On Friday I released a new State of our Gulf assessment, our latest snapshot of the wellbeing of Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
It runs a ruler across 11 key environmental indicators and highlights the significant challenges we face. It measures how well we are doing in response to these now well-known issues.
The answer is not well enough: our appetite for growth, resources and development is outstripping willingness to integrate management and invest in infrastructure that appropriately protects and enhances environmental quality.
The report bookends a parallel enquiry into how we might respond to the value and wellbeing provided by the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
While our 2011 report catalysed investment in Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari, the latest shows how the process created – for the first time – an integrated plan backed by knowledge and commitment from mana whenua and a broad range of stakeholders.
The plan’s recommendations have received scant acknowledgement from central government, while business as usual responses remain bogged down by complexity, inertia, underinvestment and conflicted agendas.
The successes documented in the new State of our Gulf report have come through increased transparency around issues and initiatives led by mana whenua, sector and community groups.
Deputy Chair Liane Ngamane and I set out 10 strategic issues needing political attention in a foreword to the report.
The high expectations of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park legislation in 2000 are yet to be realised. It’s time to put serious shoulder and new investment behind its intended work.
Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum