Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Political action needed to restore life-supporting capacity

Political action needed to restore life-supporting capacity of the Hauraki Gulf

The ‘State of our Gulf’ report released today by the Hauraki Gulf Forum highlights ongoing degradation in the Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana and states that the most profound recent change to pressures facing the Hauraki Gulf is a surge in population.

The declining state of the Gulf

The report outlines significant key issues affecting the Hauraki Gulf including:

• Water quality degradation and ecosystem decline as a consequence of development in Gulf catchments.

• The poor state of some fish stocks particularly tāmure (snapper) and rock lobster populations.

• Strong public support for more protected marine areas requires corresponding stronger political priority to progress and implement new legislation.

• ‘Ocean sprawl’ illustrated by 3,290 ha of marine space zoned or consented for mussel, oyster and fish farms by 2014 and an additional 505ha consented or applied for since.

• The New Zealand fairy tern, New Zealand storm petrel, black petrel and flesh-footed shearwater under threat, the last two mainly because of bycatch from snapper longline fishery.

The key issue for the Gulf is the current pace of change outstripping the ability of current management frameworks to respond effectively. An ongoing constraint is the lack of an accepted, holistic and integrated plan across agencies, mana whenua and users. In addition, the report describes constraints like technical complexity, legislative change and lack of funding as significant barriers to improving agency responses.

The Report recognises Mana Whenua as a Treaty partner, kaitiaki and leaders in the integrated management of Tīkapa Moana / Te Moananui a Toi and highlights the step change that has occurred because of Treaty settlements within its catchment; the new instruments emerging or available as a result, such as co- governance; and the tensions and barriers that need to be considered in any
movement forward.

Improvements

Some issues previously identified by the Forum have shown some progress. However, these small gains could easily be undone by new activities, or by the emerging effects of climate change.

• Nutrient loads from the Hauraki Plains and heavy metal concentrations in Auckland’s urban estuaries remain elevated but show signs of improvement.

• The implementation of a voluntary transit protocol to reduce speed restrictions and encourage safe passage through the Gulf has brightened the outlook for Bryde’s whales (the Gulf contains one of the few known resident populations in the world).

• Biodiversity gains are being made on the islands of the Gulf with Ahuahu / Great Mercury island becoming the 47th island in the Gulf to be mammalian pest free.

Required Action

Legislative conflicts including between the Fisheries Act and Resource Management Act make decision making challenging. The Chairperson of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, Mayor John Tregidga calls for “Urgent attention by the Minister of Conservation to support and act upon a renewed, integrated programme of action across government agencies and partners”.

What is the Hauraki Gulf Forum?

The Hauraki Gulf Forum is a statutory body charged with the promotion and facilitation of integrated management and the protection and enhancement of the Hauraki Gulf.

The Forum has representation on behalf of the Ministers for Conservation, Primary Industries and Māori Affairs, elected representatives from Auckland Council (including Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island Local Boards), Waikato Regional Council, the Waikato, Hauraki Thames-Coromandel and Matamata-Piako District Councils, and representatives of the tāngata whenua of the Hauraki Gulf and its islands.

The Forum is required to present triennial reports regarding the State of the Gulf, and this is the fifth such report.

The State of our Gulf 2017 report is available at www.haurakigulfforum.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>

ALSO:

Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>

ALSO:

Sinking Cap: Auctions, Permanent Forests, Added To ETS

The move to auctions, signalled in an August consultation paper, will help put a cap on the number of emission units available over time. Annual announcements, looking forward five years, will help provide certainty for scheme participants, she said. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels