Guardians Position Description


The Fiordland Marine Guardians is an advisory group established under the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005 (the Act). The Act came into effect on 21 April 2005. Under the Act the Guardians are required to have no fewer than five members and no more than eight members, to be appointed by the Minister for the Environment. At least five members must be ordinarily resident in the Otago or Southland regions, and one member must be nominated by Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu.

The purpose of this position description is to provide information to candidates so that they understand what the job requires and to create a benchmark against which the attributes of candidates can be assessed.

Knowledge and experience

The Fiordland Marine Guardians as a group 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 his or her own right and does not represent any particular organisation or group. He or she will be expected to have the following skills:

  • knowledge, experience and expertise in one or more aspects relevant to the management of the FMA;
  • the ability to work with other members of the Guardians and with agency officials to establish common goals and work cooperatively to achieve them;
  • the ability to network and consult effectively with stakeholders and community groups;
  • an understanding of effective governance and strategy;
  • an understanding of, or interest in developing an understanding of elements of environmental law relevant to the management of the FMA;
  • personal integrity; and
  • the interest and enthusiasm and time needed to contribute effectively to the work of the Fiordland Marine Guardians.

Term of appointment

Members will be appointed for a term not exceeding four years. Terms will be staggered so that the terms of all members will not expire in the same year.


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

(a)   to provide advice and recommendations to management agencies[1] and Ministers[2] 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

(b)   to facilitate and promote the integrated management of the Fiordland Marine Area

(c)   to obtain, share, and monitor information on the state of the Fiordland Marine Area

(d)   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

(e)   to conduct any reviews that they are invited by the Minister for the Environment to conduct; and agree to conduct

(f)    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 in the first few years will be 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.

Expected time commitment

The Guardians meet for a full day (usually in Invercargill) five or six times per year.  Additionally, members need time to attend sub-committee meetings and for activities like assisting with boat shows.


Remuneration is determined by the Act and the Government Fees Framework.  The Guardians are currently paid $308 per day worked and the chair is paid $396 per day.  Actual and reasonable expenses incurred are also reimbursed. 

Due Diligence

Before a person is appointed to the Fiordland Marine Guardians they will be required to:

  • submit a nomination form         
  • provide complete CV information
  • consent in writing to being a member of the Fiordland Marine Guardians
  • advise they are not disqualified from being appointed, or holding office as, a member of the Fiordland Marine Guardians by reason of bankruptcy or other legal incapacity
  • disclose the nature and extent of any financial or other interests they have, or are likely to have, in matters relating to the Fiordland Marine Guardians or Fiordland Marine Area.

[1] The Department of Conservation, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Primary Industries, and the Southland Regional Council

[2] Conservation, Environment, Primary Industries (formerly Biosecurity and Fisheries)