Sea Change stakeholder working group finalised (Voxy)
As thousands of kiwis use the Hauraki Gulf for recreation over summer, the Sea Change-Tai Timu Tai Pari project designed to protect its health is announcing excellent progress.
Sea Change-Tai Timu Tai Pari has finalised the selection of 14 members of a Stakeholder Working Group (SWG), which will have a major leadership role in the formation of a marine spatial plan for the gulf.
The SWG includes 10 key stakeholder representatives and four mana whenua representatives, and has been endorsed by the Sea Change-Tai Timu Tai Pari project steering group.
The announcement follows a meeting late last year at Woodlands near Hamilton where more than 60 stakeholders representing a range of sectors – from industry bodies to conservationists – agreed on who would sit on the SWG. A separate process was held for the selection of the mana whenua representatives.
“The SWG will have a very important role in Sea Change-Tai Timu Tai Pari,” said the co-chairs of the project steering group Auckland councillor Penny Webster and tangata whenua member Paul Majurey.
“In a broad based, collaborative process, the SWG will be responsible for creating solutions to issues facing the gulf, with a high level of acceptance amongst stakeholders. The outputs from the SWG will define the development of the eventual marine spatial plan,” the co-chairs said.
“So the SWG will provide a real backbone for the project as it works to create those agreements in such areas as recreational needs, aquaculture and fisheries management.
“Having the stakeholders and mana whenua work together like this will help us get a draft plan as right as we possibly can before it goes out for general public consultation.
“The SWG members will also help act as a sort of ongoing feedback loop so that the project is closely plugged into what various stakeholder groups are thinking.”
Sea Change -Tai Timu Tai Pari, a two-year project and the first of its kind in New Zealand, will develop a new spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf (Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui a Toi). The plan, to be delivered in 2015, will identify solutions to issues in the 1.2 million hectare Hauraki Gulf Marine Park area and what is needed to safeguard its future. Plan recommendations will guide the development of policies and processes of various councils and agencies with a view to safeguarding the gulf’s core cultural, environmental, social and economic values.
The Sea Change -Tai Timu Tai Pari project is a partnership involving mana whenua and statutory agencies Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, the Hauraki Gulf Forum, the Department of Conservation, and the Ministry for Primary Industries. The wider public will also be involved throughout the development of the draft marine spatial plan through targeted engagement.
The impetus for Sea Change-Tai Timu Tai Pari is the fact that the Hauraki Gulf is an extremely precious taonga, highly valued by all people for a wide range of cultural, environmental, social and economic reasons. It is heavily used for recreation and generates more than $2.7 billion in economic activity each year. However, the gulf’s health has been deteriorating in a variety of ways due to the impacts of its use and of land use in areas near the coast.
“Ultimately, Sea Change-Tai Timu Tai Pari is about securing a healthy, productive and sustainable resource for all users,” said Cr Webster and Mr Majurey.
Meanwhile, former Deloitte partner Nick Main has taken on the role of independent chair of the SWG.
Mr Main was the managing partner for Deloitte’s global sustainability practice and has also served as CEO and chair for Deloitte in New Zealand.
“We’re extremely pleased to have someone of Nick’s calibre aboard Sea Change-Tai Timu Tai Pari,” said Cr Webster and Mr Majurey.
“His experience at a very high level with sustainable resource management will provide extremely valuable support for the SWG and the overall project.”
Also, independent planning adviser Kaaren Goodall has been appointed to provide the SWG with executive support.
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