Haturu – Little Barrier Island

  PICTURED: Haturu – Little Barrier Island  

John’s Perspective

By . Photography by Shaun Lee. 2016 september

Big ambition

Scanning the content of this issue it is striking how many collaborative and co-governance processes are coming to fruition or being initiated.

The Department of Conservation has just released a draft Conservation Management Plan for Te Hauturu-ō-Toi/Little Barrier Island Nature Reserve created alongside Ngāti Manuhiri.

The Snapper 1 Strategy Group has agreed measures to rebuild the region’s snapper stock to a biomass target of 40% of the unfished state by 2040, while in the neighbouring Waikato and Waipa catchment a Collaborative Stakeholder Group has drafted a plan to make the rivers safe for swimming and food gathering in 80 years.

These are wickedly difficult challenges and the commitment and innovation required to resolve them is not easy.

The Stakeholder Working Group created three years ago to address challenges facing the Gulf will present its Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan to sponsoring agencies shortly, before a public launch later in the year.

The Government has announced new challenges in the form of a public-private partnership to make New Zealand predator free by 2050 and a new Biodiversity Forum has been tasked with improving native biodiversity on private land.

On one hand it is easy to point out the challenges we face. The Forum has done that very effectively through its triennial State of our Gulf assessments. With the other it is harder to bind people into generating an adequately scaled and effective response.

But this is what we must do if we are to succeed in our role of protecting and enhancing the Gulf environment.

Our seminar this year Do the Right Thing looks to tease out the many strands required on that journey.

It is great to see the philanthropic sector coming on board to support the step changes that will be necessary.

Foundation North’s Gulf Innovation Fund Together (GIFT) will provide $1 million for the next five years to incentivise new ideas and prototypes. The Nature Conservancy will share its knowledge of ecological restoration and resource mobilisation with projects here, while the Tindall Foundation and the Next Foundation are already big and strategic players in the Gulf.

The next term of the Forum will be an exciting one as it looks to build on success and strengthen its leadership for changing times.