Hector’s and Māui dolphins Threat Management Plan review

Closing Date:
Contact: Inshore fisheries management

Have your say

Our proposals set out:

  • 4 options for protecting Māui dolphins in the North Island from fishing related threats
  • 3 options for protecting Hector’s dolphins in the South Island from fishing related threats. 

The proposals also include a plan to manage toxoplasmosis and restrictions to seismic surveying and seabed mining in areas which could cause cumulative harm to dolphins.

Consultation documents

We’ve made some changes to the consultation documents, as noted below. If you downloaded the documents the morning of 17 June, refer to the updated versions. 

The changes were:

  • amendments to the table on page 22 to clarify options relating to Pegasus Bay (east coast South Island). This was also updated in the Supporting information and rationale document
  • formatting changes to some tables and clarification to wording on page 20, paragraph 2
  • an additional explanatory note for table 3, page 21.


Clarification of west coast North Island Commercial and Recreational Set net Closure Option 2 (Hawera to Wellington portion)


Supporting science documents

Spatial risk assessment of threats to Hector’s/Māui dolphins [PDF, 8.9 MB]

Population dynamics modelling of the Māui dolphin [PDF, 7.6 MB]

Population effects of fishery and non-fishery threats on Māui dolphins [PDF, 666 KB]

Underwater sound propagation modelling to illustrate potential noise exposure to Maui dolphins from seismic surveys and vessel traffic on West Coast North Island, New Zealand
[PDF, 7.6 MB]

Fisheries proposal maps

A set of maps is available to download that includes:

  • overview maps from the consultation document that outline the options for commercial and recreational set netting and trawling
  • additional maps showing the detailed coordinates for Kaipara, Manukau and Raglan Harbours, North Coast North Island, Pegasus Bay, Canterbury Bight and Te Waewae Bay closures.

Fisheries proposal maps [ZIP, 1.6 MB]

What's being proposed?

Hector’s and Māui dolphins are among the world’s rarest. They face a range of human-induced threats, including fishing, seismic surveying and the disease toxoplasmosis.

We are consulting on a range of options to improve the way these threats to Hector’s and Māui dolphins are being managed. 

The proposals have been put together using the best available science, and we think they give us the best opportunity to help protect these dolphins. 

We know fishing-related threats have reduced in areas where restrictions have been put in place, but threats from fishing remain and need to be considered. In addition, we’ve identified a range of other threats, which need to be dealt with.

Your feedback will help us improve these proposals. In particular, we need to carefully balance the proposals against the impact they could have on people and their livelihoods.

The options include:

  • extending current restrictions on trawling and set netting in areas where Hector’s and Māui dolphins live
  • increasing the boundaries of marine mammal sanctuaries
  • placing further restrictions on seismic surveying and seabed mining in areas where Hector’s and Māui dolphins live
  • developing an action plan to address the threat from the disease toxoplasmosis, which has emerged as a significant human-induced threat.

Public meetings

We will be holding public meetings in the most affected regions of New Zealand, so you can hear more about the proposed options. The schedule of the meetings is here:





16 July

5pm - 7pm


Raglan Town Hall.

17 July

5pm - 7pm


Jubilee Building, Parnell Community Centre, 545 Parnell Road, Parnell.

18 July

5pm - 7pm


Drawing Room of the Civic, 88 Tay Street.

23 July

5pm - 7pm

New Plymouth

Novotel New Plymouth Hobson, Corner of Hobson and Leach Streets.

24 July

5pm - 7pm


Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, 322 Hardy St.

25 July

5pm - 7pm


Airforce Museum, 45 Harvard Ave, Wigram.

26 July

5pm - 7pm


Catholic Church Parish Centre.

If you can’t get to a meeting and have any questions, email dolphintmp@doc.govt.nz

Making your submission

Due to a large response, the timeframe for submissions has been extended to 10am on 19 August 2019. You can make your submission online.

Complete this full survey to respond to the proposals outlining options for managing all human-induced threats to the dolphins.

We've also got a short survey. Complete it if you only want to address fishing-related threats to the dolphins.


Or, email your submission to dolphintmp@doc.govt.nz

You can also attend a public meeting and talk directly with our staff.

If posting your submission

While we prefer email, you can post your written submissions to:

Hector’s and Māui Dolphin Threat Management Plan
Department of Conservation
P O Box 10420
Wellington 6143.

What to include in your submission

Make sure you tell us in your submission:

  • your name and title
  • your organisation's name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your contact details (such as phone number, address, and email).

After the consultation ends

At the end of the consultation period, Fisheries New Zealand and the Department of Conservation will analyse your submissions and present them to the Ministers of Fisheries and Conservation for their decisions.

These proposals all have significant implications, and we want your views so that ministers can make their decisions based on the best information and your views.

Support for fishers

Fisheries New Zealand understands that there are many challenges faced by fishers, their whanau, and the communities they work in. 

Find out about the help, advice, and support available 

Related information

Protecting Hector's and Māui dolphins

2012 consultation on the Māui portion of the Threat Management Plan

Strengthening fisheries management

Fisheries research

Department of Conservation links

Information on toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis and dolphin fact sheet [PDF, 3.6 MB]

Consultation page

Māui dolphin

Māui dolphin protection measures

Māui dolphin facts

Māui dolphin threats

Hectors dolphin

Hector's and Māui dolphin Threat Management Plan review

Submissions are public information

Note, that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have good reasons for withholding them. That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision the Department of Conservation or Fisheries New Zealand make to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

The Department of Conservation or Fisheries New Zealand may post all or parts of any written submission on its website. We'll consider that you have consented to its publication, unless clearly stated otherwise in your submission.

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