Efficacy of Taipure in Fisheries and Marine Habitat Management (2011)

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Taiapure are certain areas of Marine habitat which are studied and monitored by locals and fisheries that have a piece of significance of why they are important. Certain rules and regulations have been put in place in these areas to monitor marine life so that fish species in these areas are not over fished. The object for Taipure is to make ‘better provision for the recognition of Rangatiratanga and the right secured in relation to fisheries by Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi’ <ref>http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1996/0088/latest/whole.html#dlm397959A</ref>. Taiapure is over areas that ‘have customarily been of special significance to any hapu either- (a) as a source of food; or (b) for spiritual or cultural reasons’. <ref>http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1996/0088/latest/whole.html#dlm397959A</ref>. Taiapure are marine habitat areas which are under close observation by fisheries and local people. Where there is a special significant area that has been addressed by locals so these areas will never over fished and ecosystems destroyed. Future generations then can appreciate these certain areas and continue to look after them. Certain Taiapure operate better and are more than successful than others in New Zealand, we want to understand why this is. The efficacy of Taiapure in fisheries with New Zealand waters is key in understanding wither Taiapure are successful or not.

Taiapure aspects which have been studied and researched are the history of Taiapure and fisheries management, which starts from the beginning when the treaty of Waitangi was signed. The application process involved with a Taiapure which is a timely process which goes into depth involving communities, local councils and fisheries. Taiapure legislation stating fisheries acts involved in the Taiapure. Locations of the eight Taiapure in New Zealand, followed by a discussion with Dr Chris Hepburn (Otago University) and Nigel Scott (Ngai Tahu) about the East Otago Taiapure. East Otago Taiapure is one which we have looked at closely as it has a direct relationship with the University and is successfully.

New Zealand waters are home to over 65,000 organisms a lot to believe to be native New Zealand<ref>http://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Life-in-the-Sea/Science-Ideas-and-Concepts/Human-impacts-on-marine-environments</ref>. This is why managing our marine habitat is vital for the survival for the many ecosystems in our waters. Marine habitat is taken very seriously by New Zealand to keep its clean green image. A key aspect in good marine habitat management is to understanding the environmental issues associated with marine habitat management. Key information of the history of marine management is then followed by the stake holders for marine habitat management. Taiapure is a form of marine habitat management where a quota system is put in place on what people can take from these Taiapure areas.

History of Taiapure and fisheries management

Maori fishing once European Settlers arrived.jpg

The earliest talks of fisheries in New Zealand was when European settlers arrived to New Zealand and during the arrangement and the drafting of the Treaty of Waitangi. The treaty gave power to the Maori so they could have some control over the fisheries. The main aspect of this was to specify the different rites that people had with fishing, mainly that of Maori and Pakeha. The main legislation involved was that of The Maori Fisheries Act 1989 <ref>http://www.treaty2u.govt.nz/the-treaty-today/fisheries/index.htm</ref>. Under the act the Maori Fisheries Comission was set up, in order to help promote Maori fishing in a commercial sense and any other interest relating to the coastal and marine areas. <ref> http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/te-hi-ika-maori-fishing/6 </ref>

However before this New Zealand had promised (as signed in the treaty) to allow Maori their land, forests and fisheries, but Maori were overlooked when New Zealand law started regulating commercial fishing. The main entity associated with Maori fishing before 1989 was that of the Waitangi Fisheries Comission which was to help with the distribution of quotas and fishing among the different Maori tribes. In 1989 a deal was reached, where ten percent of the total quota for fisheries was transferred to the comission to distribute how they saw fit. <ref>http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/reports/viewchapter.asp?reportID=469d396b-ce85-4e30-b04f-a39dc8d03f38&chapter=114</ref> Another deal which stemmed from this was the 'Sealord deal' which took place in 1992. This is where the New Zealand government transferred a further twenty percent of the total quota and also gave the Maori fifty percent of Sealord Fisheries. <ref> http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/te-hi-ika-maori-fishing/6</ref>

The Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act was also passed in 2004, which allowed Iwi Aquaculture Organizations claims to twenty percent of any new aquaculture space which has been developed <ref> http://www.aquaculture.govt.nz/maori_commercial_aquaculture_settlement_act.php </ref>. The Act also provided a settlement for any Maori aquaculture interest that eventuated after 1992. <ref>http://news.tangatawhenua.com/archives/3907</ref>

Taiapure is a form on fisheries management and refers to an area where food has a spiritual or cultural significance or used as a source of food. Taiapure can be implemented in any coastal water, in order to comply with kaitiakitanga. Taiapure is set up by a comission that is appointed by the Tangata Whenua which is then overseen by the Minister of Fisheries when trying to set up a Taiapure. <ref> http://www.option4.co.nz/FAQs/faqtaiapure.htm </ref>

There are two sets of customary regulations

- South Island Customary Fishing Regulation 1998

- Kaimoana Customary Fishing Regulation 1998, for the rest of the country

The South Island regulation applies to the taking of fisheries resources in freshwater as well as the marine environment while Kaimoana regulation only applies to marine reserves.

Environmental Issues

There are a range of indicators that the local iwi use in order to predict whether there are any environmental issues leading to the degradation of the marine environment which could then suggest the implementation of a taiapure to ensure that the area is protected from any further degradation or help reverse the process. Ngati Konohi have identified Kohu or environmental warning signs, which they attribute to 'common sense'. The Tohu system was developed in order for all Maori to become aware of the environment and be able to notice whether there are any negative impacts associated with the surrounding environment, which could be indirectly linked to them. The Tohu include indicators such as taste, touch, size sight, smell , abundance and variety. Although this can be used, this is based on anecdotal evidence and not scientific data.

The Taiapure would not be implemented without having environmental issues in the first place, however a taiapure may also be implemented solel y based on the fact that the local iwi want to sustain, protect and manage the environment for future generations by looking into the now and managing what we have today and looking at the effects of commercial fishing as well as recreational fishing because the iwi are aware that the fishing stocks are in decline throughout New Zealand and the taiapure acts as a management tool that enables areas of significance to Maori that they can manage. This means that the taiapure is an active tool in which they aim to take into account the issues (in this case environmental) that are involved within the marine environment.

Every location throughout New Zealand is different in the fact that there are different environments and that no two environments that are the same. The environment in New Zealand is however in a mutual agreement that it has to be protected for future generations (as in the Resource Management Act) The taiapure is a active management tool that enables the protection of the marine environment so that fishing stocks are not depleted and a managed carefully. There are examples in our case study of a good taiapure management like that of East Otago Taiapure where there is a good communication that helps environment be managed in more sustainable way and there are also cases of taiapure that show bad examples of environmental issues, in the case that the given taiapure has not been followed up and locals are taking more than fear share of marine resources.

