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Public invited to help plan Hauraki Gulf future

Public invited to help plan Hauraki Gulf future

People are being asked what they do on the Hauraki Gulf in a survey to go live from Monday 3rd March.

The survey (www.seachange.org.nz/survey) has been developed and will be run by AUT University’s Institute of Applied Ecology New Zealand to provide extra information for SeaChange – Tai Timu Tai Pari, a two year partnership project by Auckland Council, the Department of Conservation, mana whenua, Waikato Regional Council, the Hauraki Gulf Forum and the Ministry for Primary Industries to develop a new spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf.

AUT student Rebecca Jarvis developed the survey and will analyse the results as part of her PhD on conservation and social-ecological systems.

The survey is anonymous and the resulting map of what people do, where and why will be shared with the public, says Jarvis.

“By providing the opportunity for people to have their say, the survey will provide geo-spatial data on how they use and value the Gulf, integrating different social and cultural considerations into spatial planning” she says. “We hope to gather the views of as many people as possible, including those who live outside the region, so we’re calling for everyone to participate.”

Jarvis’ supervisor, AUT’s Dr Barbara Breen says, “The knowledge of the community will be treasured and shared in an appropriate manner.”

The survey will go live as part of Sea Week which will be launched by Auckland mayor Len Brown on Monday 3rdMarch. It will run through to 21st April.

Jarvis built the survey inside DOC’s online mapping tool, SeaSketch, which allows the public to enter data directly in to the software system being used for the marine spatial plan. The technology uses an interactive map, stretching from Kawau Island to Coromandel, on which people can pinpoint areas they use and give feedback on how they use them and what they value about them.

The Hauraki Gulf use and values survey is the first collaborative use of SeaSketch in New Zealand, and the first time the software has been used to crowd-source information from the Kiwi public.

The SeaChange – Tai Timu Tai Pari plan, to be delivered in 2015, will identify solutions to issues in the 1.2 million hectare Hauraki Gulf Marine Park area and what is needed to safeguard its future and secure a healthy, productive and sustainable resource for all users.

“Effective collaboration with stakeholders is vital for SeaChange to successfully deliver a spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf to provide for improved ecological health, increased productivity and sustainable communities,” says Nick Main, Independent Chair of the SeaChange – Tai Timu Tai Pari Stakeholder Working Group.

“This survey gives those with an interest in the Gulf an early opportunity to provide the Stakeholder Working Group with some broad information about what in the Gulf is important to them and how they use this taonga, before we engage in more specific collaborative activities later in the year”.

Ends

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