Kermadec Sanctuary is a New Zealand achievement

Forest & Bird says that the Kermadec Rangitahua Sanctuary is a New Zealand achievement, and one that every New Zealander should be proud of.

"The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is the result of many years of hui, campaigning, and scientific research, lead by New Zealand's environmental NGOs," says Hōne McGregor, Chief Executive of Forest & Bird.

"The success of this campaign is directly due to the support of tens of thousands of New Zealanders who spoke up in support of the sanctuary and the ecosystems it will safeguard in perpetuity.

"The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is a legacy achievement, and one that every New Zealander should be proud of. It's the kaupapa of understanding this as a taonga, he taonga tuku iho," says Mr McGregor.

"The location of the Sanctuary encompasses New Zealand’s entire sub-tropical marine space, and was first proposed over 8 years ago by four New Zealand eNGOs, including Forest & Bird. The current Kermadecs Science Symposium reinforces other hui matauranga - some things are too valuable to leave unprotected.

"The same 1982 international Law of the Sea that gives New Zealand the right to control our wider Exclusive Economic Zone and allows us to regulate and manage the EEZ fisheries, also imposes a clear responsibility on New Zealand to “protect and preserve” the marine environment within the EEZ."

While the territorial seas out to 12 nautical miles around the Kermadec islands are already protected as marine reserves, the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary will extend a full 200 nautical miles from those islands and will protect many unique deep ocean habitats and species. The sanctuary will protect a significant portion of the world’s longest underwater volcanic chain and the world’s second deepest ocean trench.