Akaroa Marine Reserve
The Akaroa Marine Reserve, an area of 475 hectares (1,170 acres) at the entrance to the Akaroa Harbour in New Zealand, was approved in 2013 after a lengthy campaign. The reserve is yet to be gazetted.
Forest and Bird carried out exploratory dives in the Akaroa Harbour in 1990 and a formal proposal for the establishment of a 560-hectare (1,400-acre) marine reserve was made in 1996 by the Akaroa Harbour Marine Protection Society. The Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson delined the application for the reserve in 2010 on the grounds that it would adversely affect recreation fishing. The decision was challenged in the High Court and was quashed in a 2012 ruling. In terms of actual numbers the two separate consultation processes for the application had attracted more support than opposition.
In April 2013 the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith announced the approval of the reserve but at the reduced size of 475 ha. The size was reduced to take into account the concerns about customary and recreational fishing.
The harbour as a whole has considerable natural values and fauna of the inner and outer harbour differs. There are pressures on the ecology from human activity such as settlements on the edge of the harbour and there is land and water based industrial activity.