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The MPA Policy

Marine Protection Tools

Marine Reserves

Marine Reserves are established under the Marine Reserves Act 1971. They are generally considered ‘No Take’ areas. Marine Reserves can be used to manage, control or exclude:

  • Marine farming
  • Fishing
  • Minerals activities
  • Other extraction
  • Structures
  • Public access and recreational uses
  • Anchoring, point discharges
  • Research
  • Bioprospecting
  • Commercial tourism

For a list of existing Marine Reserves and their restrictions click here.

Other Marine Protected Areas

The MPA Policy includes options for different levels of protection to be recommended by the Forum. Protection can be established under multiple different Acts and are listed below along with the types of restrictions that can be imposed. Other Marine Protected Areas allow a greater range of activities to be permitted compared to a marine reserve.

For a list of existing Marine Protected Areas that meet the protection standard for a “Type-2” MPA click here.

Fisheries Act 1996

  • Prohibit all fishing
  • Prohibit particular methods
  • Prohibit fishing for a specified species or several species
  • Prohibit fishing at specified times

Resource Management Act 1991

Control or prohibit activities such as:

  • Discharges
  • Disturbance of the seabed
  • Marine farms
  • Structures

Require resource consent applications to consider impacts on marine protected areas

Wildlife Act 1953

  • Wildlife Refuges
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries
  • Management Reserves
  • Prohibit or control pollution, access, fishing

National Parks Act 1980

  • (where intertidal areas are included)

Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978

  • Marine Mammals Sanctuaries prohibit or control access and specific activities, e.g. mining and seismic survey

Maritime Transport Act 1994

  • Shipping controls
  • anchoring restrictions
  • bed disturbance restrictions

Reserves Act 1977

Dependent on the type of reserve:

  • Nature and scientific reserves generally preserved in their natural state;
  • Scientific reserves may have restrictions on entry or require permits;

Other reserves managed to protect indigenous flora and fauna to the extent compatible with the relevant purpose