New Zealand Ocean Exploration Centre

Our Vision
The name of the new Centre reflects its focus on all New Zealand’s marine environments, that stretch from sub-tropical coral reefs to sub-antarctic ice sheets, and the concept that we’re all connected and dependent on one ocean-Te Moana.

The OEC will be far more than an aquarium.  It'll be a portal into Cook Strait's marine habitats right on our doorstep and its unique marine life, many of which are found nowhere else.  It will also be a gateway to the natural beauty of Wellington's wild South Coast.

OEC Goals
1. To operate a world-class, self-supporting, public Marine Education facility;
We'll expand our current marine education programmes and offer many more opportunities for visitors to engage in both formal and informal marine education experiences both within and outside the Centre.

2. To be the leading national centre for the protection of marine ecosystems and wildlife;
We'll advocate for local, regional, national and international policies that conserve and restore threatened marine wildlife and ecosystems within New Zealand’s territorial waters and the wider South Pacific.  
 
3. To achieve the inclusion of an adequate, and scientifically sound, proportion of New Zealand’s EEZ into Marine Protected Areas to ensure the long-term sustainability of the entire EEZ’s ecosystems by 2020; 
The Centre will lead and support efforts to develop and promote achievable goals for the wise stewardship of all our marine resources, and the creation of a new network of marine protected areas and marine reserves in New Zealand’s coastal and vast EEZ offshore waters.

OEC Objectives
• To add a new, self-supporting, commissionable, nature-based visitor attraction to New Zealand’s existing environmentally-focussed tourism products.
• To allow more people, especially children, to learn about and appreciate New Zealand’s coastal and marine environments in order to foster their long-term, wise stewardship in future generations.
• To inspire commitment to take action in our daily lives to preserve the health of our ocean and its resources.
• To deliver significant, measurable educational, economic, recreational, cultural, and social benefits for Wellington region and New Zealand residents. 
• To provide a focal point for regional and national marine stewardship policies, and assume leadership in marine education and advocacy.
• To be a forum where all marine users will be able to present and debate their views to an interested public through temporary exhibits, speaker presentations, seminars and a web portal.
• The OEC will be a neutral, impartial venue overseen by the Trust's Marine Stewardship Advisory Group whose multi-interest members are dedicated to identifying innovative solutions to national and global issues affecting our marine environments and their resources. 

This is an exciting project for all New Zealanders to be involved in. For information on how you can help make the OEC a reality click here.