In 1992 Te Whanganui-A-Hei became the first marine reserve on the Coromandel Peninsula. The Friends of Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve Trust was established in 2010, primarily to raise funds for the marine reserve. Members of the Trust are made up of two representatives appointed by Ngati Hei, one from the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve Committee and three representatives from the community.
A key focus for the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve Trust is to raise funds to develop the educational potential of the reserve. The Trust is able to help with the funding needed to deliver The Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust’s programme Experiencing Marine Reserves free to local area schools. The focus of the EMR programme (www.emr.org.nz) is to provide quality education opportunities, increasing awareness, and encouraging action and support for marine conservation in New Zealand.