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Department of Conservation Approved

  • Who is the Department of Conservation (DOC)

The Department of Conservation is the government agency in New Zealand charged with conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. Ensuring that New Zealanders and tourists gain a wide range of benefits from healthy functioning ecosystems, recreation opportunities, and through living our history.


  • What is their role within Akaroa harbour?

One of the Department of Conservations roles is to ensure the implementation of the Marine Reserve rules, in both Akaroa Habour Reserve and Pohatu Marine Reserve. Rules to protect marine life habitats, population, breeding and conservation status.  Rules such as; no taking, killing or removing any marine life, no feeding of fish and taking care when anchoring to not disturb the ocean floor. They have done this by patrolling the harbour, displaying signage and providing us and our community with information on why marine conservation is necessary. For example, this 2020 summer DOC have launched a nationwide campaign called ‘Love this place’, with an aim to educate all people in New Zealand on how to behave in the outdoors. They also work closely with New Zealand Whale & Dolphin Trust on marine research and Marine PhD students.



  • How do we work with the Department of Conservation?

Under the Department of Conservation, we are a permitted operator meaning we are allowed to take guests out to view the Hector's dolphins and other marine mammals, abiding by strict rules and regulations. We also pay an annual fee to support the Department of Conservation (DOC) in New Zealand, with a percentage of each and every one of our passenger’s fare going towards scientific research and welfare of our Hector's dolphins. 


For more information please visit:


Moratorium on marine mammal permits in Akaroa

Interacting with marine mammals

Sharing our coasts with marine mammals





Written by Sophie Wadley


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