Regulations- An example of communication to the public

Broshure 1.jpg Part 2.jpg

Application Processes of Taiapure

Taiapure proposals from the local community must go through a public consultation process before it can be approved. <ref>http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/marine-and-coastal/marine-protected-areas/other-protected-areas/taiapure/</ref> This process involves a committee comprised of members nominated by the local Maori community (Tängata Whenua) who are approved by the Minister of Fisheries <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>. The committee primarily acts to advise the Minister of Fisheries on the regulations controlling fishing within the local area. <ref>http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/marine-and-coastal/marine-protected-areas/other-protected-areas/taiapure/</ref>

Generally a committee will be comprised of representatives from local fisheries stakeholders <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>. In regard to the East Otago taiapure, the management committee is made up of a community fisheries group which consists of members from Kati Huirapa Runaka Ki Puketeraki as well as members from community groups such as Boating and Fishing Club, Rivercare, Commercial Fishermen Association and the University of Otago. <ref>http://www.puketeraki.co.nz/environmental-projects/taiapure</ref>The committee works closely with the University of Otago, receiving knowledge and advice from the marine science departments, well as support from Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu. <ref>http://www.puketeraki.co.nz/environmental-projects/taiapure</ref>The Fisheries Act (1996) allows Taiapure-local management committee to bring forward ideas and recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries in regard to the effective management, sustainability and protection of fish and aquatic life in the Taiapure- local fishery area <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>

What should be contained in the application

Justification – The area of the Taiapure should be clearly outlined. The application should clearly identify who the Tängata Whenua are and provide historic and contemporary nature and extent of customary fishing <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>. Cultural, spiritual and customary significance should also be outlined in relation to relevant Iwi or Hapu. <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>

Objectives – Application must clearly state the overall and specific objectives for the Taiapure. <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>

Location and Boundaries – The geographic location and boundaries of the taiapure must be clearly defined within the application and must relate to any significant traditional relationship that Tängata Whenua may have with the area. The boundaries and location must be clear enough for the public to be able to easily distinguish and identify the taiapure site. <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>

Description of Other Users and Interest Groups – current involvement of all other users and interest groups of the taiapure area must be clearly identified as well as any potential affects that the taiapure may have on them. If other users/ interest groups have been consulted with pre-application, this may be useful to include. <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm</ref>

Example 1.jpg
Example 2.jpg

Taiapure Stakeholders

Maori are predominant stakeholders in the taiapure establishment and management scheme as they are involved in the nomination of taiapure committee members’ .Establishment of a taiapure enables Maori to have a greater voice in regard to managing land that may be traditionally important to them and hold cultural and spiritual significance.<ref>http://www.fishforever.org.nz/why-where-how/marine-protection-tools/taiapure.html </ref>

The Minister of Fisheries approves committee members nominated by the Tängata Whenua who often include representatives from local fisheries stakeholders, including commercial and recreational fishers. <ref> http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Maori/Management/Taiapure/default.htm </ref>

Commercial Fishers have economic interests and are therefore important stakeholders in regard to taiapure establishment and management.

Recreational Fishers and General Public have a significant level of input, especially in the establishment process of the taiapure. They have a right to voice their opinion on any matters of concern regarding the proposal.

Stakeholders Involvement in Taiapure Establishment

Application is put forward to the Minister of Fisheries who consults with the Minister of Maori Affairs. If they decide that establishment of taiapure is logical and beneficial it is then notified as a proposal in the Gazette and in the local papers surrounding the proposed taiapure area. Anybody can make a submission that supports, opposes or recommends appropriate changes for the proposal. Submissions are heard at a public tribunal before recommendations regarding the proposal are reported back to the Minister. If the Minister decides to go ahead with it, it is declared so in the Gazette.<ref>http://www.option4.co.nz/FAQs/faqtaiapure.htm </ref>

Stakeholders Involvement in Taiapure Management

A taiapure is a management tool that is primarily led by the Ministry of Fisheries and tangata whenua in conjunction with representative local stake holders such as commercial, local and recreational fishers, the general public and the local iwi or hapu. The committee works to provide advice and recommendations to ensure effective management of fisheries in the taiapure area. The Committee receives advice and support from University of Otago, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and other agencies.<ref>http://www.livingseadoubtlessbay.org.nz/Pages/Protection_Options.html</ref> <ref>http://www.puketeraki.co.nz/environmental-projects/taiapure </ref>

Case Example - East Otago Taiapure Stakeholders

Consist of community fisheries groups and Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki (KHRP - 50%). Community groups such as Boating and Fishing Club, Rivercare, Commercial Fishermen Association and the University of Otago are some of the predominant stakeholders involved with the East Otago Taiapure. The Committee receives advice and support from University of Otago, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and other agencies.<ref>http://www.puketeraki.co.nz/environmental-projects/taiapure</ref>

Taiapure legislation


Fisheries act 1983

The Fisheries act 1983 plays a huge role in why there are taiapure in New Zealand. That is because the first framework for the implementation of taiapure was put into legislation under this act. Although taiapure was put into legislation under this Act it wasn’t until further amendments made by the Maori Fisheries Act 1989 and the Treaty of Waitangi Settlement Act 1992, any significant progress was made on processing taiapure areas around New Zealand. This Act also had a very important role in the recognition of Maori customary rights in New Zealand fisheries. This was found in section 88(2) of the Fisheries Act 1983. In this section it was stated that “ nothing in this Act shall affect any Maori fishing rights”. This was the first legal binding of the rights ceded in the Treaty of Waitangi. It was this clause in the 1983 Act that finally showed the government the significance of their on-going breach of the Treaty <ref>http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1983/0014/latest/DLM66582.html#DLM66581 .</ref>

The Quota Management System 1986

By the 1980s it was very obvious that there were too many boats, causing inshore stocks to dwindle. The New Zealand fishing industry and the government soon realised that a new fisheries management system was needed. As catches dropped, fisheries management adopted a revolutionary approach. This was that instead of controlling fishing methods and the number of boats the goal became limiting how many fish were caught. In October 1986, after two years of consultation and planning, the Quota Management System was introduced, with widespread industry support <ref> http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/fishing-industry/6 </ref>.

