New Zealand: Hauraki Gulf

Sea change – tai timu tai pari Hauraki Gulf marine spatial plan

The Hauraki Gulf is an incredible natural environment and special place highly valued by all.  However, population growth in the Auckland region alone is estimated to increase from 1.6 million people today to 2.5 million people by 2041. Therefore, the Hauraki Gulf is under significant pressures and its communities have seen a marked decline in the mauri (life force and vitality), environmental quality and abundance of resources.  The Sea Change project was established in 2013 to identify actions to reverse this decline.

Sea Change has produced a marine spatial plan through a collaborative, stakeholder-led, co-governance process, with the involvement of many people that live, work, and play, in and around the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and its catchments. The project team worked closely with partner agencies to identify how to turn things around, and to focus on the long-term health and well-being of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.  Agencies involved in the non-statutory plan included the Auckland Council, the Waikato Regional Council, local councils, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The plan grew out of information that has been gathered over three years. The goal was to provide the future directions and actions that were needed to take to restore a healthy and abundant Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The plan is not a prescriptive document, is non-statutory, and non-binding on agencies. It does, however, provide clear directives for agencies and communities that have interests in, and responsibilities for, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

When fully implemented, the marine spatial plan will improve the health, mauri, and abundance of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park by:

  • Restoring depleted fish stocks and restoring benthic 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; and
  • Promoting economic development opportunities for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park while ensuring marine environments are restored.

The non-statutory marine spatial plan was publicly released in early December 2016.

Updates will be posted on this website as MSP activities in New Zealand develop.

Last updated: August 2018
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