A Wellington region iwi says research on a long term blanket ban on fishing shows it can dramatically increase stocks in a short time.
The latest assessment by Victoria University shows the number of juvenile paua at Pukerua Bay near Wellington has increased five-fold since the area was closed five years ago.
The area is closed to both commercial and recreational harvest and a review on the status of the area is expected next year.
Tangata whenua including local iwi Ngati Toa also put a voluntary rahui (ban) on Pukerua Bay for customary gathering.
Ngati Toa chair Taku Parai says while the latest stock assessment is great news, the danger is that the area will be targeted by poachers and a continued rahui is needed to ensure some level of policing of the area.