Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has scotched reports that the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is on ice for the first term of the new Labour-led Government.

In a statement, Ardern said: "Our intention is to work alongside Maori and use our best endeavours to achieve the Kermadec Sanctuary.

"We will be seeking consensus and agreement with our support parties to find a resolution."

Green Party leader James Shaw has also rejected reports that a proposal to establish the huge Kermadec sanctuary has been killed off by a deal between Labour and NZ First.


The proposed 620,000 sq km Kermadec Rangitahua Ocean Sanctuary would cover an area twice the size of our land mass and 50 times the size of our largest national park.

The plans, unveiled two years ago, have been set back by legal challenges and disagreement between parties.

A Colmar Brunton poll earlier this year showed that 93 per cent of New Zealanders want the sanctuary established.

Today Fairfax reported the plan was "dead in the water" and that Jacinda Ardern had apparently agreed a Labour-NZ First government would not take the legislation any further this term.

Fishing industry spokesperson Charles Hufflett told Fairfax the industry had lobbied NZ First to halt the plan.

A Labour spokesman told Fairfax there would be no announcement on final policy until next week.

However, Shaw told TVNZ's Q+A programme today that the report was incorrect.

"It's certainly still on the table but there are a lot of other issues to work through," Shaw said.


"It is a complicated issue but we are still committed to doing our best efforts to making sure that it happens."

Asked if the proposal was in jeopardy, Shaw said: "I don't think so - it is a complicated issue and we absolutely need to work alongside Maori in order to make sure that it happens, but I think we are all committed to making sure that it does."