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Council celebrates opening of Tawharanui Marine Reserve

Media release

28 August 2011

Council celebrates opening of Tawharanui Marine Reserve

Tawharanui Marine Reserve

The Auckland Council today joined the Department of Conservation in celebrating the opening of Tawharanui Marine Reserve, adjoining Tawharanui Regional Park.

Councillor Mike Lee, who has championed the application for a marine reserve at Tawharanui since 1994, says it is very satisfying to be celebrating this milestone.

"It may have taken 17 years, but this has been a cause worth fighting for," says Councillor Lee.

"The Tawharanui Marine Reserve will be unique in that it will create an undersea sanctuary next to a mainland open sanctuary and alongside a popular surf beach," he says.

"We appreciate the support that we have received from those interested in protecting this area especially local Iwi, Ngati Manuhiri," he says.

Tawharanui Marine Reserve adjoins the northern side of Tawharanui Regional Park and is approximately 400 hectares in size. Formerly a marine park created in 1981, the marine reserve will enhance the protection of this section of coastline and increase the opportunities for the scientific study of marine life.

The benefits of this change include greater clarity of the reserve area due to straightened boundaries, consistency with other marine reserves around the rules of marine protection and management under a consistent regime with nearby Cape Rodney Okakari Point Marine Reserve.

Tawharanui Regional Park and open sanctuary is looked after by the Auckland Council and gets more than 120,000 visitors each year. It is an integrated open sanctuary where farming, recreation and conservation coexist behind a pest-proof fence and, now, alongside a marine reserve. Tawharanui is on the east coast of the Auckland region, 22km from Warkworth.


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