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Tiritiri Matangi Marine Reserve Proposal

New Zealand Underwater Association Inc.
Media Release
20 December 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Karli Thomas, Environmental Coordinator
Phone: 09 623 3252
Mobile: 021 646 193

Tiritiri Matangi marine reserve proposal up for public discussion

The New Zealand Underwater Association today released a draft public discussion document on the Tiritiri Matangi marine reserve proposal, and is asking for feedback from the public.

The draft public discussion document is an early stage in the process of applying for a marine reserve. This is produced before a group makes an application to the Minister of Conservation for a marine reserve.

The marine area around Tiritiri Matangi Island and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula contains a diverse range of habitat types, including many that are not protected in other marine reserves in Hauraki Gulf. The discussion document presents several boundary options for the proposed reserve, which the public can comment on.

In New Zealand, marine protection is lagging far behind conservation on land. Thirty percent of our land area is protected, however less than 1 percent of our coastal area is protected in marine reserves.

The government has developed the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, which includes the goal of ten percent of New Zealand's marine area to be protected by the year 2010. The Auckland Regional Council has a similar goal of ten percent of the Auckland coastal marine area in marine reserves.

"The New Zealand Underwater Association supports those goals, and we want to do our part to help achieve them. The Tiritiri Matangi marine reserve proposal is part of our effort", says Jeroen Jongejans, President of the New Zealand Underwater Association.



"The whole of the Hauraki Gulf, including this area, is widely used and valued by the public for many different reasons. This means that public discussion and consultation is an important part of developing this marine reserve proposal."

The New Zealand Underwater Association has produced this discussion document to give all interested people a chance to have their say about the proposal and to make suggestions.

Tangata whenua, local councils, government departments and other stakeholder groups are being consulted by the New Zealand Underwater Association about their uses of the area and views on the proposal.

"A marine reserve in this area is a natural extension to the conservation of Tiritiri Matangi Island, and Shakespear Park on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula", says Karli Thomas, the New Zealand Underwater Association's Environmental Coordinator.

"A marine reserve in this area would be particularly useful for education and research", Ms Thomas says.

Tiritiri Matangi Island is an open scientific sanctuary, and a marine reserve would allow scientists to study the marine environment as well as species on land. Tiritiri Matangi Island and Shakespear Regional Park are also important for education, and a marine reserve would allow school groups to experience the natural abundance of the sea.

ENDS

FURTHER INFORMATION

Tiritiri Matangi Marine Reserve: draft proposal for public discussion

The document is available in PDF format from the New Zealand Underwater Association's website, www.nzunderwater.org.nz (Environmental: Tiritiri Matangi) or for a hard copy, please phone Karli Thomas on (09) 623 3252 or email environment@nzunderwater.org.nz.

Statement from Prof. David Bellamy, 5 December 2002:

TIRITIRI MATANGI MARINE RESERVE PROPOSAL

Tiritiri Matangi Island is talked about across the world of conservation and nature based tourism as the island that, through community effort, helped save the takahe. I can remember working with school groups to replant the island with native vegetation so that the takahe and other New Zealand birds and wildlife could thrive into the future.

The next logical step is to establish the proposed marine reserve a soon as possible. With the shining examples of Poor Knights Islands and Leigh in New Zealand, and the recent gazetting of a whole series of no-take marine reserves covering over 5% of the Victorian coastline in Australia, the time is ripe to complete Auckland's premiere example of island conservation.

I urge you to give your support to the Tiritiri Matangi marine reserve proposal.

Thank you for caring,

Prof. David J. Bellamy, BSc., PhD., DSc., DUniv., OBE, Hon FLS, FI Biol.

New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy:

www.biodiv.govt.nz Theme 3: Objective 3.6 Action (b) "Achieve a target of protecting 10 percent of New Zealand's marine environment by 2010 in view of establishing a network of representative protected marine areas."

Auckland Regional Policy Statement:

www.arc.govt.nz (about ARC: Publications: Policy Documents) Section 7.4.8 Method 4 "As a goal the ARC will support a move towards 10% of the area of representative marine habitat types in the Auckland CMA being fully protected marine reserves."

Tiritiri Matangi Island:

Department of Conservation Information www.doc.govt.nz (explore: Auckland: Tiritiri Matangi Island); Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Inc. www.123.co.nz/tiri

Shakespear Park:

Auckland Regional Council information www.arc.govt.nz (Parks: Northern Parks: Shakespear)

Photographs available for publication:

We have a variety of underwater and above water images from this area available to the press.

Marine Reserves of the Hauraki Gulf - the beginnings of a network:

Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) Marine Reserve - 500 ha in the upper Waitemata Harbour, est. 1995.

Long Bay - Okura Marine Reserve - 980 ha at Long Bay, on the east coast north of Auckland, est. 1995.

Cape Rodney - Okakari Point Marine Reserve - (usually called Goat Island or Leigh) 547 ha near Leigh, est. 1975.

Te Whanganui-a-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula is also within the boundary of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. 840 ha est. 1992.

Together these marine reserves cover 0.25% of the Hauraki Gulf.

ENDS


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