New Zealand: Tapuae Marine Reserve passes final hurdle –

New Zealand: Tapuae Marine Reserve passes final hurdle Published:  13 April, 2007

Jim Anderton

A NEW marine reserve is to be established near New Plymouth, the 17th approved since 2003, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton and Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced yesterday.

Jim Anderton gave his assent this week to the Tapuae Marine Reserve, marking the final significant hurdle for the proposal after eight years of discussion. The reserve will absolutely protect 1426ha off the Taranaki coast, and will stretch from Herekawe Stream down to Tapuae Stream.

“A sensible compromise has been reached on the proposal, one that provides for some fishing to continue in the general area. Everyone in New Zealand lives within 200 km of the sea. It is part of the Kiwi experience and initiatives like the Tapuae reserve will ensure our marine environment retains the diversity which this and past generations of New Zealanders have enjoyed,” he said.

Chris Carter added that the Tapuae reserve demonstrated the government’s commitment to marine conservation.

“The Taranaki coastline is intriguing, and the Tapuae reserve proposal reflects this. The area to be protected will be home to about 88 species of fish, and contains a variety of marine environments that are not represented in other marine reserves.

“As New Zealanders, we have been highly successful at protecting our land area, but we have been slow off the mark in protecting our marine environment, about which we know a lot less. Recently, we have begun to catch up, and we should celebrate this progress.

“When I approved the Tapuae application prior to it proceeding to Jim Anderton for concurrence, I reduced the size of the proposed reserve following feedback from Ngati Te Whiti and fishers keen to continue surf casting near Paritutu,” Chris Carter said.

“The reserve now balances the need to protect the biodiversity of the area with the need to preserve fishing opportunities and respect areas significant to local Maori. That wouldn’t have been achieved without the extraordinary work of the Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society, and I want to acknowledge their effort.”

The Tapuae reserve will now proceed to the Governor-General for royal assent, and be surveyed and gazetted. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.