The Government has opened five new marine reserves on the West Coast of the South Island.
The reserves have been put in place to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation.
The reserves have been named – Kahurangi, Punakaiki, Waiau Glacier Coast, Tauparikaka and Hautai.
They are the first marine reserves on the West Coast outside of Fiordland.
They will protect some of the shore and seabed habitats of special marine life such as Hector’s dolphins and blue penguins.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith said the reserves represent a great result for conservation on the West Coast.