Introduction

Have your say on the proposed protection zones designed to revitalise the Hauraki Gulf and its marine life. Submissions close 5 pm, 28 October 2022.

We are seeking feedback on marine protection proposals that aim to revitalise the Hauraki Gulf. The proposals are for 19 new protected zones, created using two new marine protection tools. These tools will be established through new legislation.

The proposals will increase the area under protection in the Gulf from just over 6% to about 18%. This increase will support the recovery of some of its most biodiverse regions.

Read the information document (PDF, 1,286 K)

These proposals were first announced in the strategy ‘Revitalising the Gulf: Government action on the Sea Change Plan’ in 2021. Then they were refined after engagement with mana whenua in the Gulf.

The current proposals have been proposed by the Minister of Conservation and the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries.

What is in the proposals?

The marine protection proposals include the following:

12 High Protection Areas (HPAs): These will protect and enhance marine communities, ecosystems, and habitats. HPAs will provide for the expression of customary practices by mana whenua. This means customary practices can continue in HPAs, through existing regulatory arrangements, in a way that is consistent with the area’s biodiversity objectives.

5 Seafloor Protection Areas: These areas will protect sensitive sea floor habitats. They will do this by prohibiting activities that damage or disturb the seafloor, like bottom trawling and mining. But they will still allow for activities that do not conflict with seafloor protection objectives. Such as fishing that does not use bottom-contact methods, snorkelling, and kayaking.

2 protected areas: These will be adjacent to to Cathedral Cove | Whanganui-a-Hei and Cape Rodney-Okakari Point marine reserves. These will be established as either two new High Protection Areas, or as extensions to the two existing marine reserves.

More information on the above proposals can be found in our information document and on pages 60 - 61 of Revitalising the Gulf (PDF, 4,798K).

What has changed since 'Revitalising the Gulf' was released?

Since the Government released the Revitalising the Gulf strategy document in 2021, we have:

  • engaged with mana whenua in the Gulf to understand how customary practices could be managed within HPAs; and
  • included an additional HPA proposal around Ōtata / the Noises Islands.

How to submit your feedback

We are seeking feedback on the proposals outlined in the information document.

We are particularly interested to hear from mana whenua, Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act applicants, and key stakeholders.

Stakeholders include recreational and commercial fishers, divers, researchers, and community groups.

1. Prepare your submission

Ensure any attachments are either in a PDF or Microsoft Word format.

Your submission must include:

  • your name
  • the name of your organisation, if you are submitting on behalf of your organisation
  • whether your submission represents the views of that entire organisation or a part of it
  • your contact details.

2. Send us your submission before 5 pm, 28 October 2022

Email your submission to seachange@doc.govt.nz.

Official Information Act

All submissions are subject to the Official Information Act and can be released under this Act. If you have specific reasons for wanting to have your feedback withheld, explain your reasons in your submission. Your reasons will be considered when making any assessment for the release of information under the Official Information Act.

What happens next?

Your feedback will help to inform the way we progress the marine protection proposals for the Gulf.

The Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and Minister of Conservation will consider all feedback. They will do this before making final decisions on the proposals.

Feedback will inform a Hauraki Gulf Marine Protection Bill, which will create the tools needed to progress these protections.

There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback on the Bill during the Select Committee process.

Contact

If you have any questions, email us at seachange@doc.govt.nz

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