Category: Marine Park News

Marae Moana Bill Makes Progress

3 November 2016 The MARAE Moana Task Force has finished gathering comments on the draft Marae Moana Bill and has submitted them to Crown Law. The bill was drafted based on the recommendations of a legal analysis, feedback from community meetings around the country and input from representatives of agencies and organisations. It was circulated for comment amongst government agencies, non-government organisations and the aronga mana and aims “to protect and conserve the ecological, biodiversity, and heritage values of the Cook Islands marine environment” while allowing sustainable use. The Marae Moana Bill establishes a framework for participatory and integrated decision-making and marine spatial planning. The bill also establishes marine protected areas around islands where there will be no large scale commercial fishing or seabed mineral activity. This is in response to community requests for foreign boats to fish further away from their islands so that gamefish that swim close to islands may be caught by local fishermen. The rest of the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone will be zoned using regulations so that amendments can be made at any time. The Crown Law Office will incorporate the comments and the bill will be submitted to cabinet for final decision-making and then approval.

Category: Marine Park News

Marae Moana Policy Finally Finished

3 March 2016 After a year of discussion, the Marae Moana Oceans Policy is now with Prime Minister Henry Puna who will present it to Cabinet.

The policy, which guides the management and use of the Cook Islands marine environment, has been formulated in consultation with the public and other stakeholders.

The final version of the policy was agreed at a stakeholder meeting that ended on February 8.

On Tuesday the Prime Minister’s Office acknowledged receiving the policy, adding Puna will put that into action when he returns from a visit to the northern group where he and other CIP MPs are holding fishery discussions.

In a statement, Marae Moana Marine Park project manager Jacqui Evans said a “Legally Designating Marae Moana,” meeting had also been held last month to examine the pros and cons of closed ocean zones.

The meeting ended after a look at questions relating to the legal designation of Marae Moana.

Guest advisors included Dr Justin Rose, an adjunct senior lecturer at the USP School of Law, who examined the legislative framework.

He was assisted by Jon Day and Darren Cameron, both of whom have decades of experience with the establishment and management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia.

“While there are many differences with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park such as the size of funds available for education and management, there are also many similarities such as the need to ensure multiple groups are involved in the development and review of policies and legislation,” Evans said.

Two further lessons relevant to Marae Moana were the importance of considering the connections across a range of marine habitats from the island lagoons to deep oceanic waters, and the need to consider the cumulative impacts of activities and not just individual pressures in isolation.

“Another useful lesson was that the process to establish a marine park is both time-consuming and complex.”

Bearing in mind the ocean is already stressed by the impacts of climate change and other factors, Evans said the participants recommended that conservation should be the primary objective of Marae Moana.

“Uses such as fishing, mining and tourism can be supported provided they are done in a way that is consistent with the primary objective.” Birdlife International biologists Steve Cranwell and Karen Baird provided advice on what closed oceanic zones mean for seabirds.

The meeting was also attended by government agencies and MPs including Minister of Agriculture Kiriau Turepu, Minister of Finance Mark Brown and MPs Selina Napa and Tama Tuavera.

It was also attended by the National Council of Women, a representative from the Pae Tokerau, the Aronga Mana and Te Ipukarea Society.

Other groups invited included the Cook Islands Fishing Association, the Cook Islands Voyaging Society and Cook Islands Whale Research.” by Rashneel Kumar, Cook Islands News

Category: Marine Park News

Prime Minister Pushes Marine Park Project

Wednesday March 25, 2015 Written by Phillipa Webb Published in Cook Islands News


An urgent meeting between the Prime Minister and Heads of Ministries was held on March 25, 2015 to attempt to push forward the Marae Moana marine park project. 

The ministry heads met with Puna, and Marae Moana representatives at the Muri Beach Club Hotel that morning.

Category: Marine Park News

New Premises and Appointments for TIS

At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) a new board and committee were elected.  Together with recent staff appointments aligned to the Cook Islands Marine Park,

Category: Marine Park News

Cook Islands Marine Park announced

The new Cook Islands Marine Park was announced by the Cook Islands Prime Minister at the opening of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting last month. 

Category: Marine Park News

Marine Park Research Cruise

The boat arrived in Manuae on Tuesday 30th July, and we did 3 dives that day.  On Wednesday we did 2 more dives in the morning, and spent the afternoon exploring the island.  We found a FAD from a large Purse Seine vessel, the Amalia.  

Category: Marine Park News

BIG OCEAN committee IUCN Congress

TIS representatives at the IUCN World Conservation Congress attended a workshop with Big Ocean: A network of the World’s Large Scale Marine Managed Areas last month.

Category: Marine Park News

Rat Eradication in Suwarrow, Cook Islands

Suwarrow Atoll, a necklace of remote Cook Islands land forms, has been renowned for many things over the centuries; a Pacific treasure trove, a hermit’s paradise and a birder’s wonderland.