The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 (HGMPA) seeks to better integrate and improve management of the Gulf. It emphasises the importance of sustaining the life-supporting capacity of the coastal marine area and islands of Tikapa Moana (the Hauraki Gulf). It provides an over-arching, principle based framework for spatial planning in the Gulf.
In 2009 the Hauraki Gulf Forum released a publication titled Governing the Gulf: Giving effect to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act through policies and plans. The purpose of the publication was to identify how the provisions of the HGMPA could be given effect to in policies and plans prepared under the Resource Management Act 199 1 (RMA).
The Guide recommended that regional policy statements and regional coastal plans identify, spatially where possible, significant interrelationships and elements which can contribute to the ecological health and productivity of the Gulf’s coastal marine area and islands.
Marine spatial planning is an approach which focuses on the marine area as an integrated system and which, within this system, seeks to spatially identify the location of important values and resources and areas appropriate for different human activities.
Since the release of Governing the Gulf there have been significant institutional and policy changes affecting the management of the Gulf. A new unitary authority for the Auckland region, the Auckland Council, was established on 1 November 2010. The Auckland Council is required to prepare and adopt a spatial plan for the Auckland region under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 (as amended in 2010). The coastal marine area comprises almost 70 per cent of the Auckland region and therefore will be an important component of the spatial plan.
In November 2010, the Minister of Conservation released a revised New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS) which came into effect on 3 December 2010. This provides stronger direction on how councils are to manage the coastal environment, including requiring the spatial identification of important elements. The new provisions are to be given effect to by councils “as soon as practicable”.
Government has also promoted changes to the legal framework applying to aquaculture through the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) which was introduced into Parliament during November 2010. The amendments are intended to facilitate growth of the aquaculture industry, through freeing up marine space, and diversifying into higher value species.
All these developments strengthen the need to apply a marine spatial planning framework to the Gulf.
In November 2010, Environment Waikato notified its proposed regional policy statement. The document sets out the council’s intention to adopt a more collaborative approach to managing the Hauraki Gulf (as well as other key areas) including:
- Investigating opportunities for joint initiatives (including across regional boundaries) particularly in relation to managing the Hauraki Gulf (paragraph 4.2.4(c))
- Advocating for the Hauraki Gulf Forum to play an active role in management, research, advocacy and education in relation to the Hauraki Gulf and its catchments (paragraph 4.2.9(b))
- Liaising with relevant Forum partners and other stakeholders to investigate the preparation of a spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf (paragraph 4.2.9(c))
Marine spatial planning is being applied in many countries around the world . The purpose of this report is to distill the approaches and learnings from this international experience in order to inform the application of marine spatial planning with in the Hauraki Gulf.
Part One of the report summarises the results of an international review undertaken of marine spatial planning initiatives and describes how marine spatial planning might be applied to the Hauraki Gulf. It concludes with a set of conclusions and recommendations for the way forward. Part Two of the report contains a more detailed description of the marine spatial planning processes undertaken in each of the eight case study areas.