Maori Fisheries act 1989 (13.16)

This act expressly states that it is intended to make better provision for Maori fishing rights secured by the Treaty and to facilitate the entry of Maori into and the development by Maori of, the business and activity of fishing. This is a welcome acknowledgement by the Crown of Maori sea fishing rights guaranteed by the Treaty. By October 1992 the crown was obliged to give 10percent of the quota to the Maori Fisheries Commission <ref>http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/reports/viewchapter.asp?reportID=469d396b-ce85-4e30-b04f-a39dc8d03f38&chapter=114</ref>. Part I of Maori fisheries Act 1989- recognizes the commercial interests of Maori in the fisheries under the QMS Part II (section 74)- further amends the 1983 Act by inserting a new part IIIA of that Act dealing with taiapure’s. Part IIIA- In relation to areas of New Zealand fisheries waters (being estuaries or littoral coastal waters) that have customarily been of special significance to any iwi or hāpu either: (a) as a source of food; or (b) for spiritual or cultural reasons, Section 54A has as its object to make better provision for the recognition of rangitiratanga and of the rights secured in relation to fisheries by article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi. Rangitiratanga is a Maori term that can be interpreted as chieftainship. It is one of the most contentious phrases from the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangai. This phrase was intended to only give limited power to the crown to control new settlers. The power that was given to the Crown was kawanatanga not tino rangatiratanga. In retaining tino rangatiratanga it was clear to Maori that their ability to control their own destiny was not diminished. In granting kawanatanga they saw that they would benefit from limited controlled.<ref>http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1983/0014/latest/DLM66582.html#DLM66581</ref> <ref>http://twm.co.nz/Maori_tino.htm</ref>

The Treaty of Waitangi (fisheries claims) settlement Act, 1992

This order was brought into force, on 23 December 1992, all provisions of the treaty of Waitangi (fisheries claims) Settlement Act 1992 other than section 8 that had already come into force on 14 December 1992. The Crown shall indemnify the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission against any liability to pay goods and services tax under the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985 in respect of payments referred to in clause 3.1 of the Deed of Settlement between the Crown and Maori dated 23 September 1992 <ref>http://legislation.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpregs/text/1992/370/370_3.html</ref> <ref>http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1992/0121/latest/DLM281433.html</ref> .

The Fisheries act 1996

This act is a revised fisheries Act that was passed in 1996. The purpose of this act is to ensure that there is sustainable management of fisheries. Ensuring such sustainability means, maintaining the potential of fisheries resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations and to avoid remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of fishing on the aquatic environment. This Act also required regulations to be made to define how customary fishing could take palce and the rights and responsibilities of tangata whenua when managing their customary Maori fisheries. This revised Act also gives Maori the opportunity to be involved in sustainable fisheries management. This means that the tangata whenua can manage old fishing grounds that may have special significance to iwi or hapu. Fisheries Act 1996 Section 174. Object the object of sections 175 to 185 of this Act is to make, in relation to areas of New Zealand fisheries waters (being estuarine or littoral coastal waters) that have customarily been of special significance to any iwior hapu either a) as a source of food; or (b) for spiritual or cultural reasons,better provision for the recognition of rangatiratanga and of the right secured in relation to fisheries by Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi Management of taiapure-local fishery •management by committee of for each taiapure-local fishery –broadly representative of local stakeholders (commercial fishers, recreational, scientific, Maori …) •committee shall be appointed on the nomination of persons who appear to the Minister to be representative of the local Maori community •the committee of management shall hold office at the pleasure of the Minister. (5) No regulations made under any section referred to in subsection (1) of this section, and made pursuant to a recommendation under that subsection, shall provide for any person--- (a)To be refused access to, or the use of, any taiapure-local fishery; or (b)To be required to leave or cease to use any taiapure-local fishery,because of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that person or of any relative or associate of that person. <ref>http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1996/0088/latest/DLM394192.html?search=ts_all%40act%40bill%40regulation_Fisheries+act+1996_resel&p=1&sr=1 </ref>


Before the 1983 Fisheries Act there was very little done to ensure customary fishing rights in New Zealand. The current rights Maori had in the Treaty were often ignored and being breached until the 1980s where a lot of emphasis was put on customary fishing legislation’s. This was to both ensure Treaty rights weren’t being breached and also to ensure the protection of the environment and future sustainability. During this time period was when the first framework for taiapure was implemented in legislation. This was to help ensure the obligations of the Treaty. I believe in the last 30years a lot of progress has been made to ensure that the Treaty obligations are being met and sustainable management is successful, however to ensure the most success I believe more emphasis needs to be put on explaining the legislation’s involved so all parties know what changes are or have been made to the legislation’s and why they have been made.

Locations of Taiapure In New Zealand

Taiapure can be established over any area of estuarine or coastal waters. Taiapure offers a way for Tangata Whenua to become involved in the management of both commercial and non-commercial fishing in their area. By having customary fishing rights this has meant that they have management authority for customary non-commercial fishing to tangata whenua. Tangata whenua must first nominate guardians who are for issuing customary authorization and boundaries within the kaitiaki within jurisdiction. Maori rights for customary fisheries were allowed under provision of the Fisheries Act. A special dispensation from the amateur regulations for collecting seafood. The taiapure is where the user and interest groups and details their involvement in the selected area. The taiapure application should also identify the effect the taiapure is likely to have on these groups.

The main purpose of taiapure is to manage, conserve and enhance fisheries resource for present and future generations to enjoy and use. The many pressures on fisheries have meant that there is highly seasonal nature of various foods. This has meant that there have been techniques for preserving a range of food. The success of taiapure is that all fisheries resources within it are fit for human consumption.

For the success of taiapure that all fisheries resources are fit for human consumption. Fisheries habitats have to be protected in order for they’re to be life-supporting essence of the taiapure are maintained.

Taiapure proposals from a local community have to go through consultation before the taiapure is approved. The Maori Fisheries Act 1989 recognises the commercial interest of Maori in the fisheries. The objectives of fisheries act is that areas of New Zealand fisheries act by having customarily been significance to iwi or hapu that are sources of food or for spiritual or cultural reasons. The Minister of Fisheries once they have consulted with the minister of Maori Affairs and they agree they will recommend the governor general to declare the area to be a taiapure.<ref> (http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/reports/viewchapter.asp?reportID=469d396b-ce85-4e30-b04f-a39dc8d03f38&chapter=78)</ref>

Taiapure 2.jpg

There are eight taiapure situated throughout New Zealand. There are many reasons for the lack of them

