Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting the livelihoods of millions, and vitally absorbing carbon emissions. 

But our moana are under threat. Over decades, successive governments have exploited our oceans for short-term economic gain. Overfishing, sediment pollution and seabed mining have put these precious places at risk.

We are already seeing the impacts up and down our coast. Fisheries such as crayfish in the Hauraki Gulf have collapsed and the East Coast terakihi fishery has been overfished and much depleted.

Our Thriving Oceans Plan is the boldest protection for oceans that this country has seen from a political party in decades. It is our transformative plan to protect the oceans and improve fisheries management, so we all can enjoy the ocean - now and in the future.

Here’s what our Thriving Oceans Plan includes: 

  • Protecting at least 30% of Aotearoa’s oceans by 2030, through new legislation to create a network of marine protected areas in the territorial sea and the EEZ

  • Reviewing the Quota Management System to restore fisheries stocks and marine habitats, and ensure that future generations can enjoy abundant oceans. This would include developing a new way of managing fisheries based on holistic ecosystem management, to ensure a kaitiakitanga-focused approach to sustainable fisheries management. We commit to developing this in partnership with Māori within a framework that upholds rights under te Tiriti o Waitangi.

  • Banning the most harmful commercial fishing practices such as bottom trawling on seamounts and set netting in the habitat of endangered seabirds and dolphins.

  • Restoring the health of the Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana/Te Moananui ā Toi by urgently phasing out the most ecologically harmful commercial fishing practices.

  • Investing up to $50 million to help fishers transition to more sustainable fishing methods.

  • Introducing comprehensive marine spatial planning to ensure a strategic approach is used to manage our marine spaces, including allocation of space for aquaculture, fishing, and other uses.

  • Supporting robust and well-resourced monitoring and enforcement of fisheries and marine protection rules, and accelerating the implementation of cameras on boats.

  • Ensuring less plastic ends up in our oceans by phasing out low quality, non-recyclable plastic, and ensuring higher value plastics are recovered and recycled on-shore in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Supporting local marine conservation efforts with $10m a year for a Community Coastline Clean-up Fund.

  • Working internationally to support the progress toward a Global Oceans Treaty. 

Read the two page summary on our Thriving Oceans Plan here

Read the full policy here