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Creating a marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf

Auditor-General’s report published, Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari: Creating a marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf


The Auditor-General’s report Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari: Creating a marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf was presented to the House of Representatives today.

The Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari project was established in 2013 with the aim of creating New Zealand’s first marine spatial plan, which would create a healthy, productive, and sustainable future for the Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana. It was a large and ambitious undertaking aimed at addressing a complex problem that involved many overlapping interests, and used a stakeholder-led collaborative approach.

We looked at how the agencies involved set up the project and prepared the plan, including a focus on the project’s governance arrangements. We also looked at how the agencies planned for implementation during the project. We wanted to identify what other public agencies could learn from the project and could apply to other collaborative projects.

In many ways, the project was a successful example of a stakeholder-led collaborative approach. It resulted in a completed plan with general support from those who prepared it. However, the plan is not easy for the agencies to implement and those involved in the project are frustrated at the lack of progress in implementing the plan. Our report identifies aspects of the project that if done better would have made implementing the plan easier, including improving stakeholder engagement and better planning for implementation.

It is important for the agencies involved to consider how they will work together to progress implementing the plan and get support from stakeholders, such as commercial and recreational fishing groups. There is a risk that if there is no further consideration of the recommendations in the plan, the money and effort spent on the project will largely be wasted. Collaborative approaches are increasingly used to prepare plans for protecting natural resources. We encourage all public agencies that are setting up collaborative planning projects to consider the lessons in our report.

A two-page summary of this report is also available.


ends

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