  • Waikare inlet, which is situated in Northland, which was opened in 15/01/1998, which has approx. 18km2 of area. The taiapure is located at the point Tapu Point ends at the high water mark at Kaurinui and Waikino creek and the Waikare Inlet
  • Kawhia Aotea, which is located within Waikato, it was opened in 2000, the area it surrounds 162km2 of land. The Kawhia Aotea taiapure includes all the marine and estuarine waters, which commence from the mean high water mark at Taranaki Point on the west coast and proceeding westerly and northerly to the point of commencement. Kawhia also has another marine and estuarine waters within a nautical mile of Gannet Island.
  • Maketu, is located within Bay of Plenty, which was opened in 1996, the area it has tied up is 54km2. The Maketu taiapure includes all of the areas within New Zealand fisheries, which commence at the mouth of Wairakei Stream, and concludes at the mean high water mark including the tidal waters of Waihi Estuary and Maketu Estuary.
  • Porangahau, which, is located within Hawkes Bay, and was opened in 1997 and has 61km2 area of land tied up. The taiapure is enclosed in New Zealand fisheries by a line commencing at the eastern most point of Cape Turnagain (40°29.4′S and 176°37.4′E) the taiapure is closed at the a stream north of Blackhead Point at 40°11.7′S and 176°48.5′E.
  • Palliser Bay taiapure, which is located within Wellington, which opened in 1995 and has only 3km2 of land for the taiapure. This taiapure is split into two parts. Part one is at Te Kopi, which, it commences at the mouth of the Hurupi Stream and ends at the mouth of twin creeks. Part two of the taiapure is at Te Kumenga, which commences at the mouth of the Makotukuku and ends at the Te Humenga Points at the mean high water mark.
  • Whakapuka (Delaware Bay), which, was opened in 2002 and is located within Nelson and has 25km2 area that is taiapure. The taiapure commencing at Ataata Point and ends at the mean high water mark of Pepin Island and Cable Bay to the point of commencement.
  • Akaroa Harbour was opened in 2006 and is located in Canterbury and has 43km2 of land that is locked in taiapure. The taiapure commences at Timutimu Head and ends at the inner Akaroa harbor coastline. The taiapure however doesn't include the marine farming area of Sea Right Investment Ltd and Akaroa Salmon New Zealand Ltd, which are within Akaroa Harbour.
  • Otago at East Otago, which was opened in 1999 and has 22km2 of land that is pronounced as taiapure. The taiapure includes both all-marine and estuarine waters that start at Cornish Head and concludes at Potato Point. The taiapure set up here was created because the community wanted to develop relationship with stakeholder and interested parties. The community wanted to have a pro-active approach to the area. The objectives that was developed was to ensure customary, recreational and commercial fisheries have access to the supplies of fisheries resources whilst actively promoting the use of local customs and protocols through the management of the taiapure.

This means that there is only three taiapure located within the South Island and the rest are in the North Island. However the group have talked to Ngua tahui and have found out that they are looking to have more set up in the South Island. <ref>http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/1996/0257/latest/versions.aspx</ref> <ref>http://fs.fish.govt.nz/Page.aspx?pk=68&tk=282</ref>

Interview with Chris and Nigel


Chris Hepburn

Dr Christopher D Hepburn PhD (Otago)

Foundation for Research Science and Technology Te Tipu Pūtaiao Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Customary and ecosystem-based fisheries management Fisheries restoration Integrated Aquaculture Impacts of elevated CO2 on coastal ecosystems Ecology and physiology of macroalgae Invasion by exotic marine organisms Macroalgal/invertebrate interactions

Current research

Macroalgal/invertebrate interactions

Invasion by exotic marine organisms

Ecology and physiology of macroalgae

Impacts of elevated CO2 on coastal ecosystems

Integrated Aquaculture

Fisheries restoration

Customary and ecosystem-based fisheries management


Nigel Scott


Nigel Scott, Toitū Te Whenua, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Nigel works for Toitū Te Whenua, the environmental unit of the Ngāi Tahu Tribal Council - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Nigel’s core function for Toitū Te Whenua is to protect and enhance the customary fishing rights of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. He has worked for the Ngāi Tahu tribal council on customary fisheries matters since April 1998. Nigel has a forestry science degree with second-class, division one honours from the University of Canterbury. Nigel’s key mahi involves building the capacity of flax roots Ngāi Tahu to implement the customary non-commercial provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992, with particular emphasis being given to the identification and protection of areas of importance for customary fishing through the establishment and ongoing management of tools like Mātaitai and Taiāpure. Nigel’s other projects for Toitū Te Whenua include the development of a strong and enduring relationship with the Ministry of Fisheries, with particular emphasis being placed on appointing and supporting Pou Hononga (Iwi Relationship Managers) and Pou Takawaenga (Customary Fisheries Policy Analysts); the processing of the Ngāi Tahu Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki catch landing returns for the Ministry of Fisheries and Nigel also facilitates greater Ngāi Tahu input into the certification of forestry operations within the Ngāi Tahu Whānui Takiwā through the certification standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Nigel became actively involved with Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai as he saw the benefits of adopting a co-ordinated and integrated approach to conducted monitoring and research work within the Ngāi Tahu Mātaitai and Taiāpure. Nigel believes that the development of community-based tools to conduct baseline surveys of the fisheries resources and to assess the level of recreational and commercial (in the case of Taiāpure) harvesting will greatly assist the customary managers of each reserve to better manage their area which in turn should lead to better environmental outcomes. These tools coupled with the scientific baseline surveys, and the mātauranga-based research that may be conducted in each reserve provide Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki with an impressive toolkit <ref>http://www.mahingakai.org.nz/about-us/advisory-group</ref>


1) How do you measure the efficiency of a taiapure, e.g. East Otago taiapure?

Answer: The basis of the objectives is that there should be more fish in the ocean with a taiapure active. It will involve the community in the processes. There will be regulations in which everyone will have to follow and that in the end means that there would be more fish in the ocean. If it didn't need on going management there would be no need for a taiapure. There was also a need for a greater vision for the area that also was within the treaty article. There also has to be a future vision of the taiapure and goals associated with the taiapure so that the committee and the community had something to work towards. It also means that there is a formal way that would be recognized. There would be no point in having a taiapure without regulations set. There also has been cases in which local hapu have been fighting between themselves, and having no committee decisions as a group, in which they can discuss all the options that are available to the communities, there are some taiapure areas that want to stamp their own authority on the taiapure without communication with others which has led to poor taiapure being implemented.

2)What are the main environmental issues that need to be considered when setting up a taiapure, and if there are issues how are they sustainably managed? Especially after a taiapure has been implemented?

Answer- The East Otago taiapure has to consider all the business that would be involved within the process of setting up a taiapure in this area. The Port Otago Dredging was a concern as it would affect the process in which the taiapure has set to achieve by impacting on the exisiting fisheries. The communities also has to communicate with other users in the area because there are other groups that are involved outside of the taiapure that will be effected by a taiapure being implemented and their livelihoods are affected. The taiapure area for the East Otago also includes areas in which fishing businesses will be indirectly affected, they have to go past a test set out by the guidelines in the taiapure in which they can be assured that they will use the area in sustainable manner. If there are issues they are sent to the Maori High Court in which they can talk through the issues, this is the most expensive and also less efficient if they want to talk through issues. Nigel gave an example of Akoroa taiapure as in example in which a now committee member sent them to court because of some of the choices they had made. The person who took them to court in the end joined the committee when they had worked through the issues and had given Akoroa taiapure a better set of guidelines and had better lines of communication

The research and the money and also the knowledge that is available to the East Otago Taiapure has meant that they have been able to help manage the taiapure in an effective way because without the time and knowledge spent of the taiapure in would not be the way it is today. The committee also has to factor in the people in which the established taiapure would affect when deciding on rules and regulations. The committee also has to be the first thing established because without it they would not no how to measure it and also has to be strong leadership.

