MPA Congress

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and other area-based management tools (OECMs) have been proved to protect the ocean and bring multiple benefits. We believe that through discussion, we can design the best management policies. In 2022, we bid to bring the 6th International MPA Congress (IMPAC6) to Aotearoa NZ. We came second after Sénégal.

After failing to win the bid for IMPAC6 in 2026, we are now going to start building a bid for Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) to host the 7th MPA Congress in 2029 or 2030.

MPAs include marine spatial plans, marine reserves, and also customary tools rāhui, taiāpure and māitaitai. Our goal is to support the emergence of a new joint mātauranga Māori and ecosystem-based framework for the management of Aotearoa’s ocean, with strong protection.

Draft bid document - came second to host IMPAC6

This unsuccessful bid document was prepared with Wellington Events team, Tourism New Zealand and partners. We were strongly supported and believe Sénégal won because they had bid and came second before. We therefore believe this is promising should we decide to make another bid for IMPAC7.

Watch our IMPAC5 Debrief here:

We started working with Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa to form a joint bid to bring the 6th International Marine Protected Area Congress (IMPAC6) to Aotearoa New Zealand.

In February 2023, we attended IMPAC5 and unfortunately arrived second, after Sénégal. However, this formed a solid basis for a future IMPAC7 bid, with our South Pacific partners.

We believe our country is uniquely positioned to discuss and advance marine protection tools, and shine a light across the world. Aotearoa New Zealand as a bicultural nation can offer a different world view, through Indigenous knowledge and Te Ao Māori, so relevant in these times of climate and biodiversity crisis and that can benefit humanity.

Alongside Te Āti Awa, we are working with Tourism New Zealand , Wellington Events and Tākina Convention Centre, to foster dialogue about marine conservation and especially help the ocean, its ecosystems and species. We have also received extended support from nonprofits, societies and companies across the country and the Pacific region.

If you are interested in joining an Organizing Committee and/or to sponsor the event, please let us know. We hope to bring as many relevant stakeholders on board as possible, and crucially whānau, hapū and iwi, and the government.

For more information and to stay up to date, please  write to

Indigenous leaders & partners discussing 30by30 at IMPAC5 in Vancouver, Canada

Our Partners