Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens

Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones.

“There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine biodiversity,” said Mr Jones.

“I have instructed my officials to accelerate and prioritise this work to address these pressing concerns.”

There are several pieces of work underway to address kina barrens, including: 

  • A two-year fisheries closure and fishing method prohibition at Tutukaka Harbour, Ngunguru Bay, Ngunguru River, Horahora River, and surrounding areas to help increase the abundance of rock lobster, a predator of kina.
  • Options for rule changes that will better enable iwi and communities to remove kina from kina barren areas. Two new types of permits are being proposed to enable improved and more efficient management of kina barren areas.
  • Consideration of an increase of the recreational bag limit for kina, and the potential for this to contribute as part of the overall package of measures to manage kina barrens. This option will go through public consultation in the coming months.
  • A scientific programme to deepen our understanding of kina barrens and their impacts, and inform evidence-based decision making. This includes mapping to better understand the specific nature and extent of kina barren areas.

Hui were held on 23 and 24 January with iwi, hapu, and tangata kaitiaki representatives to discuss ongoing initiatives and management tools that are available to reduce the spread and extent of kina barrens.

“There’s a desire for tools that empower tangata whenua to manage kina and kina barrens within their own rohe, and community groups have also expressed an interest in getting behind this important work.

“What I would like to see is locals getting involved in removing unwanted kina, without inadvertently affecting healthy kina populations. There is an opportunity here for a new generation of people to learn about their local marine ecosystem and take part in restoring and preserving its ongoing health.”