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Tauranga Harbour recreation to be surveyed

Tauranga Harbour recreation to be surveyed

For immediate release: Monday 19 December 2011

Boating, swimming, fishing, jet-skiing – what do you use Tauranga Harbour for? This is what the Bay of Plenty Regional Council will find out in the New Year through a comprehensive survey of recreation users of Tauranga Harbour.

From 1 January to 3 January 2011, recreation studies students will be stationed at popular spots around the Tauranga Harbour to observe and record recreational use, whether it is in vessels, at the beach, or walking around parts of the harbour.

The survey is one of the actions from the Tauranga Harbour Recreation Strategy that was prepared in partnership with Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council in 2008 to manage recreational use of Tauranga Moana.

Tauranga Harbour is valued for recreation and attracts local people and visitors from the rest of the region, other parts of New Zealand and internationally.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Group Manager Water Management Eddie Grogan said the Tauranga Harbour Recreation Strategy acknowledged that the recreation opportunities available on and around the harbour were a significant attraction for people to live in and visit the western Bay of Plenty.

“The qualities of the leisure and recreation opportunities and the physical environment are two of the top reasons why people move to this area, but currently there are no consistent baseline measures to tell us who is using the harbour, what they’re using it for and how often,” Mr Grogan said.

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“The harbour is not only important for recreation; it underpins our way of life in the western Bay of Plenty and supports the social and economic wellbeing of the community.”

Mr Grogan said a number people planned day trips and holidays around recreational activities on the harbour, which was important for the tourism sector and for the area’s economic growth and development.

“There is also a thriving events industry sustained by harbour recreation which features signature events involving triathlons, waka ama, and others including the Ocean Swim Series,” said Mr Grogan.

The survey will also provide an opportunity to learn more about issues raised during the consultation for the Tauranga Harbour Recreation Strategy including pressures at boat ramps, growing numbers of activities including kite surfing and potential conflicts between different harbour users including motorised and non-motorised users.

The recreation studies students will be carrying out the clipboard surveys by request at these popular Tauranga Harbour access points:
• Anzac Bay;
• Tanners Point;
• Ongare-Kauri Point;
• Pahoia Reserve;
• Omokoroa Domain;
• Fergusson Park;
• Sulphur Point; and
• Pilot Bay.

ENDS

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