Cook Strait CPZ (Cable Protection Zone)

There is a Cable Protection Zone (CPZ) in Cook Strait, where Transpower’s submarine power and fibre-optic telecommunications cables lie on the seabed.

FOR ANY VESSEL OF ANY SIZE, FISHING AND ANCHORING ARE ILLEGAL WITHIN THE CPZ. 

Know where you are

We encourage you to take time and familiarise themselves with the CPZ protection zone prohibition before fishing in the Cook Strait, and also ensure that the navigational tools onboard are sufficient. If you are going to be in or near the CPZ, 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 best and safest thing to do is to record your position, abandon your gear and get in touch with 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 to our economy. The CPZ is in place to ensure that this critical piece of national infrastructure is kept safe.

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). 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 such an extent that costly repairs are required – repairs in the millions of dollars.

The Cook Strait CPZ is patrolled by patrol vessel (0274442288) and helicopter, 24/7 with protection officers and Maritime Police. Protecting our cables is important to us, as they can take many millions of dollars and many months to repair. Offenders run a high risk of being caught – infringement carries a maximum penalty of $250,000  under the Submarine Cables and Pipelines Protection Act 1996 (the Submarine Cables Act).

Further information

Call us if you’ve got questions - we want to help you keep New Zealand’s lines and cables safe!

We’re keen to help make sure you know what you can and can’t do when fishing or boating in the Cook Strait. Call us if you’re unsure of the CPZ boundaries.

We provide education, signage and other campaigns to help raise awareness about the CPZ. Our brochure is here.

Call 0800 THE GRID (0800 843 4743) anytime – this is a 24/7 service.