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Punakaiki Marine Reserve


Dec 17, 2021

Punakaiki Marine Reserve is a marine reserve administered by the Department of Conservation. The reserve includes the area of sea surrounding the pancake rocks and blowholes at Dolomite Point, at Punakaiki on the West Coast Region of New Zealand’s South Island. It also includes most of the coastline on the western edge of Paparoa National Park.[1]

Punakaiki Marine Reserve

Punakaiki Marine Reserve coastline

Location Punakaiki, Buller District, New Zealand

42.113933°S 171.3228833°E / -42.113933; 171.3228833

Area 3,520 hectares (8,700 acres)
Established 2014
Governing body Department of Conservation

The reserve covers an area of 3,520 hectares (8,700 acres) and was established in 2014.[2][3]

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Punakaiki Marine Reserve extends approximately 10.8 kilometres (6.7 mi) from Perpendicular Point south to Maher Swamp, and about 3.7 kilometres (2.3 mi) offshore. It includes natural coastlines and catchments within Paparoa National Park. The reserve does not include two inshore areas around the Pororari River beach and Punakaiki River beach.[4]

Within the reserve there are natural examples of six habitat types, including rocky, gravel and cobble shore habitats reaching out to sandy seabed areas about 20 metres (66 ft).[4][5] The array of bird and marine life includes tāiko, weka, fur seal and the Hector’s dolphin.[6]Little blue penguins also nest in the area.[7]

Several species within the reserve are under potential threat, including waterfowl and indigenous waders, such as white-fronted tern, Westland petrel, sooty shearwater, fairy prion and banded dotterel, as well as red-billed gulls.[7]

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