October 09, 2023
Marine reserve plan tries to avoid lock-out
The upoko of Ngai Tahu’s Ōtākou Rūnaka says six new southeast South Island marine reserves may set a new model for marine reserves.
The reserves cover much of the coast from Oamaru to the Catlins and include breeding grounds for hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins, toroa/northern royal albatross, and rāpoka/New Zealand sea lions.
Edward Ellison says affected papatipu runaka have been working with the crown for nine years on the proposal to ensure mana whenua have a continued role in managing the areas.
He says their communities didn’t want the standard marine reserve.
“It’s basically a national park in the water. You cannot touch, take out, remove, catch fish, trawl, drop and anchor even sometimes into a marine reserve, There are those sort of controls, It really is a lock-up which is the fundamental issue tangata whenau have with them because it then locks them out,” Mr Ellison says.
He says the process highlighted the need to change the law around marine reserves.