Understanding our marine environments

We proudly fund marine science and research within New Zealand’s marine reserves to better understand our marine environments.
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Our marine environment is a precious part of New Zealand, cherished by New Zealanders and international visitors alike. We all want healthy marine environments that we can enjoy and be proud of, and we've all got a job to do to protect them.

With 80% of New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity estimated to be underwater, the research undertaken through the partnership will help gain a better understanding of the health of marine reserves, the habitats of our native species, and how land use and other pressures are affecting them.

The partnership is funding collaborative research projects with a focus on the Marine Sentinel Sites programme. The aim of the sentinel sites programme is to gain a deeper understanding of how large-scale pressures, such as climate change, are impacting these specific sites and the species that live within them.

The partnership has identified ten marine sentinel sites which have been selected from New Zealand's marine reserves and cover a range of biogeographic regions throughout New Zealand. To date, two of these sentinel sites are operational with research currently underway with more planned to start soon.

Proposed Marine Sentinel Sites

  1. Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve
  2. Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve (currently operational)
  3. Tapuae Marine Reserve
  4. Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve
  5. Kapiti Marine Reserve (currently operational)
  6. Tonga Island Marine Reserve
  7. Hikurangi Marine Reserve
  8. Akaroa Marine Reserve
  9. Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve
  10. Ulva Island-Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve.