The Ministry has provided advice to the Minister on three Marine Reserves in the past financial year – the Wellington South Coast (Taputeranga), Tapuae (New Plymouth), and the Great Barrier Island/Aotea. The first was agreed to and its formal establishment is now being progressed by DOC. The Tapuae (New Plymouth) marine reserve was also agreed to and was formally established on 8 May 2008. The Minister declined the proposal to establish the Great Barrier Island/Aotea reserve on 15 May 2008 because he felt that further marine protection in this area could have negative effects on the local lifestyle and economy, as well impacts on the recreational and commercial fishers who use the area.
The Ministry currently has only one marine reserve application to consider. In April 2007 the Auckland Regional Council notified MFish of its intention to apply for an Order-in-Council to change the status of the Tawharanui Marine Park (Auckland) to a marine reserve. New Zealand now has 33 established Marine Reserves.
Two mātaitai have been established in 2007/08 year. Puna wai-Toriki (South Otago) and Aotea Harbour (South Waikato Coast). There are currently 20 mātaitai applications and three Taiapure proposals being processed by the Ministry.