Ambitious goals for ailing Hauraki Gulf

The Hauraki Gulf Forum is calling for marine protection of at least 30 per cent of the gulf and an end to all marine dumping in or near the gulf.

It also wants 1000sqkm of shellfish-bed and reef restoration, and riparian planting of the gulf’s catchment.

Co-chair Pippa Coom says science shows that at least 30 per cent of the gulf’s moana needs to be protected in a way that respects biodiversity and habitats.

“For the Hauraki Gulf, this can be achieved through a variety of protection mechanisms, including indigenous and regulatory tools,” she says. “The key point from the 2020 State of our Gulf report is we need much more protection, and we need it fast.

Co-chair Nicola MacDonald says the archaic practise of marine dumping also needs to stop.

“The ocean is not our rubbish bin. There is nothing that we are dumping at sea that we cannot dispose of on land.”

The forum’s four big goals are reflected in its 2020/22 Work Plan adopted this week.

The new two goals – supporting riparian planting and ending marine dumping – will now undergo stocktakes to enable the forum to set key actions against those new goals.

Also adopted this week were:

  1.   •  a new Governance Statement reflecting the forum’s recent move to a co-governance leadership model, and

  2.   •  a 2020-2021 budget which delivers total savings to members of around 25 per cent for the year ahead – reflecting the difficult financial situation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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