PICTURED: The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park/ Tikapa Moana/ Te Moananui a Toi. Photo by Shaun Lee.  

Healing the Hauraki Gulf – together

By 2020 edition

Attendees at the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s Making Waves conference in August last year were involved in a collective exercise to develop an umbrella story for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

Nick Sampson (Director of Strategy at Principals Brand Agency) kindly took on the challenge of facilitating this. Conference attendees split into 17 groups and were given a ‘story structure’ to populate, either from their perspective, or the park’s. The drafts were read aloud. The results were inspiring, with many common themes. The exercise itself was a very positive way to end the day. Principals took the stories away and developed the umbrella version.

Executive Officer of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, Alex Rogers, says “It makes sense to articulate the story of the Gulf in a concise, compelling way. It’ll help focus us. We can also apply it through various channels, be that our annual report, the 2020 State of the Environment Report or at our 20th birthday event.” Rogers says, “Our story captures the spirit of what we’re doing and how we can work together to achieve this. Working together is a consistent theme and critical to our success.”

Thanks to the conference attendees, and Nick Sampson… here’s our story…

I am a living, breathing embodiment of mauri.
The life force that connects us all, ki uta ki tai, from the mountains
to the sea.
Look at me on a good day and all seems well.
But the truth is I’ve been hurting.

Shellfish beds decimated.
Fish stocks low.
My seabed suffocating with plastic and sediment.
A mighty ecosystem brought to its knees.

The healing process will take time, hard mahi, and co-operation.
And it will also take more than just aroha.
I need a true, unrelenting partnership.
One of protection and active restoration.
Every one of us has a role to play in this, but we’ll also need to work as one.

Only when my mauri is fully restored will this journey end.
Back where it all began.
A healthy, teeming, abundant taonga, with kaimoana and opportunity for all. Mauri ora!
I can be healed.
I need you all by my side.
Working together, our future looks bright.