Have your say if you’re an affected iwi, hapū or whānau on a proposal to extend the seaward boundary of Cathedral Cove Recreation Reserve and Cook Bluff Scenic Reserve on the Hahei coast, Coromandel. Submissions closed 9 June 2021.

Submissions closed 9 June 2021. No hearing needed.

Iwi, hapū or whānau can comment

You have a right to comment on the proposal if:

  • you’re an iwi, hapū or whānau, and
  • you exercise kaitiakitanga in a part of the common marine and coastal area affected by the proposal.

Kaitiakitanga under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 means “the exercise of guardianship by the tangata whenua of an area in accordance with tikanga Māori in relation to natural and physical resources, and includes the ethic of stewardship.”

The Takutai Moana Act defines who has the right to comment on this proposal.

Takutai Moana Act.


Cathedral Cove Recreation Reserve and Cooks Bluff Scenic Reserve are located near Hahei in the northern Coromandel.  We’ll refer to CCRR and CBSR as “the two reserves”.

The two reserves sit next to a marine reserve – Whanganui o Hei(Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve.

The Hahei coast is a popular tourism destination and the Cathedral Cove Walk is one of our busiest short walks in New Zealand. This walk receives an estimated 280,000 visits per year – most of this is in the summer months. Beaches within the two reserves are currently accessed either by coastal tracks or from the sea using watercraft and kayaks.

What’s proposed

The current seaward boundary of the two reserves do not contain the majority of the beaches.

Map of where the two reserves are (JPG, 556K)

We’re proposing extending the seaward boundary of these two reserves. The extension would take the seaward boundary out to the intertidal zone. The intertidal zone is the area where the ocean meets the land between high and low tides. This will mean the two reserves would include part of the common marine and coastal area.

Map showing extension (JPG, 421K)

These boundaries are an approximation. The exact bounds would be defined after a decision.

Why we’re proposing this extension

Extending the seaward boundary of these two reserves will allow better management of:

  • private and commercial motorised vehicles, such as ‘Sealegs’, amphibious boats and drones
  • commercial operators, for example, film crew and water taxis
  • monitoring of existing concessionaires
  • unpermitted dogs
  • unpermitted fires, and
  • general public safety –especially when we need to do essential maintenance, and dealing with natural hazards.

We’re aiming to minimise negative effects from users of the reserves on:

  • cultural values, for example, treating the area with respect in terms of te ao Māori
  • wildlife
  • public safety.

We need the views of affected iwi, hapū or whanau

To extend the seaward boundary we need to find out the views of affected iwi, hapū and whānau. This is because the Minister of Conservation must have particular regard to the views of affected iwi, hapū and whānau in considering the proposal to extend the boundaries of the two reserves.

If there’s a dispute

In the event of a dispute as to whether, or which iwi, hapū or whānau are affected by the proposal, the Director-General of Conservation will make a decision. The Director-General of Conservation must seek and may rely on evidence to resolve who is affected.

The Waikato Conservation Management strategy sets out the process

The Waikato Conservation Management Strategy 2014-2024 (CMS) is a legal document which directs the management of public conservation land within the Waikato Region. The two reserves come under this document.

The specific policy that relates to Hahei Coast and marine reserve places is Policy in the CMS. It says “Extend the seaward boundary of Cathedral Cove Recreation Reserve and Cook Bluff Scenic Reserve to Mean Low Water Springs.” We must manage this area as directed by the CMS.

How to make submissions

Submissions closed 9 June 2021.

1.Prepare your submission

You submission should include your:

You need to include your views on the proposed changes.

Your submission should advise that your iwi, hapū or whānau exercise katiakitanga in the affected area.

Your submission may be released publicly

All submissions are subject to the Official Information Act and can be released under this Act. If you have specific reasons for wanting to have your submission withheld, explain your reasons in the submission. Your reasons will be considered when making any assessment for the release of submissions under the Official Information Act.

2.Send us your submission

You can send your submission by either email or post.


Subject line: Comment on proposal to extend boundary of reserves

You’ll get a confirmation email to let you know we have received your submission.

Whitianga District Office,
PO Box 276,
Whitianga 3542

Attention: Nick Kelly, Operations Manager

What happens next

After submissions close:

  • DOC will analyse and consider the views of all affected iwi, hapū and whānau on the proposal.
  • DOC will make a recommendation to the Minister of Conservation.
  • The Minister of Conservation will give particular regard to the views of iwi, hapū and whānau hat exercise kaitiakitanga in making a decision on the proposal.
  • If the Minister of Conservation makes a decision to implement the proposals it will be notified in the New Zealand Gazette.

As the process progresses DOC will keep you updated.


If you have any questions contact us.


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