Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005

This page provides information about the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005 and includes the roles of the government organisations with responsiblilities for managing the area covered by the Act. 

About the Act 

The Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005 recognises the local, national and international importance of the Fiordland marine environment, including the distinct biological diversity, outstanding landscape and cultural heritage.

The Act established:

  • The Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area. This area encompasses the waters from Awarua Point on the South Island’s West Coast (40 km north of Milford Sound) to Sandhill Point on the South Island’s south coast, and to 12 nautical miles off the coast.
  • Within the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area:
    • eight new marine reserves (in addition to two pre-existing reserves). These reserves are subject to the conditions specified in the Act and the provisions of the Marine Reserves Act 1971.
    • a number of small, discrete areas which contain items of special significance. These areas are known as ‘china shops’.

    Both marine reserves and china shops protect important species and habitats, and are subject to strict rules and regulations.

  • An unique management regime.
    • This is led by the Fiordland Marine Guardians – a statutory advisory body appointed by the Minister for the Environment. The Fiordland Marine Guardians have the critical role of facilitating and promoting the integrated management of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area, including continued community input.
    • The Guardians advise the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation and Southland Regional Council (collectively known as the management agencies) on the effectiveness of management measures in Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area and likely threats to the area.
    • The Guardians work with the management agencies to provide cooperative and integrated management of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area.

The Act enables the Guardians to:

  • obtain, share and monitor information on the state of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area
  • assist the management agencies to prepare and disseminate information
  • monitor the state of the marine environment and biological diversity in the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area
  • plan for the enforcement of and compliance with the management of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area.

Roles in managing the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area

Fiordland Marine Guardians

The Fiordland Marine Guardians are community representatives who are passionate about working together to safeguard the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area. Their role is to advise management agencies on all aspects of the marine environment. The Guardians are responsible for obtaining and sharing information which will benefit the management of the area.

Fiordland Marine Guardians’ website

Ministry for the Environment

The Ministry for the Environment administers the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act and is responsible for coordinating the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area Communications Plan. The Ministry provides administrative and secretarial support to the Guardians and ensures the Minister’s obligations under the Act are met.

Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation (DOC) leads the implementation of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area Monitoring Plan. The Plan sets out methods by which fisheries, areas of special significance, and risks to the marine environment can be assessed. The results of the monitoring provide an overview of the success of the management strategy. For example, if areas of special significance are shown to be degraded then it indicates that the current management practices are not successful, and further actions are required. DOC is also responsible for managing marine reserves in the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area.

Department of Conservation website

Ministry for Primary Industries

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) leads the development and implementation of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area Biosecurity Plan. The plan provides a framework for inter-agency activities to manage marine biosecurity threats to the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area.

MPI is also responsible for the sustainable use of fisheries resources. It is the lead agency for compliance with fisheries regulations and the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area Compliance Plan. MPI is also involved in research in the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area. The scientific data it collects enhances the overall knowledge of the Fiordland marine environment, alongside research done by other management agencies and the Fiordland Marine Guardians.

Ministry for Primary Industries website

Environment Southland

Environment Southland (the Southland Regional Council) is primarily responsible for managing the natural and physical resources of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area. Environment Southland also assists the Ministry for the Environment with the education and information distribution roles outlined in the Communications Plan.

Environment Southland website

Find out more

Reviewed:
02/08/16