11 September 2014
Community knowledge helps shape plan for Hauraki Gulf
Feedback gathered from Hauraki Gulf communities – including Auckland coastal communities on the Waitemata Harbour and others on the Coromandel coast – is helping to shape a major marine planning exercise for the Hauraki Gulf. Now, communities have another opportunity to have their say.
The Hauraki Gulf is considered a national taonga, highly valued by people of all cultures and backgrounds. From January to June this year, Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari undertook a series of 27 ‘Listening Posts’ around the Hauraki Gulf.
Some 250 people took part in the Listening Posts, where they were encouraged to remember what the Gulf was like in the past, how they think it has evolved today, and what their wishes are for its future.
“People in these communities have intimate knowledge of the Gulf, its resources and how the marine space works,” said Nick Main, Independent Chairman of the Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) tasked with delivering the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan. “We wanted to make sure their knowledge and ideas were captured very early in the SeaChange – Tai Timu Tai Pari process and used to inform our ongoing work.”
Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari is a ground-breaking initiative designed to secure a healthy, productive and sustainable future for the Hauraki Gulf. The goal of Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari is to develop a marine spatial plan that will achieve a Hauraki Gulf that is vibrant with life and healthy mauri, is increasingly productive and supports healthy and prosperous communities.
The outcome of the project will be the first Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan, completed by September 2015. This plan will ultimately inform how the Hauraki Gulf is shared, used and safeguarded for future generations.
Issues identified during seven Listening Post forums held across Auckland and Waiheke Island included:
- a decline in fish, shellfish and seabird numbers
- sedimentation, water quality and marine rubbish
- threats from exotic marine pests
- maintaining public access from land and water
- pressure on boat ramps and facilities
- support for new marine reserves.
Listening Posts have now been completed. The knowledge and ideas captured have been summarised into a booklet entitled ‘The Voices of the Gulf’ and are being used by the SWG to inform their work. Both this booklet and a full record of the Listening Post discussions, organised by topic and location, are available for download via the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari website.
Following the Listening Posts, the SWG established six issues-based ‘Roundtables’ to break the work of Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari into manageable pieces. Mr Main is encouraging people from Gulf communities to have their say on Roundtable issues through an online survey, open now on http://seachange.org.nz/SWG-in/Roundtables.
Comments collected through the surveys are reported back to the Roundtables each week, to inform their ongoing work. The Roundtables will report back to the Stakeholder Working Group early in 2015.
The project team will be providing information and answering questions at recreational events this summer. The team’s next event is the Auckland On Water Boat Show at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour from 25-28 September.
The Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan, to be produced by September 2015, will balance the needs of Gulf users with the needs of the environment. Mana whenua and key organisations in the Hauraki Gulf area are partners in this project. The plan will not be a legal document, but will guide regulatory authorities and statutory processes.
"Ultimately Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari is all about improving the Gulf – its ecology, its economy, its mauri – and hence sustaining and improving the health and wellbeing of its communities,” said Mr Main. “The Gulf is a national taonga and we all have a role to play in securing it as a healthy, productive and sustainable resource for all users, now and into the future.”
Media contact/further information
www.seachange.org.nz – all project information and latest updates.
Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari ‘fast facts’ document available: please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
|Nick MainSea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari Independent Chairman
Phone: 021 315 851