3) How is the communication between yourself (where you sit on the scale) between local iwi and the community and also the wider community groups?

Answer- Nigel has a role within the tribal council, and he acts as a bridge as he has to bring groups together to form the common goal of implementing a taiapure. He has to make sure that everyone is happy within the committee and this happiness will flow into the community, to make sure that there is not a communication breakdown between committee members and the community. It is easier for him when people that are involved in the taiapure take into account all points of interest. The background of the committee is helped when there is a strong leader who has a good background and knowledge it will be relayed onto the community.

Chris- He agrees with Nigel that there has to be a strong leader in the group who is able to see both points of view. There has to be knowledge for the community so that they too can be aware of what is happening before is implemented. There also has to be a agreement that that the issues that they have found about the taiapure are resolved before the group meetings so that the group doesn't appear to fight in front of the community and the community can feel that the committee has the community best interest as well as everyone elses. Chris main role is that he is able to access the knowledge and also has to the contacts to have an efficient and effective taiapure.

4) What steps are taken to ensure that the communication between you vs. community is efficient and effective?

- Signage/media releases in which the community are and will be aware of what the taiapure will be doing in there area.

5)What are the key steps when selecting an area for a taiapure (why is the East Otago chosen over other areas) for example, why is/has kaikoura taiapure being selected?

Kaikoura is an area which is being selected because of the commercial impacts on too much fishing taking place in this area. The Maititi is not efficient or an effective means of control in this case as it does not take into account all the aspects in which a taiapure would take into account. A maitati has limited options and a limited scope.This has meant that the taiapure would be the best option and also because this area has significant grounds of heritage to the local hapu and iwi, in which they would like to preserve for future generations.

6)The process evolved and key points when a taiapure is chosen when you select a taiapure?

The commercial impacts have to be taken into account, as do the customary rights of the area. The commercial displacement also plays an important role in the process .

7)In your opinion how is the East Otago taiapure managed efficiently compared to others?

There would be two things in which the management of the taiapure could be more efficient. There would be a need for customary tools to be implemented. Also a not having a Maori land court involved because they don't know much about taiapure, the Ministry of Fisheries should be involved. There is also fisheries displacement issue. There also needs to be a direct and simpler bylaw. There also needs to be a direct treaty interaction. Reviews for the taiapure also needs to be implemented.

The successfulness of the East Otago Taiapure is explained by Nigel and Chris,

- Chris has been able to link the taiapure work with work from the University for the benefit of others. The committee also has great knowledge in key areas that can make the management of the taiapure more effective. There also is robust discussion in house before group meetings before informing the community of the plans for the area. The community also plays a huge part in the process without their help and their knowledge it would mean that if they are not approached and feel as though they are left out they are not apart of the process and will not be happy with what is being implemented. The natural resources of this country are important and need to be looked after for future generations. The people that are involved have to care about the area and also allow the time to get the research and get the people on board. A perfect storm scenario.

Our Groups Questions about the Taiapure in New Zealand

1)Nigel and Chris both suggested that the East Otago Taiapure to date is managed efficiently and effectively. Is this justified? Why/Why not?

Nigel and Chris suggest that with good background knowledge of the area of the Taiapure it would help the process of a more effective Taiapure. The communication between local committees and the board members of the Taiapure has enabled good management for the East Otago Taiapure. The Taiapure has to involve the community because without this form of communication the East Otago Taiapure would not be as efficient as it is today.The East otago taiapure is a taiapure with regululations and rules in which people are foreced to follow but they also have agreed to these rules and regulations by having community meeting for memebers of the public to discuss their views.Therefore justifying Nigel and Chris's opinion.

2)What role does communication play in a Taiapure?

It could be considered the most important role in setting up a Taiapure, without communication Taiapure’s would not be managed effectively and would most likely be unsuccessful.The communication between the committee, the community and also the Ministry of Fisheries is also a vital part of the taiapure because there has to be a good relationship between all these people.This communication allows such regulations like the new paua quota to be inforced sucessfully. Without the communication between the memebers of the taiapure and the members and users of the public there would be ongoing problems, so communication is important in bringing the role of sustainabilty and habitat protection for future generations as we all share the common goals of making sure resources are available for future generations.

3) What changes/recommendations if any would you make to the Taiapure application process?

It would be to try and make the Taiapure application process much simpler in which it would speed up the process of the application of a taiapure and then the actual implementation of the Taiapure for example not going through the Maori Land Court. Instead of going through the land court the process would going through the Minster of Fisheries as they would have much better knowledge of issues at hand and because the Minister is also a key stakeholder. Establishing a taiapure review pannel so that there a representatives from all walks of life. At the moment taiapure applicants need to be given a lot of fianical assisstance to progress at a responable rate,we beleive that better funding needs to be made available either directly from the crown.

4) What environmental impacts are associated with Taiapure?

Fishing socks increase in protected areas, in unprotected areas there is a decline in many fish stocks. Recreational use may decline because of the limits on fish stocks, many divers are wanting more than limit in many taiapure areas can offer In many cases the taipaure in areas is set because they want to protect local fishing and recreational areas for future generations

5)How are local communities affected by Taiapure?

Local communities are affected by Taiapure because it is there local area that is going to be affected by the taiapure, which they might use on a regular bases, therefore new rules to this land would affect their day to day lives. That’s why local communities must be part of the Taiapure process because they play an important part of the process and without them the efficiency of the East Otago Taiapure would not be as it is today.

6)Why aren’t there more Taiapure in New Zealand? Because the process it takes to get a Taiapure active is very time consuming and takes many years to be implement for a Taiapure in a selected area. The focus should not be on getting more Taiapure in New Zealand but focusing on the ones already created and getting all 8 Taiapure’s to the same standard as without them all running efficiently they can cause huge problems for locals as some do not even realize that they are in an area that has a taiapure active, which has caused many problems.

7)Overall is a Taiapure a successful and adequate environmentally sustainable management program?

The Taiapure system is an adequate and environmentally sustainable management program. But all Taiapure in New Zealand are managed differently because of the certain communication processes that they have to have to suit their local communities.

East Otago Taiapure: case study

The Location of the East Otago Taiapure has had 800 years of habitation and use, resulting in diminishing wildlife stocks. Elders of Kati Huirapa ki Puketeraki raised concerns and applied for a Taiapure in 1992, as they could see paua stocks diminishing rapidly. The East Otago Taiapure was finally established in 1999 and a management committee was formed in 2001, with the first regulation (set net restriction) set in 2007.The committee was formed because the Fisheries Act 1996 (the Act) contains provisions allowing a Taiapure-local fishery management committee to recommend to the Minister of Fisheries the making of regulations for the conservation and management of fish, aquatic life, or seaweed in the Taiapure-local fishery <ref>http://www.puketeraki.co.nz/environmental-projects/taiapure</ref>. The purpose of this Taiapure like many others is to maintain and enhance fisheries and habitats in a sustainable manner for future generations. Importantly the Taiapure allows local knowledge, Matauranga Maori and relevant science in management to co-exist, to ensure the best sustainable solutions and management programs are found.

