Have your say on the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park marine protection proposal

October 26, 2022

Marine protection for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is under review and the Department of Conservation is asking for your submission.  

The Department of Conservation is proposing 19 protected areas in the Hauraki Gulf. This means creating two new marine protection tools – High Protection Areas (HPAs) and Seafloor Protection Areas (SPAs). The 19 proposed areas are:

12 High Protection Areas:
These areas are the highest form of protection and will prohibit activities such as commercial and recreational fishing while providing for Māori customary fishing.

5 Seafloor Protection Areas:
These areas are aimed to protect seafloor habitats by prohibiting activities that damage or disturb the seafloor, including bottom trawling and mining, while allowing activities that do not involve seafloor contact.

2 protected areas:
These will be adjacent to the existing Cathedral Cove/Whanganui-a-Hei and Cape Rodney-Okakari Point (Leigh) marine reserves. These will either be established as High Protection Areas, or as extensions to the two existing marine reserves.

Map of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park showing
the proposed protected areas. Click to enlarge.

LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council have worked with communities and mana whenua over the past few years to help them establish rāhui and to ban destructive fishing within their designated areas. We need to be able to work with more Hauraki Gulf communities to achieve 100% seabed protection. 

Effective seabed protection starts by working with communities affected by these proposals, and clearly the DoC proposals don’t go far enough.

The Ministers in charge need to make the entire Hauraki Gulf Marine Park a 100% seafloor protection area in place of the proposed marine protection areas.  

We need you to support a 100% Seafloor Protection Area for the entire Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

Deadline: 5.00 pm, Friday 23 October 2022

More information here:



The public consultation process by DOC has flown by with minimal consultation time, a lack of detail, and research to substantiate biodiversity outcomes of proposed sites, ignoring economic or social implications while no alternatives are available in place of the predetermined outcome.

Incredibly, Fisheries New Zealand intends to consult on a Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan from November to February 2023 – a plan which will still allow destructive fishing techniques such as bottom trawling and scallop dredging to continue in large areas of the Marine Park.

We will be submitting that it’s not possible to make a well-informed submission on marine protection without understanding what will be put forward in the Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan. It’s also not possible to revitalise the Gulf without controlling the amount of fish being harvested (both recreationally and commercially) and limiting the damage caused by fishing.

Any proposals for marine protection in the Marine Park needs to be adequately consulted. And,  marine protection initiatives will only be effective if applied in conjunction with fisheries management. We want to make a difference. We’re simply asking to be supplied the relevant information.

We want you to have your say.