A poll shows 86 percent of Māori support the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, the World Wildlife Fund says.
Conservation group WWF said the Colmar Brunton poll also found 89 percent of all New Zealanders wanted the pristine marine environment to be protected.
The fishing industry opposes the move, with Māori fisheries trust Te Ohu Kaimoana, filing a case against the sanctuary in the High Court in Wellington.
But World Wildlife Fund spokesperson Alex Smith said 48 percent "definitely support" it; 38 percent "probably support" its creation and only 6 percent "definitely oppose" it.
Another 3 percent "probably oppose" it, and 5 percent were "not sure".
Mr Smith said the poll showed the fishing industry was out of touch with what Māori and New Zealanders wanted.