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Partnerships for compliance
Implementing new marine protection rules in Te Tai Tokerau

New rules are now in place for marine protection areas in Mimiwhangata and Cape Brett in Northland. The rules are in the Proposed Regional Plan and have been introduced to protect the significant ecological value of the areas. The rules are a result of concerns by two local hapū who wanted fishing controls implemented under the Resource Management Act (RMA) and appealed the original Proposed Regional Plan which had no fishing restrictions in place. Northland is only the second region which has marine protection rules under the RMA in force. The Environment Court issued its final decision in May 2023 and the new rules are fully operative once procedural matters are completed. The management and delivery of the Te Hā o Tangaroa protection rules are based in partnerships with mana whenua. The mechanisms of hapū-Northland Regional Council (NRC) partnership depend on co-designing a program of compliance and environmental monitoring, and implementing joint management agreements or delegating functions/powers where appropriate to facilitate successful delivery of the rules.  The NRC is engaging with hapū to understand and incorporate tikanga practice in a compliance monitoring plan. An interim monitoring plan has been developed to ensure collaboration with hapū, iwi, central government and stakeholders to maximise opportunities to communicate, educate and obtain compliance to the rules. A network of operators and kaitiaki will be established to have presence in no-fishing areas to ensure council is visible and asserting is monitoring functions both on the water and on land. This presentation will focus on learnings from hui, discussions and decisions to implement governance and compliance approaches to ensure there is effective management of the new marine protection areas.


Friday 3 November



Clark Ehlers
Compliance Monitoring Manager - Coastal and Land, Northland Regional Council


Clark joined the compliance, monitoring and enforcement team at Northland Regional Council in October 2021. Based in Whangarei, he manages a team of officers that monitor activities in the coastal marine  area and land based activities, including earthworks and contaminated land.  Prior to moving to Northland he worked in Wellington for the Environmental Protection Authority in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms group, managing technical advisors and conducting risk assessments. 


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