Maui's dolphin
Dead Hector - courtesy of Davis Apiti
Earthrace Maui's logo
Flyer: So little but not too late - print it out and pass it on

New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC) announced that the number of Maui's dolphins, only found in a few areas of sea around South Island, over the age of one has reached a historical low of between 48-69 individuals, with a mostly likely point estimate of 55. Only around 20 breeding female Maui’s dolphins survive. The number of Hector's, only found in the waters around North Island, is estimated at between 8-10,000.

Watch Pete and Scotty on a Maui's mission

The main cause of death to Maui's and Hector's Dolphins is entanglement in net used in gill net fishing and trawling. In just these past few months, two Hector's and one Maui's have been found dead due to drowning in these nets

New Zealand had an opportunity to do something about this when the IUCN held a vote in 2012 on whether to introduce additional protection for the Maui's. Whilst every other country's delegates voted 'yes', only New Zealand's voted 'no'. As Pete Bethune said at the time, 'I have never been more ashamed to be a kiwi'.

This isn't just an issue for the people of New Zealand however. Wherever we live, we simply cannot allow any species to become extinct in our own lifetime when there is something we can do to stop it.

Public consultation opened and shut but no news yet!
The New Zealand government opened a public consultation in 2012 on whether to offer improved protection to the last 55 adult Maui's dolphins. This process gave everyone the opportunity to have their say by making a formal submission. It was unique chance to have input into the government's decision on how they should be protected. The closing date for submissions was in November last year, but to date there has been no word on what, if any, changes the Government is prepared to make to increase protection.

Support "Lets Face It" for Maui's and Hector's Dolphins
Please join Earthrace Conservation Organization in supporting the "Lets Face It" campaign started by Peggy Oki by joining her in creating a visual petition to help protect Maui's and Hector's dolphins.

We need everyone on board to help reach the goal of 5,500 “Let’s Face It” Visual Petitions☆
If you have already created a Visual Petition (VP), you know how fun & easy it is to do. You can team up with a friend, and its fun for everyone. Events such as festivals, parties, gatherings with co-workers and friends are great places for connecting and collecting many more “Let’s Face It” VPs. So bring your camera and image of Hector’s / Maui’s Dolphins along with you.

Please visit the official "Let's Face It" web page to begin!

Maui’s dolphins – Swimming towards extinction?
Maui's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) joined the international critically endangered list on the 7th of October 2008. Critically Endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for wild species. Critically Endangered means that a species' numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations.

Earthrace considers the immediate and complete protection of Maui's and Hector's dolphins and their habitat as an absolute priority, making it their first official campaign. Many groups, both national and international, are also involved and ECO NZ is working closely with them towards the common goal of giving this species a real chance to survive.

The Solution
ECO NZ is instigating immediate action to confront government and conservation ministers about full protection for Maui’s and Hector's dolphins’ habitat, including a total ban on fishing of any kind to a depth of 100 metres and up to 20 nautical miles from the coast, as well as calling for a halt to the projected placing of hydro turbines in or near the Kaipara harbour. The team continues to campaign to increase awareness at all levels, including involving local fisheries and other stakeholders.

In summary, Earthrace is demanding that DOC and MPI implement a new Hector’s and Maui’s Threat Management Plan to include:

• Exclusion areas for gill netters and trawlers must be immediately introduced in all areas where these species exist in waters up to 100m deep, and up to 20nm from coastline
• The number of fisheries inspectors and fisheries inspections within all marine mammal sanctuaries in New Zealand where both species of critically endangered dolphin exist must be increased
• Fisheries inspections must include those carried out at night.

You can help by supporting Earthrace New Zealand, keeping up to date via and by taking part in all the campaign actions that you can find.

Great website about all the issues here:

Maui’s video:

Earthrace is not alone. Alongside people like Dr Liz Slooten, the foremost authority on Hector's and Maui's dolphins and Associate Professor in the Zoology Department at Otago University, and her team, many other groups and organisations are working for greater protection of Maui's and Hector's include NZ Forest and Bird, Greenpeace NZ, Cetacean Society International, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, NABU International Foundation for Nature, and Project Jonah.

Four petitions to sign if you haven’t already (some may have closed):

1. NABU International - Foundation for Nature




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