Statement by Hauraki Gulf Forum Co-Chairs


The Hauraki Gulf is hurting, and something needs to change

The Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana / Te Moananui-ā-Toi is currently in a degraded state, suffering from impacts off the land and at sea. The Gulf is awash with sediment and plastic and has seen a dramatic loss of biodiversity and abundance. It’s hurting, and something needs to change.

“The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act is a key component of the legislative framework advancing integrated management of the Gulf, says Co-Chair Pippa Coom, “but after 22 years it is now timely and necessary to consider how best the Act can be updated and strengthened. This moment was foreseen when the Act was passed back in 2000.”

“The Hauraki Gulf Forum has been undertaking an internal review on whether the 22-year old Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, and the Marine Park and Forum it created, remain fit for purpose. Our goal is simple – to provide the best possible advice to Ministers on whether the Marine Park Act could do with updating or strengthening. Our objective is a healthier Hauraki Gulf for all.”

“And we know that New Zealanders support this, says Co-Chair Tangata Whenua Nicola MacDonald. Our recent public poll showed overwhelming support for doing more to protect and restore the Gulf, with huge numbers also in favour of the use of indigenous practices like rāhui. Everyone knows that the Gulf is struggling.”

“The Hauraki Gulf Forum has been undertaking this present reflection process since May 2021, but the need to update our Act has been discussed for the best part of a decade. We have been listening to feedback from our members and adjusting our draft advice, which remains just that – a draft still under consideration.”

“Once our suggested advocacy position is finalised it will be publicly released next week as part of our agenda papers and discussed publicly at our open meeting on 28 February. Until such time we would caution against believing the misinformation currently in the public domain, which is based on misinterpretation of a much earlier draft.”