Maui dolphin

Will you call on the Prime Minister to save Māui dolphins?


Māui dolphins are priceless - but at risk of extinction

Our beautiful, unique Māui dolphins animals are the world's smallest and rarest marine dolphins, and they only live here in New Zealand. But they could soon disappear forever – unless we act now.

For as little as $26 million, the new government can remove the biggest threats to Māui dolphins and help fishers transition to dolphin-friendly methods. We think Māui dolphins are priceless! Don't you?

Your voice can help save Māui dolphins

The science shows that fishing is the biggest threat to Māui dolphins. Set netting (also known as gillnetting) and conventional trawling have pushed Māui dolphins to the brink of extinction.

Less than 30% of Māui dolphin habitat  is currently protected from set netting,  and less than 8% is protected from set netting and conventional trawling. You can help change that.

Our new government can save the Māui dolphins and support fishing communities

Recent research by Business Economic Research Limited (BERL) has estimated that it would only cost $26 to $40 million dollars (which is less than three years of the ministerial travel budget) to support fishing communities to transition to dolphin-safe fishing methods.

Now is a critical time

Together, it's possible to save Māui dolphins from the biggest threat they face, while helping people and communities who depend on fishing to preserve their way of life. But we need government to act now. 

What we're calling for

With your help, WWF wants the government to end net fishing across Māui habitat from Maunganui Bluff to Whanganui River mouth to give these little Kiwi battlers a chance to survive.

Fishing with nets is the biggest threat to their survival. Scientists estimate that more than 95% of unnatural Māui deaths are caused by entanglement and drowning in set net or trawl fishing.

Remember - the more you personalise your message, the more impact it will have!

To have even more impact, tweet the Prime Minister and tell her that saving dolphins is priceless, or send an email!

Want to have even more impact? Write your own personal letter to the Prime Minister, to Minister of Conservation, to Minister of Primary Industries, or to your local MP. That's the very best way of making your voice heard.

To send a physical letter to a Member of Parliament, address it to: [insert MP name], Freepost Parliament, Private Bag 18 888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160 (Writing to MPs is free - you don't even need a stamp!)

© Weaver Creative / WWF-New Zealand


A recent poll, conducted by respected opinion research company Colmar Brunton, asked if people think the government should financially assist fishers to transition to dolphin-safe fishing methods in Māui dolphin habitat. 75% said yes, 13% said no, 12% were unsure.

This confirms that the vast majority of New Zealanders want dolphin-safe fishing in Māui dolphin habitat. It shows very strong public support for the government to step in and help people and communities who depend on fishing to make the transition.

©: Silvia Scali

Want to know more about Māui dolphins and our work to save them?

Working to persuade government is just one of the things we're doing to try to save these incredible animals. 

Learn more