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Hopefully, Tomorrow Will Deliver A Positive Sea Change For Tīkapa Moana, The Hauraki Gulf

WWF-New Zealand is thrilled to finally see the Government launch its strategy to revitalize the Gulf – based on Tai Timu Tai Pari/Sea Change - the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan, but it has taken too long. Since the time this project began in 2013, to when the plan was delivered in 2016, to now - five years later and no progress from Government has been made - the state of the Hauraki Gulf has continued to rapidly decline.

Fortunately, iwi and community groups such as Ngāti Pāoa and the Waiheke Marine project, The Noises Marine Restoration Project, Ngati Hei, and Revive our Gulf, have valiantly stepped into the gap left by Government inaction. These projects and others are backed by a range of partners and the aspirational goals set by the Hauraki Gulf Forum: 30% marine protection,1000km2 of shellfish bed and reef restoration, catchment planting, and an end to marine dumping. Their work to restore the mauri of Tīkapa Moana, Te Moana Nui a Toi/The Hauraki Gulf is invaluable.

“We are hoping this announcement from Government on Sea Change will finally mean real and immediate action is taken. It is all in the name: Sea Change. Unfortunately, the only sea change we’ve seen since 2013 has been negative. Now, is the time for positive and immediate action in a collaborative conservation model,” says Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand’s CEO.

“Iwi, hapū, and coastal communities are at the coal face and are best placed to protect and manage their environment with support from Government and others. We hope this is part of the plan,” continues Esterhazy.

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In order for Tīkapa Moana to recover and thrive, we call on the Government to:

Protect at least 30% of the gulf, using a range of protection tools to ensure it is equitable and effective and designed to build resilience against the impacts a changing climate.

Take an integrated, mountains to seas approach to ecosystem management - ensuring we address the many land-based impacts affecting our marine environment.

Ensure fishing practices in Tīkapa Moana are sustainable and well monitored, and habitats of significance for fisheries management are mapped and appropriately protected.

Our government and other key stakeholders must work in true partnership with tangata whenua to find effective pathways to ensure we secure a healthy moana.

Ensure Māori, are able to exercise rangatiratanga/self determination and kaitiakitanga/guardianship over their marine resources and develop mechanisms for mātauranga Māori to be used alongside other knowledge in decision making processes

WWF is committed to supporting iwi, hapū, coastal communities, and the Government to restore the Hauraki Gulf for future generations.

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