Become a Guardian

This page provides information on the role of the Fiordland Marine Guardians and how to become a Guardian.


Between five and eight Guardians are appointed to serve at any one time. At least five members must live in Otago or Southland and one member must be nominated by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.


Guardians are appointed for up to 4 years. Ideally, their terms will be staggered so they do not all expire in the same year.

The Minister for the Environment appoints members of the Guardians as per the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005. 

Expected time commitment

We meet for a full day five or six times a year, usually in Invercargill. Guardians should also allow time to attend sub-committee meetings and for other activities (such as helping with boat shows).


Guardians are paid $308 per day worked and the Chair is paid $396 per day. Actual and reasonable expenses are reimbursed. 

Knowledge and experience

As a group, the Fiordland Marine Guardians must have a balanced mix of knowledge and experience in relation to the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area (FMA).

Each member is appointed in their own right and does not represent any particular organisation or group. 

Knowledge and skills in some or all of the following areas is desirable: 

  • an understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Tiriti based partnerships, and tikanga Māori 

  • knowledge of the Guardians’ vision and philosophy and an ability to demonstrate behaviours aligned to these principles 

  • demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for the role and the FMA, and the necessary time to contribute effectively to the work of the Guardians 

  • relevant (recent and ongoing) experience and knowledge of coastal Fiordland 

  • experience, knowledge and perspective to complement those of the current Guardians (current Guardians are profiled here

  • knowledge, experience and/or expertise in one or more aspects of the legislation and policy instruments relevant to managing the FMA (eg, familiarity with the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005, fisheries, environmental and/or conservation legislation, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, regional plans) 

  • demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with others from diverse backgrounds 

  • confidence and experience in effective communications and engagement 

  • a wide network of people that have an interest in the FMA 

  • experience in governance and/or an understanding of what governance is and how this is applied through the Fiordland Marine Guardians model 

  • demonstrated behaviours that suggest they have high personal integrity 

  • experience chairing meetings or in related leadership roles.  


Under Section 13 of the Act, the Guardians have the following functions:

  1. to provide advice and recommendations to management agencies and Ministers to achieve the purpose of the Act. This will include:
    • advice and recommendations on the effectiveness of management measures in the Fiordland Marine Area
    • advice and recommendations on activities occurring outside the Fiordland Marine Area if those activities impact, or are likely to impact, on the Fiordland Marine Area
    • advice and recommendations on likely threats to the Fiordland Marine Area
  2. to facilitate and promote the integrated management of the Fiordland Marine Area
  3. to obtain, share, and monitor information on the state of the Fiordland Marine Area
  4. to assist management agencies to:
    • prepare and disseminate information about the Fiordland Marine Area, including educational information
    • monitor the state of the marine environment and biological diversity in the Fiordland Marine Area
    • plan for the enforcement of, and compliance with, the management of the Fiordland Marine Area
  5. to conduct any reviews that they are invited by the Minister for the Environment to conduct; and agree to conduct
  6. to perform any other functions given to the Fiordland Marine Guardians under the Act.

Advice and recommendations may be given on the Guardians' own initiative or at the request of management agencies or Ministers.

A key role of the Guardians and agencies is the development and implementation of the non-statutory elements of the overall package approved by the Government, including strategies covering monitoring, compliance and enforcement, biosecurity and public information.

Due diligence

Before a person is appointed as a Guardian they are required to:

  • provide a complete CV
  • consent in writing to being a Guardian
  • advise they are not disqualified from being appointed or holding office as a Guardian
  • disclose the nature and extent of the interests they have, or are likely to have, in relation to the Fiordland Marine Area or Fiordland Marine Guardians.

Please contact us at if you are interested in finding out more or becoming a Guardian.