The East Otago Management Committee formed in 2001 is a community fisheries group. The committee is made up of members from Kati Huirapa Runaka Ki Puketeraki, which makes up 50% of the committee. The rest of the committee is made up from members from community groups such as Boating and Fishing clubs, River care, Commercial Fisherman Association and University of Otago. This committee after being formed has met regularly since April 2002, to ensure this Taiapure has a greater chance of being a successful Taiapure. These regular committee meetings have allowed progress to commence as communication plays a huge role in the success of a Taiapure. One way in which success can be measured is by the implementation of regulations. The reason this can help measure the success of a Taiapure is because without communication with the locals, local iwis, commercial fishermen and anybody who has an interest in the matter regulations may not exist or may have trouble been passed into law because members from opposing groups will “butt heads” (Nigel). The first regulation of a set net restriction was passed into law in 2007, closely followed by a regulation for the reduction in recreational bag limits and temporary closure on fishing of paua, around the Huriawa Peninsula. This regulation has been in progress since late 2008 and has been passed into law from 1st of October 2010. According to both Chris Hepburn (Otago University) and Nigel Scott (Ngai Tahu representative) the success of this Taiapure thus far can be attributed to allot of hard work and the level of communication between all parties. The Management Committee has made this high level of communication possible, as it allows everyone to state their own opinion or argument in an open meeting. This means many disputes and disagreements can be looked at and discussed before court. With these discussions and disputes happening out of court allot of time can be saved as there are less surprises arising in court disputing what the Taiapure Committee want to do. Another important issue is that if the Taiapure Committee know what arguments they are up against they can prepare for them and improve their own argument.

East Otago Management Committee members are

Brendan Flack (Chairperson – KHRP), Allan Anderson (Deputy Chairperson – Commercial Fishermen Association),

Kathy Coombes (KHRP), David Ellison (KHRP), Leanne Simon (KHRP), Patti Vanderburg (River care), Chris Hepburn (University of Otago),

Rua Hagan (Boating and Fishing Club).

Link to see East Otago Management plan:http: http://www.puketeraki.co.nz/sites/default/files/East%20Otago%20-%20Management%20Plan.pdf

Link to see East Otago brochure: http://www.fish.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/CA02170D-C60B-4A91-A114-7FF3A3B0C369/0/74638EastOtagoTaiapureBrochure.pdf

Area of East Otago Taiapure

The Area: as identified in Fisheries (East Otago Taiapure) Order 1999. All the marine and estuarine waters enclosed by a line commencing at Cornish Head (at 45 37.28’S and 170 41.66’E) then proceeding along a straight in a south westerly direction to Brinns Point (at 45 40.32’S and 170 39.18 ‘E) then along a straight line in a south-westerly direction to a point on Warrington Spit (at 45 43.73’ S and 170 36.O’E) then along a straight line in an easterly direction to Potato Point (at 45 44.42’S and 170 38.3’E ) then generally west and north along the mean high-water mark to the point of commencement.

Guiding principles and objectives

To manage the East Otago Taiapure area in a sustainable manner.


  • To establish appropriate sustainable management measures and structures to protect the East Otago Taiapure area.
East Otago Taiapure.jpg


  • To establish appropriate research projects.
  • To develop relationships with stakeholders and other interested parties within the East Otago Taiapure area.
  • To establish monitoring regimes.
  • To establish a pro-active role in resource consent processes which affect the East Otago Taiapure area.
  • To have an active role in Fisheries Management Plans.
  • To apply for grants, or any other monetary gifts for the development and benefit of the East Otago Taiapure.
  • To enter into appropriate contracts or act in an advisory capacity with any government body or local authority.
  • To develop and establish appropriate accountability systems.
  • To employ persons with the required skills to further the objectives of the East Otago Taiapure.
  • To appoint appropriate persons, who will be responsible for planning and management of programs that are deemed to be of importance to the development of the East Otago Taiapure.
  • To make recommendation to the Minister for Fisheries for regulations within the Taiapure area.

Otago University’s involvement with the East Otago Taiapure

Otago University can be used as an example of the wider community involvement in a Taiapure. Otago University is involved in the science aspect of a taiapure. Dr Chris Hepburn leads a broad based marine science project designed to help Maori communities both protect and manage their customary fisheries at three sites, in which one of them is the East Otago taiapure <ref>http://www.otago.ac.nz/research/hekitenga/otago015761.html</ref>.

To make this possible Hepburn secured Foundation for Research, Science Technology funding through Te Tipu Putaiao postdoctoral fellowship for the three year project which concluded in April 2011 <ref>http://www.otago.ac.nz/research/hekitenga/otago015761.html</ref>. This project required 10 postgraduate students all working in a diverse range of disciplines, including marine ecology, physiology and genetics. The group’s main role was to provide local communities with basic ecological information about the fish species which live along their shores, their numbers, and size and growth rates. Originally the main reason for the implementation of the East Otago Taiapure was to protect the local paua fishery. The work done by Dr Hepburn and other researchers quickly confirmed what the Kaitiaki (guardians) of the fishery suspected was happening, the depletion of paua stocks. The individual taiapure regulations are important because Hepburn and his fellow researchers found that the size and abundance of paua was very different among reefs along the east Otago coast. This proved that fisheries regulations applied across the whole country did not protect fisheries within the taiapure. As a direct result from those findings, the East Otago taiapure management committee has succeeded in introducing a new suite of fishing regulations for the coast between Potato Point and Cornish Head from October 1, 2010. This included a reduction in bag limits from 10 paua per day to 5 paua per day <ref>http://www.otago.ac.nz/research/hekitenga/otago015761.html</ref>. Dr Hepburn said “It has taken two years to force a change in fishing regulations and that is a direct result of the work we’ve done in conjunction with the community,” This once again shows the importance of good communication and community involvement. Hepburn regards taiapure and mataitai as useful management tools because they can provide fisheries management on a “reef-byreef” basis. “We must manage our fisheries at scales relevant to the species being fished. Community involvement is probably the only way to achieve this.” <ref>http://www.otago.ac.nz/research/hekitenga/otago015761.html</ref>.

