A groundbreaking new poll (available for download below) shows huge public support for measures to protect and restore the Hauraki Gulf, Tīkapa Moana, Te Moananui-ā-Toi.
The poll of 1020 respondents was conducted by Horizon Research from 27 September to 17 October 2021. Respondents were asked whether the Gulf was important to them, what they valued about it, and whether they supported or opposed the goals of the Hauraki Gulf Forum. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
“As would be expected, the poll confirms that the Hauraki Gulf is highly prized” says Hauraki Gulf Forum Co-Chair Pippa Coom. “81 per cent of respondents said the Gulf was important to them, with its beautiful beaches, natural environment, and water the most valued aspects.”
“At the same time, the results underscore that people have had enough of dredging, trawling and dumping in our big blue backyard” says Hauraki Gulf Forum Tangata Whenua Co-Chair Nicola MacDonald. “It’s time for them to go.” The poll reveals massive support for action to turnaround the Gulf’s degraded environment:
- 84% support planting all waterways leading into the Gulf – just 1% oppose.
- 84% support re-establishment of lost shellfish-beds and reefs – 3% oppose.
- 84% support banning fishing methods that impact the seafloor, like dredging and bottom-trawling – 3% oppose.
- 77% support putting 30% of the Gulf into marine protected areas – 5% oppose.
- 73% support ending marine dumping – 6% oppose.
- 68% support the use of customary practices such as rāhui – 9% oppose.
- 60% support locally managed Ahu Moana areas – 14% oppose.
“Protecting and restoring the Hauraki Gulf is political gold,” says Pippa Coom. “This is the first time we have conducted an independent poll on attitudes to the whole Hauraki Gulf and the numbers are off the charts. To have support upwards of 70-80 per cent and opposition in the single digits represents a massive swing in favour of strong, ambitious action to revitalise the Gulf.”
“No matter which way you break down these numbers, there is huge support for the Forum’s goals” says Nicola MacDonald. “Even those polled who fished in the Gulf supported our 30 per cent marine protection goal by a factor of 7 to 1. This poll should give huge confidence to government, councils, mana whenua, communities and all those looking to effect positive change around Tīkapa Moana, Te Moananui-ā-Toi.”