New Zealand fur seal
Image: Ben Ryan | DOC


Calling all West Coast residents! In support of Seaweek 2024, kaupapa moana, submit a photo showing how you celebrate sea creatures of Aotearoa.

How to enter

1. Take a photo

Take a photo showing how you celebrate our sea creatures. This could be anything from observing them, learning about them, or taking action to protect them. Sea creatures could include sea birds, shells, marine mammals, and more.

2. Submit your entry

Send your photo along with a short caption (up to 50 words) and the date the photo was taken to:

Include your name, age category, phone number and/or email with your entry. Terms and conditions below.

Entries close 5 April 2024 at 4:30 pm.

By entering the competition, you will have accepted the terms and conditions below. 

How the competition is judged

The competition will be split into three main age categories:

  1. Nestlings – junior age 4-11
  2. Juveniles – senior age 12-18
  3. Fully-fledged – adult age 19+

Prizes will be awarded to winners and runners up in each category. There will also be a prize for the most proactive school.

Entries will be judged on:

  • how the photo and caption relates to its age category
  • artistic ability, relative to age.

How winners will be announced

Competition entries will be judged, and winners contacted and displayed at prominent places across the West Coast.

Terms and conditions

Entry into this Competition is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.


  1. The Organiser of the Sea Week 2024 photo competition (the Competition) is the Department of Conservation, West Coast South Island region (DOC West Coast).
  2. DOC West Coast can be contacted in relation to the Competition by email at:


  1. By entering the Competition, the entrant is deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions. In accepting these Terms and Conditions, the entrant also confirms that they are at least 18 years of age or have consent of a parent or guardian to enter the Competition.
  2. By entering the Competition, you grant DOC West Coast a license to display your photograph in publications, DOC Visitor Centres, Community Centres, local libraries, and on social media. This includes permission to use your name and caption. You also grant DOC West Coast a licence to print/mount/frame/project/screen entries, and crop/alter the photograph in respect of that format. Use of photographs will be credited to the entrant, and the entrant retains full copyright over their photograph.
  3. By entering this Competition, you confirm that you have permission to enter the photograph in the Competition from any people, or their parent or guardian (if under the age of 18 years), that are pictured in the photograph.
  4. All entries are submitted at the entrant’s own risk and DOC West Coast does not accept liability for any loss or damage.


  1. Entrants must be residents of the West Coast region of the South Island.
  2. Entry is open to all amateur and professional photographers.
  3. Entry is limited to one photograph per person.
  4. Photographs that have previously won an award (i.e. winner or runner-up) in this or any other another photographic competition at the time of entry may not be entered.
  5. Entries open on 1 March 2024 and close on 5 April 2024 at 4:30 pm. DOC West Coast will not accept entries after this.
  6. Entries will only be accepted digitally in .jpg format by email to
  7. Entries must include the following details to be eligible:
    1. Name of entrant (first and last name).
    2. Age of entrant (at time of entry).
    3. Contact details: phone number and/or email of entrant.
    4. A “Photograph” that should show the entrant ‘Celebrating Sea Creatures of Aotearoa’.
    5. A short caption (limit of 50 words) about the photograph.
    6. Date photograph was taken.
  8. Photographs must be taken within the period 1 January 2024 to 5 April 2024.
  9. The entrant must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of the photograph as described in the Copyright Act 1994. For the avoidance of doubt, photographs that use AI or generative imaging in all or in part of the image will be excluded from the Competition. The photograph must be the product of a camera controlled by the entrant. Plagiarised entries will be excluded from the Competition.
  10. If DOC West Coast cannot open or upload the entry because of technical errors caused by file quality, or if the file is damaged, DOC West Coast reserves the right to exclude the entry from the Competition.
  11. DOC West Coast reserves the right to exclude any person from participating in the Competition and any future competition on reasonable grounds. The entrant must ensure photographs are taken responsibly. Where DOC West Coast believes any wildlife or marine mammal has been disturbed, harassed, traumatised, or injured in the process of participating in the Competition, DOC West Coast may exclude the entrant from participating in the Competition and any future similar competition.
  12. DOC West Coast reserves the right to exclude from the Competition and refuse to award Prize Packages to any entrant that DOC West Coast decides (at its sole discretion) has violated the Terms and Conditions, gained unfair advantage in participating in the Competition, or won using fraudulent means.
  13. Personal information will be handled in accordance with the DOC privacy statement.
  14. By entering the Competition, you confirm that you have complied with New Zealand law while shooting your entry. Refer to the CAA website,, and our drone use on conservation land page for specific aerial photography regulations.

Prize Packages

  1. One main prize package will be awarded for each of the following age groups: Nestlings (Junior age 4-11); Juveniles (Senior age 12-18); Fully-fledged (Adult age 19+). The winner of the main prize package for their age group will receive one of the following: Ōkārito Eco Boat Tour trip; Eco Cruise with West Coast Scenic Waterways; one night cabin stay at Gentle Annie Seaside Accommodation (Mokihinui).
  2. An additional prize will be provided for one runner-up in each age group. The runner-up for each age group will receive one of the following: a runner-up prize bag donated by the West Coast Penguin Trust; a photo block from Moments In Time (of their photo), or a goody bag from the Department of Conservation.
  3. A prize for Most Proactive School will be awarded and the winner will receive two nights in the Ōkārito School House.
  4. The Prize Packages are not redeemable for cash.
  5. If any Prize Package (or portion of a Prize Package) is not redeemed before a noted expiry date for that prize, it is considered forfeit.

Judging and Notification

  1. A panel of judges selected by DOC West Coast will pick the Winners and Runners-up in each age group based on:
    1. how their photo relates to the theme (‘Celebrating Sea Creatures of Aotearoa’); and
    2. the artistic ability (relative to age).
  2. The winner and runner-up for each age group will be notified in writing via email or contacted by phone. Where two such attempts to contact the winner or runner-up fail, the Judging Panel will choose another winner or runner-up.
  3. The decision of DOC West Coast and the judges on all matters relating to the Competition is final, and no correspondence will be entered into at any stage.
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