Linking factors that are influential in both the Marine habitat and the taiapure

The marine environment is influenced by many human induced factors that can cause problems to the marine environment. The marine environment throughout New Zealand is seeing a decline in fishing stocks, which has meant that the Government has had to implement policies that enables and then restricts what marine environment users. The taiapure is a management tool that is used to manage specific areas throughout New Zealand that are of cultural significance to local iwi that enables them to have specific tools to which they can put restrictions on fish stocks. The marine habitat management users other tools to help with what commercial fishers as well as local councils can do in order to protect the species that are within New Zealand's waters. They are both tools that share a common goal of seeing the sustainability of species in New Zealand so that users can enjoy the marine environment for years to come.

Marine Habitat Management:

Nz mhm.jpg

New Zealand has a unique and particularly rich marine flora and fauna. The richness in New Zealand's marine biodiversity has been caused by two forces: isolation and physio-graphical complexity. The New Zealand is a very isolated place and was one of the last places on earth to be inhabited by people, thus reducing the potential for transport of larvae or adults into the region. This isolation has meant that New Zealand populations were thus likely to evolve into new species and encouraged growth as there was not the predators active in the environment. New Zealand's isolation, moreover, has been coupled with a particularly rich and complex seascape; a consequence of its extension over 30 degrees of latitude, position on an active plate boundary with all the consequent folding, faulting, and volcanism, and its positioning in relation to major subtropical and sub Antarctic water masses and surface and deep-water current systems. This wide variety in marine seascapes means that New Zealand has a great diversity of different marine habitats that are occupied by an enormous variety of organisms.<ref>http://www.treasuresofthesea.org.nz/</ref>

Environmental Issues

The Marine Habitat Management was implemented to protect the habitats within the classification system. There are many tools that are used to protect the marine habitat. There is the Marine Reserve MPAs, Other Marine Protected Areas and other Marine Protection Tools. The marine protection solely on fishing impacts. The Marine effects does look at other options like non fishing with pollutants depends on their concentrations, toxicity and how quickly they disperse or break down in the marine environment. All uses of the marine environment will be given the same priority and the requirement to minimize impacts.

  • The coastal environment has characteristics, qualities which has lead to particular challenges when promoting sustaining management.
  • The coastal environment varies in nature and extent around the country
  • Most of the towns and cities are in or close to a coastal location
  • The coastal environment contains established infrastructure connection New Zealand internally and internationally
  • Natural and physical resources important to the economic and social well-being of the nation and communities
  • Activities inland can have a major impact on coastal water qualities
  • Activities in the coastal environment are susceptible to the effects of natural hazards
  • There is ongoing demands for the coastal space and resources
  • The coastal environments are important to tangata whenua

The coastal environment is facing the following key issues: The ability to manage activities in the coastal environment is hampered by the lack of understanding about the processes and the effects they have on the coast

  • Loss of natural character
  • The decline of species, habitats and ecosystems
  • The decline in the coastal water quality
  • Adverse effects of poor water quality in aquatic life and opportunities for aquaculture, mahinga kai gathering
  • The use of vehicles on beaches causing ecological damage
  • Conflict with other recreational uses and values of the coastal environment

New Zealand has been divided into 14 coastal bio-geographic regions. There are two major environment types: Estuarine environment- are large coastal water regions that have geographic continuity are bounded landward by a stretch of coastline with fresh-water input, and are bounded seaward by a salinity front. Marine environment- includes the saline waters of the open sea, the seabed and water column of open sea coasts. The main environment factors which influence community structure (international and national literature) are considered to be depth, substrate, and exposure (wave action, tidal action and currents). Depth, Substrate and exposure are key variables that influence coastal biodiversity will be used to identify habitat and ecosystems within each coastal bio-geographic region.

<ref>http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/nz-conservation-authority-and-boards/nz-conservation-authority/submissions/marine-protected-areas-draft-classification-system-and-protection-standard/</ref> <ref>New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010, Department of Conservation</ref> <ref> Marine Protected Areas Classification, Protection standard and implementation guidelines FEBRUARY 2008, Department of Conservation Ministry of Fisheries</ref>


There are many environmental issues in marine habitats all across even New Zealand. Pollution, eutrophication, introduced species and over fishing. Marine habitats in New Zealand are very diverse and complex holding many different species and ecosystems, management to these certain areas is vital for the survival of these ecosystems. Scientist believe that these marine habitats are home for up 65,000 different species around New Zealand (only 15,000) of these species have been named<ref>http://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Life-in-the-Sea/Science-Ideas-and-Concepts/Human-impacts-on-marine-environments</ref>. This is why environmental issues must be addressed

Pollution for marine habitats is the leading concern in environmental issues. Pollution destroys marine ecosystem and fish numbers decrease, in some cases the level of pollution is not reparable destroying the marine habitat. Ship spills and waste dumps are is a huge concern for management as ships travel from foreign countries travel to local waters and have little concern for local marine life. Disposal at sea from structures is unlawful ocean dumping which continues to happen and needs to be addressed. Runoff from cities and towns into the sea is another pollution issue which has been addressed in New Zealand over the last 20 years. Now construction sites and city councils have to follow strict regulations in maintaining clean runoff. Dirty runoff can destroy marine habitats this is why restrictions and rules have been put in place<ref>http://www.cohencommission.ca/en/pdf/PPR/PPR19-MarineEnvironmentIssues.pdf </ref>.

Eutrophication is a particular type of Marine pollution where excess nutrients are released into coastal areas through streams and rivers. This is because of the intense farming practices up stream and fertilizers on the land. Additional nutrients in the sea water can lead to excessive numbers of phytoplankton. The issue is when these phytoplankton die the oxygen levels decrease because of the oxygen-using bacteria used to decompose these Phytoplankton. Low oxygen levels means that other marine life can be affected in this habitat, such as fish<ref>http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12729046</ref>.

Introduced Species also hold an effect on our marine habitats. Unwanted marine organisms can travel to New Zealand waters by visiting ships, by being attached to their hulls, equipment or in the ballast water. Introduced species may not be able to survive in New Zealand waters but if they do and spread they most certainly could be impossible to be removed. Introduced species could change our native marine organisms. This is why introduced species must be monitored and managed<ref>http://www.biodiversity.govt.nz/picture/doing/nzbs/part-three/theme-three.html</ref>.

Ocean acidification is a worldwide issue especially in the colder waters of New Zealand where carbon dioxide levels in the water are more soluble. Human activities such as driving cars have lead to high levels of CO2 in our atmosphere. The ocean absorbs around one third of worlds CO2 emissions causing pH to drop resulting in seawaters to be more acidic<ref>http://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Life-in-the-Sea/Science-Ideas-and-Concepts/Human-impacts-on-marine-environments</ref>.

Over fishing is a concern which continues to be pushed by locals and commercial fishing. This I where fish stocks in certain areas are being over fished and fish species disappear. This is commonly down in deep waters by commercial fishing boats, for example off the east coast of the South Island where Orange Roughy were considered to be over fished as the numbers of this deep water fish were uncertain<ref>http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/publications/-best-fish-guide-/orange-roughy</ref>. This is why management is a key role in marine habitat management.

