Northland - Pacific Island archepelago
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The Kermadec archipelago contains the northernmost land and territorial seas in New Zealand. Raoul Island (Rangitahua) is by far the largest (2900 ha) of the 15 islands, which are spread as four clusters in a line over 250 km of the Pacific Ocean (Latitude 29º - 32º S and Longitude 177º - 179º W), about 1100 km north-east of the Northland coast. The site for immediate consideration consists of:
In the longer term, extensions to the site SSW along the Kermadec Ridge to include a representative group of seamounts and the active marine volcano, White Island will be considered.
Both reserves are among the most strictly protected in New Zealand. The marine reserve encompasses a very wide range of underwater landforms and marine ecosystems. Past human occupation has modified the indigenous flora and fauna of the islands but in the last 15 years impressive rehabilitation progress has been made in the removal of weeds and pests from all the affected islands in the group.