The Hauraki Gulf marine environment is in crisis owing in part to decades of over-extraction and the impact of land-based activities. But, there is something we can do about it.
By protecting special areas of the Hauraki Gulf we can reverse the decline. On August 30th, all parties in our Government unanimously supported the first reading of the Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana Marine Protection Bill. This draft bill is now out for consultation. It is our final opportunity to influence the shape of this protection, and importantly, express public support for it to the new Government.
Submissions to the Environment Select Committee closed 5pm on the 1st of December.
This bill forms part of the Government’s Revitalising the Gulf strategy, a response to a decades worth of work from community groups, iwi, NGOs and government agencies, starting with the Seachange Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan (2013).
The science is clear. 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. It will also make the Gulf more resilient to external pressures such as sedimentation, pollution, and the impacts of climate change.
In October last year, we requested your support in DOC’s consultation on these protections. Over 500 people made their voices heard in submissions through the Revive Our Gulf website. Now we’re asking you to do it again, one final time, to express your support of the draft legislation. Public support is essential to keeping this process moving.
This is a once in a generation opportunity. Let’s act now to make a difference for the Hauraki Gulf with:
- 12 new High Protection 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.
- 2 extensions to the existing Marine Reserves at Whanganui-a-Hei and Goat Island.
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)
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.