The proposed marine spatial plan is informed throughout by mana whenua perspectives, values, interests and management approaches.
An objective is to restore, protect and enhance the mauri of the waterbodies of the marine park.
“The purity of water is precious and jealously guarded because the mauri, the vital essence, is the same spiritual stuff as vivifies and enlivens human beings and all other living things. To violate the purity of water is therefore to violate your own essential purity,” the plan notes referencing a Waitangi Tribunal Report.
The plan acknowledges that its preparation coincided with the negotiations taking place for settlements with at least 19 iwi and hapū, destined to change the cultural, economic and political landscape in Hauraki and Tamaki Makaurau.
It contains principles that the integrity and value flowing from current and future Treaty settlements must not be undermined by proposals in the plan and that mana whenua, community and stakeholders must be substantially involved in planning, decision-making and implementation resulting from it.
Among its initiatives is Ahu Moana, a novel mechanism enabling co-management by mana whenua and communities of areas of coastline around Tikapa Moana/ Te Moananui a Toi.
Application of Ahu Moana areas are expected to evolve in response to treaty settlements, the needs and interests of mana whenua and communities, and local pressures on coastal environments around the Gulf.
The full text of the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan is available at www.seachange.org.nz