Once upon a time the Hauraki seas shimmered with vast schools of snapper, trevally and kingfish, followed by large numbers of gannets, dolphins and whales.
The Hauraki Gulf’s 50 islands were honeycombed with bird burrows and only two generations ago the sky would blacken as millions of seabirds returned to their burrows at dusk.
Forest & Bird wants to return this area back into a thriving biodiversity hotspot.
After three years of research and collaboration, New Zealand’s first marine spatial plan has now been released.
The Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan (Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari) gives us the chance to create a healthy, sustainable and wildlife-rich Hauraki Gulf.
Forest & Bird‘s marine conservation advocate Katrina Goddard has been a key member of the stakeholder working group that put this plan together. She has fought to tackle issues like unsustainable fishing practices, reducing sedimentation, and increasing marine protected areas.
The stakeholder working group was made up of key stakeholders including representatives from tangata whenua, commercial fishing, recreational fishing, farming and land use, ports of Auckland, environmental, aquaculture and community.
Our vision for the Gulf
The vision is to return the Hauraki Gulf to a healthy functioning marine eco-system.
When fully implemented, the Marine Spatial Plan will improve the health, mauri (life force and vitality), and abundance of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park by:
- Restoring depleted fish stocks and restoring benthic (sea floor) habitats that support healthy fisheries.
- Reducing the impacts of sedimentation and other land-based activities on water quality.
- Recognising and protecting cultural values.
- Enhancing the mauri of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
- Protecting representative marine habitats.
- Promoting economic development opportunities for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park while ensuring marine environments are restored.
Executive summary of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan
The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is in serious trouble from many often inter-related causes. This process has been happening for some time and must be addressed. It is in the hands of us all to turn things around, rebuild healthy, functioning ecosystems that support the people and the economy, while restoring the values we hold for the
Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari has produced a marine spatial plan through a collaborative, stakeholder-led, co-governance process, with the involvement of many people who live, work, and play, in and around the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and its catchments. We have worked closely with partner agencies to identify how to turn things around, and to focus on the long-term health and wellbeing of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
The Plan has grown out of information that has been gathered over three years. The aim is to provide the future directions and actions that we all need to take in order to restore a healthy and abundant Hauraki Gulf Marine Park – Tikapa Moana/ Te Moananui ā Toi. It is not a prescriptive document, is non-statutory, and non-binding on agencies. It does, however, provide clear directives for all of us, agencies and communities alike, who have interests in, and responsibilities for, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.