideas before going to the formal submission stage. We expect to have a ministerial answer to our request for an extension in the New Year.”