Marine Habitats which are not in reach of fisheries hold the biggest issues as they are not well monitored. Monitoring of certain areas which are prone to the biggest threats of environment issues is key in the management of marine habitats.

History of the Marine Management

The two main stakeholders which are responsible for the management of marine habitats in New Zealand are that of the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Fisheries. Most of the protected marine reserves which are found in New Zealand are encompassed by the Marine Reserves Act 1971. The main purpose of the Marine Reserves Act 1971 was to provide a guideline on how marines reserves are managed, the purposes of marine reserves and what activities are allowed to take place in the marine reserves. <ref> http://doc.govt.nz/publications/conservation/marine-and-coastal/marine-protected-areas/review-of-the-marine-reserves-act-1971/policy-background-and-key-features/structure-of-the-bill/ </ref> There was also a big focus to secure and protect the marine biodiversity which New Zealand has. There was also support for the Treaty of Waitangi to be recognised within this act, suggesting that tangata whenua would have a role to play, along with overlapping the Maori Fisheries Act and the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Settlement. In 2000 the Marine Reserves Act was reviewed and was passed into parliament as the Marine Reserves Bill in order to help run alongside the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (NZBS) and the Fisheries Act 1996. One of the main points of the NZBS was to review how marine reserves are manged. The Marine Reserves Bill also highlighted the focus on involving the public in marine reserves and better enforcement <ref>http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/about-doc/role/legislation/marine-reserves-bill.pdf</ref>.

The Government, as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, is committed to maintaining and preserving the natural heritage of both our lands and waters, and is doing so through the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy. An aim of the Strategy is that marine habitats and ecosystems will be maintained in a healthy functioning state, and degraded areas will be allowed to recover

The MPA is a document that has been set up to make sure that New Zealands ecosystems will be protected. This means that people and regional councils, marine users, tangata whenua, and those with an interest in marine biodiversity to all be involved. Implementation will be underpinned by a commitment bto minimise the impact of new protected areas on existing users of the marine environment and Treaty settlement obligations.

The MPA document has meant that it will be protecting both representative and areas that are rare. There are four key parts to to this, they are:

  • Identifying areas based on science
  • Setting a suitable level of protection
  • Deciding what anew areas that are needed
  • Choosing new MPA's
Marine Reserves located in New Zealand.jpg

Stakeholders for Marine Habitat Management

Department of Conservation

Responsible for managing protected areas and species, under the Marine Reserves, Wildlife, Conservation, and Marine Mammal Protection Acts. Together with regional councils, DOC also has a role in the management of the coastal marine area (excluding fishing and many significant fishing impacts) under the Resource Management Act.

Ministry of Fisheries

Responsible for managing fishing, its effects, and fisheries resources under the Fisheries Act, whose jurisdiction extends out to 200 nautical miles – the edge of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Regional Councils Responsible for managing some land use activities and water quality, and together with DOC also manage the coastal marine area, including aquaculture. All these responsibilities fall under the Resource Management Act, which covers our Territorial Sea area extending out to 12 nautical miles.

Biosecurity New Zealand (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Responsible for minimising the risks posed by vessels accidentally transporting exotic marine life into or around New Zealand waters. This is done under the Biosecurity Act. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Responsible for international agreements to maintain biodiversity in ‘high seas’ areas, outside of nations’ EEZs.

Ministry for the Environment

Responsible for developing an Oceans Policy for New Zealand, to ensure integrated and consistent management of the oceans within New Zealand’s jurisdiction. This is a cross-government exercise, covering all aspects of oceans management, out to the edge of the EEZ and the Continental Shelf beyond. <ref>http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Environmental/Seabed+Protection+and+Research/MPA/default.htm</ref>

Marine Protected Areas

All uses of the marine environment will be given the same priority and the requirement to minimize impacts in existing users. When a protected area is established, official will seek additional protection from regional councils through the inclusion of the protected area on relevant regional coastal plans.

This aspect of the MPA protection standard looks to ensure the seabed in an MPA is protected from physical damage. To ensure this, activities that may cause significant damage to the seabed and its associated biodiversity should be prohibited

When considering the effects of fishing activity, it is difficult to set a level of extraction that would ensure the MPA protection standard is met. There are also considerable problems with compliance when setting catch limits at spatial scales. MPA Policy Implementation- Marine Protection Types: (1) Marine Reserve MPAs Marine reserves established under the Marine Reserves Act 1971. (2) Other MPAs Fisheries Act prohibitions (i.e. those rules imposed primarily for the purpose of sustaining fisheries resources and for avoiding, remedying or mitigating the adverse effects of fishing on the environment) on: Dredging, bottom trawling, Danish seining Bottom gill netting and potting when used on sensitive biogenic habitats Purse seining, mid-water trawling, mid-water gill netting and bottom gill netting. Prohibitions on other methods may be appropriate on a case by case basis. Tools may also include cable protection zones, marine mammal sanctuaries, Resource Management Act, possibly in combination with other tools. Other tools may include provisions in: Crown Minerals Act Maritime Transport Act Biosecurity Act (3) Other Marine Protection Tools Tools similar to those for MPAs, but which in particular cases, do not protect sufficient biodiversity to meet the protection standard.


The stakeholders would like to see more guidance on how the MPA policy is implemented by forums at a regional level, specifically looking at the nature of the regional planning and also the decision making process. There also needs to be more clarity and simplicity. Another recommendation is that there is a need for equal treatment of all users of the marine environment and better appreciation on the need to protect the marine habitat.


Taiapure are now an important part in New Zealand and especially for Maori in understanding the special significance of hapu and the continued success of local and international fisheries. In conclusion we believe that a successful Taiapure has to have and also be effective communication between locals, local councils, scientists and fisheries. Good examples of Taiapure, which have been successful are ones that have had great communication, time and research and development, for example the East Otago Taiapure. The East Otago taiapure has been so successful because there is regular constructive communication between East Otago Taiapure committee, which has a very wide knowledge base from locals to scientist as well as the locals. With the East Otago Taiapure being very close to New Zealands leading University (Otago) it makes it very easy to complete research involving the Taiapure and how to better it. Taiapure which are less successful have been because of the very little communication and research involved, for example the Maketu, where hardly any locals even know this Taiapure exist and haven't heard of the restrictions that are in place. Marine habitat management also is only effective if there is good communication in place. It does not have to be all positive but there needs to be a level of communication which is easy for everyone to understand and to be on the same page, so that processes can be complete in a simple yet effective way. Public education is important, the people involved have to get their ideas across as they speak on behalf of a community, an iwi and of New Zealanders. The link between Taiapure and marine habitat management is vital for any success in the efficacy.



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