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EDS applauds announcement that Hauraki Gulf marine protection proceeding

09 August 2023

The government today announced that 17 new marine protected areas and extensions to two existing marine reserves in the Hauraki Gulf will proceed.

“I am absolutely delighted with today’s announcement confirming that we will finally see significantly increased marine protection in the Hauraki Gulf,” said EDS Policy Director Raewyn Peart.

“It’s been a very long time coming, and has taken hard work by many people over many years, so it’s wonderful to see the initiative finally landing.

“The areas to be protected are all ecologically important in their own right, but collectively they will help restore the overall productivity of the Gulf, including enhancing fish production. In that way everyone will benefit.

“It’s almost a decade since a group of iwi and stakeholder representatives first got together to develop a pathway to restore the Hauraki Gulf to its former glory. That the collectively agreed Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari proposals have endured is testament to the robustness of that early collaborative process.

“Today, significantly increased marine protection is even more urgently needed. The Gulf has been experiencing long-term declines in biodiversity, depletion of taonga species and loss of important benthic habitat. 

“On top of this is the recent caulerpa invasion and damaging marine heatwaves which will almost certainly increase with a warming climate.

“With today’s announcement we can start to turn this situation around and begin the process of restoring the Hauraki Gulf for ourselves and future generations to enjoy,” concluded Ms Peart.

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Raewyn Peart