Sea Change aims to secure a healthy, productive and sustainable future for the Hauraki Gulf. The communities involved in Sea Change will develop a marine spatial plan covering not just the 1.2 million Ha of ocean, but also the land draining into the Hauraki Gulf. This includes dairy farms in the Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel, Matamata-Piako and South Waikato Districts.
At the core of Sea Change is a collaborative stakeholder group responsible for deciding how to develop the marine spatial plan. DairyNZ is supporting the collaborative decision-making process by providing technical advice. Our water scientists have analysed trends of water quality indicators over the past decade.
Click on the info-graphic (right) for 17 monitored stations from 2004-2013 across the Piako, Waihou, Ohinemuri, Hikutaia and Kauaeranga Rivers.
The analysis of sediment (turbidity), nutrients (total nitrogen & total phosphorus) and faecal bacterial concentrations (E.coli) showed that four of 68 indicators exhibited a worsening (increasing) trend whereas 26 indicators exhibited an improving (decreasing) trend.
This means increasing concentrations were observed at two sites for nitrogen and two sites to for sediment - all located in the headwaters of the Waihou River. All 17 sites either improved or exhibited no trend for E.coli.
During the same period, milking cow numbers increased by 5% to 583,083 cows and milksolid production rose by 9% to 195 million kg (across combined the Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and South Waikato Districts).
What is Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari?
It is a collaborative process to develop a comprehensive marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf, stretching from Pakiri (north of Auckland) to just south of Whangamata (on the Coromandel Peninsula).
Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari ("Sea Change") will guide how Waikato Regional Council, Auckland Council and the Department of Conservation manage over 1.2 million Ha of ocean, as well as the land draining into the Hauraki Gulf.
What will the outcome be?
Sea Change will produce a desired vision for the Hauraki Gulf that considers which activities take place where and when to protect future needs. Sea Change is non-statutory - this means it will not have legally binding outcomes but will strongly influence the Waikato Regional Plan and Auckland Unitary Plan, including the management of water quality and quantity.
Sea Change will therefore shape relevant policies, rules and regulations affecting land use in the catchments that drain into the Gulf.
What is marine spatial planning?
A 'bottom-up' approach to planning that utilises the values and knowledge of local stakeholders to best identify the problems and solutions to managing coastal resources sustainably. The process was developed by the United Nations to overcome the complexities and diversity of uses for coastal waters.
Who decides what Sea Change recommends?
At the core of the Sea Change process is the Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) - a group of 12 nominated to represent the wide range of values for the Hauraki Gulf (e.g., iwi, agriculture, recreational fishing, environmentalists, aquaculture, shipping, tourism, forestry). Your dairy Stakeholder is Conall Buchanan, a dairy farmer near Paeroa.
What is the role of the Stakeholder Working Group (SWG)?
The SWG will develop a marine spatial plan that ensures the Hauraki Gulf is:
- Vibrant with life and healthy mauri
- Increasingly productive
- Able to support healthy and prosperous communities.
Who supports the Stakeholder Working Group?
The SWG is supported by an Expert Advisory Group whose members include a DairyNZ scientist.
SWG decisions will also be challenged and reviewed by the Project Steering Group, which includes mana whenua, regional authority (Waikato Regional Council, Auckland Council), territorial authority, Ministry for Primary Industries and Department of Conservation representatives.
The Project Steering Group will take on the task of recommending Sea Change to statutory authorities to put into practice.
What do Stakeholder Working Group round tables cover?
To manage the workload, the SWG will map the use and values of the Hauraki Gulf through six issues-based "Roundtables":
- Water quality and catchments
- Hauraki Gulf Fish stocks
- Biodiversity and biosecurity
- Infrastructure for the Economy and Communities of the Gulf
- Aquaculture in the Hauraki Gulf
- Accessible Gulf
Each Round Table includes 3+ SWG members plus invited participants with relevant expertise.
What will the Water Quality and Catchment Roundtable discuss?
The Water Quality and Catchments Roundtable includes 14 members representing the SWG (Conall Buchanan, Raewyn Paert, Dirk Sieling and Tame Te Rangi), landowners (Stuart King, Phillippa Fourie, Gwyn Morgan), forestry (Kelvin Meredith), marine farming (Jim Dollimore), iwi (Pauline Clarkin), recreation (Doug Elder), environmentalism (Peter Jackson), infrastructure (Garry Maskill) and commercial fishers (Phil Clow).
The Water Quality and Catchments Roundtable will identify the:
- Levels of contaminants, nutrients, pathogens and sedimentation flowing into the Hauraki Gulf from land;
- Impact on Hauraki Gulf ecology;
- Impacts on Hauraki Gulf users.
From this, the Roundtable will prioritise current impacts, causes and future solutions for better managing the Hauraki Gulf.
Its advisors include an oceanographer, marine ecologist, sedimentation scientist, matauranga Maori expert and a freshwater scientist (Tom Stephens from DairyNZ - contact him at email@example.com). You can access their advice here.
What is the Sea Change timeframe?
Sea Change is a 2-year process, beginning in August 2013 with the marine spatial plan due by September 2015.
August - November 2013
- Form the Project Steering Group
- Launch Sea Change
- Form the Stakeholder Working Group
December 2013 - July 2015
- Stakeholder Working Group develop marine spatial plan
- Consult with public (mid-2014 onwards)
Final Marine spatial plan available
How can I help?