Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Time to act to save the Hauraki Gulf, tangata whenua and environmentalists say

Frustration is growing because there is still no plan to clean up Auckland's jewel in the crown - the Hauraki Gulf - which is slowly being suffocated by plastic and sediment.

The Noises Islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Photo: Raewyn Peart

The latest State of our Gulf report paints a grim picture of the continued degrading of the marine environment, just as Auckland gears up to host next year's America's Cup.

But tangata whenua and environmentalists say it shouldn't just be up to the government and councils to come up with a plan - and that everyone needs to play a part, before it's too late.

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was set up 20 years ago and covers an area of more than 1.2 million hectares.

It stretches along the east coast of the Auckland and Waikato regions and encompasses the Waitematā Harbour, the Firth of Thames, and the Coromandel Peninsula, as well as more than 50 islands.

The marine park's special status in law was meant to ensure its waters were protected and cared for future generations.

But the latest report concluded that it had fallen short - and much of the major environmental damage was still a long way from being rectified.

Nicola MacDonald is a tangata whenua representative on the Hauraki Gulf Forum, which oversaw the report .

"It really is quite disturbing that the mauri, the life force, of the Hauraki Gulf, a place that we all grew up with and enjoy, is slowly diminishing," MacDonald said.

The causes were straightforward, she said.

"Overpopulation, pollution, plastics, dredging. All of these things can be mitigated with a clear sustainable plan in place.

There have been some successes - more of the Gulf Islands are now pest-free, and speed restrictions for ships have meant fewer critically endangered Bryde's whales are being hit and killed.

A ministerial advisory committee is due to report back to the government later this year, with recommendations about how to improve the health of the Hauraki Gulf.

But Moana Tamaariki-Pohe from the Hauraki Forum said people didn't need to wait for the outcome of that to take action.

"We don't need an act, we need to act. We need to be willing to get our butts wet, to get out of the spectator seats and paddle our waka."

The gulf was worth protecting, especially as the upcoming America's Cup would put it on the world stage, she said.

Nineteen-year-old environmentalist Riley Hathaway said it was crucial decision-makers came up with a sustainable plan to safeguard the Gulf that future generations could build on.

But she said everyone could play a part - no matter how small their contribution may seem.

"I you come to school with a plastic-free lunch box, or if you're down the road and you're picking up rubbish, someone else is going to see that and go 'I could do that too'. It's the little things."

But as the State of the Gulf report warns, whatever action is taken needs to be done quickly, because time is running out.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Use Of Existing Drugs To Reduce The Effects Of Coronavirus

So now, we’re all getting up to speed with the travel bans, the rigorous handwashing and drying, the social distancing, and the avoidance of public transport wherever possible. Right. At a wider level…so far, the public health system has ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Oil Market And Regulation Crusades

Safe to say, Vladimir Putin did not expect the response he has received amidships from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Russia chose to walk away from the OPEC talks in Vienna that were aimed at reaching an agreement on how to reduce world oil production (and protect oil prices) in the light of the fall in demand being caused by the coronavirus. No doubt, Russia and its allies in the US shale industry probably glimpsed an opportunity to undercut OPEC and seize some of its customers. Bad move. In reply, Saudi Arabia has smashed the oil market by hugely ramping up production, signing up customers and drastically cutting the oil price in a fashion designed to knock Russia and other oil suppliers right out of contention. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On 22 Short Takes About Super Tuesday

With obvious apologies to the Simpsons….Here’s my 22 short takes on the 14 Super Tuesday primaries that combined yesterday to produce a common narrative –Bernie Sanders NOT running away with the nomination, Joe Biden coming back from the dead, and the really, really rich guy proving to be really, really bad at politics. In the months ahead, it will be fascinating to see if the real Joe Biden can live up to the idea of Joe Biden that people voted for yesterday – namely, the wise old guy who can save the country from the political extremism of the right and the left... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Humanity Is Making A Very Important Choice When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it... More>>

Gail Duncan: Reframing Welfare Report

Michael Joseph Savage, the architect of the 1938 Social Security Act, wouldn’t recognise today’s Social Security Act as having anything to do with the kind, cooperative, caring society he envisioned 80 years ago. Instead society in 2020 has been reduced ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog