The Akaroa Marine Protection Society has been fighting for a 530-hectare marine reserve in Akaroa Harbour for more than 20 years and made an application for a reserve near Dan Rogers Bluff in 1995.
Conservation Minister declined the society's application in August 2010 on the grounds that it would ''adversely affect recreational fishing''. The society sought judicial review of the decision in the High Court, and yesterday Justice Whata overturned the minister's decision. He found the minister made an error of law in excluding the wider benefits of the reserve when determining whether it would affect existing use of the area for recreational purposes. Conservation Minister was ordered to reconsider the application, taking into account the wider benefits of the proposed reserve, which would protect 12 per cent of Akaroa Harbour from fishing.