Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Hauraki Gulf value not sufficiently recognised

Embargoed until 3.30 pm, Tuesday 9 August

Hauraki Gulf value not sufficiently recognised

Auckland and Waikato political leaders have called for better accounting of the services provided by the environment, following the release of a state of the Hauraki Gulf report today.

Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga, who chairs the Hauraki Gulf Forum, said international studies show the benefit of maintaining healthy environments outweighs short term economic use by five to one.

“Yet, our latest state of the environment report shows most environmental indicators on either negative trends or remaining at levels which are indicative of poor environmental conditions.”

Auckland Councillor Chris Fletcher, the Deputy Chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, said “The economic value from the Leigh marine reserve, the thousands of boaties and fishers out on the Gulf each weekend, and the community-led restoration of islands like Tiritri Matangi and Motutapu, show there are great returns from enhancement, an abundance of marine life and uncluttered natural space.”

The report notes that:

• Current fisheries management rules keep stocks of fish such as snapper and crayfish well below natural levels. Having about three quarters of potential fish numbers missing from the system, particularly large individuals, has altered other plant and animal life around the Gulf. Fishing methods, particularly bottom trawling used in 30-40 percent of commercial catch, are likely to cause substantial reductions in species and habitat diversity.
• Toxic metals and organic contaminants are causing localised effects in Auckland estuaries and a number of metal contaminants also exceed sediment guidelines in the southern Firth of Thames.
• The Waihou and Piako rivers dominate nutrient loads to the Gulf with 70 percent originating from diffuse agricultural sources. The 1 percent per annum increase in nitrogen in rivers is consistent with increasing dairy cow numbers and uses of fertiliser and supplementary feeds.
• Muddy sediment rates are above natural levels and related changes in marine communities have been detected in several north Auckland estuaries.
• Mangrove expansion and other habitat changes are implicated in the decline of about half of the most common wading birds of the southern Firth of Thames.
• Endangered Bryde’s whales may be in decline due to vessel strike and entanglement in mussel farm spat lines.
• A large amount of plastic litter continues to enter the coastal environment, with long term persistence in the environment and effects on wildlife and aesthetics.

The report also notes encouraging signs; improving water clarity from better regulation and management of sediment run-off, declining trends in nutrients in Auckland Rivers and a rebuild of kahawai stocks.

It identifies the need for clear water quality targets, expanded green and blue protected areas, an eco-system research focus, enhanced fisheries, and partnerships with tangata whenua.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Waikato regional Council Chairman Peter Buckley backed calls for greater investment in protection and enhancement of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Supermarket Scam, And On Tunisia’s Scrapping Of Democracy

Are we paying too much for our groceries? Hmm. Is the Pope a Catholic? Given that the two Australian supermarket chains that dominate our grocery industry routinely rack up profits in the order of $22 billion annually, that’s a no-brainer. Yet as with New Zealand’s other socio-economic problems created by our 1980s reforms, the practical solutions seem pretty thin on the ground... More>>


Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>


Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>




InfoPages News Channels