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EMR Regions

037.010 EMR Certified LogoEMR empowers schools and communities by providing hands-on experiences in the ocean. Our goal is to raise awareness, understanding and support for marine conservation throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) through the provision of dynamic experiential marine education opportunities.

The national expansion of EMR is based on a non-profit franchise concept. Our EMR endorsed providers are organisations throughout the regions that have been given permission to use our brand. All EMR regional coordinators are fully trained by MTSCT and meet our endorsement criteria. Download our national report 2022

EMR has a team of 27 coordinators based in eight regions (with Otago and Rakiura being  satellite regions) with our regional provider organisations. 



The Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (MTSCT) was established in 2002, as a charitable umbrella and support organisation for the EMR and the Whitebait Connection (WBC), our freshwater sister education programme. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 2020/21 season has been one of the busiest seasons in Northland to date with four coordinators delivering the EMR programme throughout the region. Over 2,600 students from 30 different schools and organisations took part in our snorkel experiences with 15 schools participating in the full EMR programme. These snorkel experiences also involved 546 parents and school helpers that supported the students on land and in the water.

We ran 17 community events over the summer. There were a total of 1,106 participants and 157 volunteers exploring our local marine backyard through these guided snorkel and kayak experiences. In total, EMR involved 4,443 people in marine conservation in Northland this season!

See our 2020-21 season report with all the highlights



Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust provides the umbrella organisation for the EMR programme in Auckland. EMR was first piloted in the Auckland region in 2004 with a school programme at Orakei School. From then Auckland's school prgrammes have continued to expand, with the edition of community events, in order to engage a wider audience in learning about Auckland's marine environments and how to protect them.

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During the 2021/22 season EMR Auckland has continued to expand our opportunities for communities to experi-
ence their local marine areas through snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboarding days. We were able to run these events with the continued support and funding from the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation, Auckland Unlimited,
Waiheke Marine Project, Auckland Council, and numerous local boards. Across the 2021/22 season, EMR’s Auckland crew took 2132 participants and 231 volunteers out to explore Tīkapa Moana - Te Moananui-ā-Toi, the Hauraki Gulf and the Manukau harbour. Through stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling, participants were treated to some excellent ocean conditions and marine life encounters, from whales cruising by the viaduct to tiny nudibranchs hidden amongst the seaweed. Despite covid delays and omicron outbreaks, we were able to run a total of 29 events
across the Auckland Region, including one spotlighting event, two volunteer training days, four stand-up paddleboarding days, 11 kayak days, and 13 snorkel days.

The Auckland EMR team was also able to deliver 7 full Mountains to Sea Programmes and 11 casual snorkel experiences throughout the 2021/22 season. The Auckland team have started to incorporate kayaking into their school programmes as many schools cannot snorkel in the local marine environments. This has proved very popular and is possible thanks to their ongoing partnership with Auckland Sea Kayaks. 


For a full breakdown of what Auckland got up to last season check out our Auckland Annual Report below. 

pdf2022_21_Auckland_Report_V1.pdf13.73 MB24/09/2022, 20:24


If you would like to help support EMR Auckland you can join our volunteer whanau. Sign up as an Auckland volunteer


Check out what we get up to on our Adventure Snorkel events! 


Auckland 2022/23 Events Poster 

Auckland Poster 2022 23 V2 without draft




Provided by The Friends of Te Whanganui a hei Marine reserve,. The Hauraki regional coordinator is Amber Boyd This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Check out some recent media



nga motu logo

EMR was first piloted in Taranaki with St Pius School in 2011. The local provider for EMR in this region is Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society; who work in collaboration with the Department of Conservation. EMR Taranaki had over 100 at their community guided snorkel day last summer

"EMR is unique. It draws publicity and creates the opportunities to highlight the marine environment through the media. Community groups enjoy helping out because their kids are involved and with parents included as a crucial part of EMR from the outset, many become marine advocates too." Mike Tapp, DOC Taranaki.

