This will be completed once the Hauraki iwi Treaty settlement negotiations have been concluded.
Waikato Regional Council will be tasked with leading Healthy Rivers Plan Change 2 which will be influenced by the implementation arrangements once the settlements are enacted through legislation at an as yet to be determined time.
The Hauraki marine spatial plan, Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari, covers the Hauraki Gulf and encompasses the entire eastern coastal marine area of the Waikato region and the contributing catchments of the Coromandel Peninsula and Waihou-Piako rivers.
Who drafted Sea Change?
The plan was drafted by a multi-sector Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) after community engagement, and was approved by the mana whenua-agency governance group in November 2016.
Agencies involved in the non-statutory plan included Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, local councils, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries. The SWG’s deliberations were informed by extensive scientific advice.
The background to the plan’s development is that the health of the Hauraki Gulf has been damaged and/or threatened for many years, with a range of problems identified. Examples of pressures include: depleted fish and kaimoana stocks, smothering of marine life by fine sediments washed off the land, increased pressures from population growth and development and declining biodiversity.
Stakeholder Working Group recommendations
A stakeholder working group (SWG) took an integrated approach to securing a healthy, productive and sustainable future for the Gulf. They made recommendations that will guide the development of policies and processes with a view to safeguarding the Hauraki Gulf's core cultural, environmental, social and economic values. This will change how the Gulf is managed and how you farm.
DairyNZ supported the SWG by providing technical advice. Our water scientists analysed trends of water quality indicators for the past decade.
The key recommendations from the Sea Change process were:
- eventually banning certain commercial fishing methods and reviewing the way fish stocks are managed
- creating new marine protected areas and extending existing ones to better protect the marine environment and support fish and kaimoana stocks
- creating new local “Ahu Moana” marine areas, to provide for joint mana whenua and community management of local marine areas to support sustainable use of the gulf by all
- reducing sediment and nutrients getting into the marine environment from land-based activities
- suggesting areas for an expansion of environmentally sustainable marine farming.
The partner agencies are now considering how they will implement its suggestions recognising that the MSP provides a strong framework to guide the management of the Hauraki Gulf, and will help shape future agreements, statutory plans, and management actions.
What are the likely outcomes?
Sea Change 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.
What happens next?
The role of the agencies involved in the non-statutory plan (Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, local councils, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries) is to advance the recommendations from the Sea Change process. These recommendations and the Hauraki iwi Treaty Settlements will influence the future direction of Healthy Rivers Plan Change 2.