Make a submission today to help turn the Gulf around!

Kina barren vs. healthy kelp forest

The Hauraki Gulf marine environment is severely depleted. Over decades we’ve extracted too much and, below the waterline, there is a biodiversity crisis going on. 

As a result of removing too many larger snapper and crayfish, kina barrens (like the image above shows) have replaced kelp forests leaving bare rock, across large sections of the gulf.

But it’s different in marine reserves where fish are up to seven times more abundant. 

Marine protection is the only proven way to restore an ecosystem to full health. An intact ecosystem is also more resilient to external pressures such as sedimentation, pollution and the impacts of climate change.

The Government’s proposal is a legacy of a decade’s work from community groups, tangata whenua, NGOs and government agencies.

Marine protection will help us ‘re-mussel the Gulf’:

  • Marine protection will protect important wild mussel stock. These older wild mussels are vital brood stock, increasing larval supply in the Gulf.  If we don’t protect the brood stocks, we lose the seed source!
  • The proposed protections aid Revive Our Gulf projects. We can target areas where we know our work is going to be protected. 
  • Active habitat restoration (what we do) is permitted in the marine protected areas (called High Protection Areas).

Please add your voice and support the proposal. You can submit via this webpage or by emailing your own to [email protected]. Submissions must be received by 5pm on the 28th October 2022.

(You can read our submission here)

More info

The Government is proposing to establish:

  • 12 new High Protections Areas (HPAs) to protect and enhance marine habitats and ecosystems while providing for the customary practices for mana whenua.
  • 5 Seafloor Protection Areas (SPAs) to protect sensitive seafloor habitats.
  • Extending the existing marine reserves at Whanganui-a-Hei and Goat Island. A decision on whether these extensions should be HPAs or whether they should be extended as marine reserves is part of consultation.

This proposal would mean that marine protections in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park go from 0.3% (current) to:

  • 6.2% (if you count the current marine reserves and the proposed HPAs)
  • 11.6% (if you count the current marine reserves, proposed HPAs and seafloor protected areas)

Submissions are now closed (5pm, 28th October). Thanks to the 500+ people who made a submission.

Please note: Submissions are public information and the OIA act applies. DOC may post all or parts of any written submission on its website. They will consider you have consented to its publication, unless clearly stated otherwise in your submission.  To see how we use and store your data securely, and your rights under the Privacy Act, see our Privacy Policy.

  • What your submission said

    Kia ora DOC,

    My name is {your name & org}.  I reside in {suburb, town/city}.

    I support the Revitalising the Gulf, Marine Protection Proposals package to establish new marine and seafloor protection areas in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park / Tīkapa Moana / Te Moananui-ā-Toi (the Gulf). I encourage Ministers to proceed as quickly as possible to implement these much needed changes.

    The health of the Gulf is important to me because {what you do in the Gulf}.

    {your personal comment here}

    We have seen the direct benefit of marine protection at Goat Island / Te Hāwere-a-Maki, Whanganui-ā-Hei and the Poor Knights / Tawhiti Rahi. The proposal to protect a network of small areas in the Gulf will stimulate regeneration in these areas and beyond them.

    The Government MUST act with urgency to set in place all 19 protection zones proposed. Expert opinion and successive State of the Gulf reports indicate that the Gulf is in a biodiversity crisis and close to ecological collapse. It is time to act for the benefit of future generations to improve the state of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

    Nāku noa, nā

    {your name & contact details}

    IMPORTANT: Please remove my contact information (email address & phone number) prior to publishing this submission in the public domain.

This campaign, and the views represented on this page, are endorsed by the Mussel Reef Restoration Trust and supported by independent research from the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Auckland. This campaign is not endorsed by the The Nature Conservancy NZ.