There is a Cable Protection Zone (CPZ) in the Cook Strait where Transpower has both its high-voltage submarine cables and fibre-optic telecommunications cables running along the seabed. Fishing and anchoring are illegal within the Cook Strait CPZ - for any vessel of any size.
Know where you are
If you're heading out somewhere around the Cook Strait area, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with the CPZ zone, as well as ensuring your navigational tools onboard are sufficient.
Click the image below for the CPZ map:
Note: A more detailed map is also available at the bottom of this page. The map contains CPZ coordinates. Refer to charts to ensure you know the exact location of the CPZ - the relevant charts include: NZ 463, NZ 46, NZ 62, NZ 6212 and NZ 615.
What to do if you have caught a cable
If you suspect you have snagged your anchor or fishing equipment on a cable, don't try to free it.
The safest thing to do is to record your position, abandon your gear, and contact us immediately on 0800 THE GRID (0800 843 4743).
Protecting the cables
These cables are vital to New Zealand’s electricity and communications systems, and - by extension - to our economy. The CPZ is in place to ensure this critical piece of national infrastructure is kept safe.
Protecting our cables is also important as it can take many millions of dollars and many months to repair. Simply catching a cable with a fish hook can damage the protective outer layer. Hooking a cable with an anchor or fishing gear can damage a cable to an extent that requires costly repairs.
To raise awareness of this important protection zone, we have signage around the bays and run annual educational campaigns online and in publications.
Patrols and penalties
Fishing and anchoring are illegal within the Cook Strait CPZ for any vessel of any size.
Please note: having any equipment that may be used for fishing or anchoring deployed over the side of a vessel in the CPZ is considered to be a fishing or anchoring operation (whether or not such equipment is fully deployed).
The Cook Strait CPZ is patrolled by a patrol vessel 24/7 (which is contactable at 027 444 2288), with support from a helicopter service, protection officers and Maritime Police.
Infringements carry a maximum penalty of $250,000 under the Submarine Cables and Pipelines Protection Act 1996 (the Submarine Cables Act).
We want to equip everyone with the information to help them know what they can and can’t do when fishing or boating in the Cook Strait.
Please call us on the 0800 843 4743 if you have questions or concerns - we want to help you keep New Zealand’s cables safe.
Further information is available in our Cook Strait CPZ booklet. The booklet is also available under 'Downloads' below.