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Taranaki has a unique coastal environment, that is far more open and exposed than many other parts of New Zealand. There is some recreational and commercial fishing here when weather allows it. There are two local marine reserves, only one of which is accessible in practical terms to students, and then only occasionally. There are opportunities for exploring and studying the intertidal rather than subtidal areas of our local environment. The EMR team was lucky to strike some amazing weather in the marine reserve 

A crucial aim of the programme is to introduce young people to marine conservation through EMR programme, this introduction is evident http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/midweek/7045454/Hooked-on-marine-reserves

In the final stage of the EMR programme it is time for the students to take action. As a way of encouraging the action projects, EMR offers 4 places for Taranaki students and their parents on the annual trip to the Poor Knights, the media associated with this experience made front page of the Taranaki Daily news http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8723340/Marine-visit-an-awesome-experience



The Gisborne region is home to the beautiful Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve (est. 1999)

Contact the regional EMR coordinator Amy-Rose Hardy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Delivery of the programme to the Gisborne Region is under the provider  Nga Mahi Te Taiao http://www.nmtt.co.nz/. The coordinatoirs for EMR in this area are brother and sister duo  Joe Palmer and Amy-Rose Hardy 

In 2019 Room 4 students at Makauri school went snorkeling at Kaiti Beach and then we went to Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve which is at Pouawa. We were interested in comparing the two areas. See there awesome video clip they made below

There is still an urgent need to promote value of the Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve (est. 1999), it's critical for community to experience with their own eyes, as this is essential to achieving marine protection in their own areas and building community support for the existing marine reserve. This marine region is highly utilized for kaimoana gathering by communities and has a huge summer influx of people.



mountians to sea wellingtonThe Wellington Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme is provided by Mountains to Sea Wellington, offering  both Experiencing Marine Reserves and the Whitebait Connection. The team utilise the EMR snorkelling and frameworks to create Love Rimurimu 

You can get in touch with the Wellington team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

EMR was first pilotted in Wellington in 2006. The marine reserves that are snorkelled as part of the programme are Taputeranga and Kapiti Island. They also host Community Guided Snorkel Days at sites such as Whitireia

Follow the Wellington EMR team on Facebook

Taputeranga Marine Reserve celebrated it's 10 aniversary - check out the awesome event

Check out their latest kaitiaki action projects



 Tasman Bay Guardians logoEMR in Nelson is under the local provider of Tasman Bay Guardians https://tasmanbayguardians.org.nz/experiencing-marine-reserves/

Contact the region on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Satelite regions and delivery

Satelite regions and delivery

EMR Otago is a satellite EMR programme region. We offer events such as Community Guided Snorkel Days and school programmes when  funding and coordinator availability allows



Pohatu which was established in 1999 and the Akaroa Marine Reserve which was only finalised in 2014. The reserves provide a fantastic platform for marine education. We were lucky enough to see a jumping thresher shark, hectors dolphins, regenerating paua, blue moki and got to swim with many seals on Canterbury's most stunning coastline. We dont have a programme up and going in this region yet, but our Nelson/Tasman team  delivered a Community Guided Snorkel Day in Kaikoura  and we produced a short clip about the Akaroa Marine Reserve in Canterbury 


South Australia

South Australia 

ems In 2014 the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) was approached by Dr Mike Bossley, a renowned marine biologist and environmental advocate about adopting EMR as an example of a successful community engagement tool in South Australia. In 2014, EMR's founder Samara Nicholas travelled to Adelaide to present the programme. SA's marine reserves are called marine sanctuaries, with permission we agreed to provide the resources and safety management systems to base the programme on that the EMR programme in SA would be called 'Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries'

‘Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries’ (EMS) was formed in June 2015 with Dr Mike Bossley, as its President and Carl Charter as the lead coordinator, programme delivery commenced in 2016.

EMS has developed a number of experiential programmes to enable people to experience both unprotected marine environments and marine park sanctuary zones. The community snorkelling programme involves hundreds of families participating in guided snorkelling tours and learning about the marine environment. Check out their website and facebook page