Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage and Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash today announced an important step forward on work to restore the health of the Hauraki Gulf.
“We have announced today that a Ministerial Advisory Committee will be established to play a key role in implementing the Sea Change Plan, which includes proposals for improving the health of the Hauraki Gulf,” said Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage.
The Sea Change Plan is an aspirational document which includes 181 proposals developed over four years by a Stakeholder Working Group with representatives from mana whenua, recreational and commercial fishing, farming, aquaculture, infrastructure, and environmentalists.
The plan aims to improve the health of the Gulf for future generations, with proposals covering a range of issues including: marine protection, fisheries, habitat restoration, and opportunities for regional economic development.
“The Sea Change Plan has been the focus of significant effort by many affected groups for several years,” says Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash.
“This government is serious about moving forward. Our priority now is to engage with participants about how best to make progress. The establishment of the Ministerial Advisory Committee will include representatives from multiple groups and is a key first step in that engagement process.”
“We are united in our determination to improve the management of the Hauraki Gulf. This is vital if we are to restore the health of the ocean and to mitigate the impact of human activity. This will take a committed effort from everyone whose actions have a bearing on the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park,” Mr Nash said.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) and Fisheries New Zealand will now begin talking to tangata whenua affected by the proposals, councils and other Hauraki Gulf stakeholders about establishing the Ministerial Advisory Committee.
The Conservation Minister and the Fisheries Minister will appoint the members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee once this consultation has been completed.
“Implementing the Sea Change Plan is a massive challenge but we’re committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders to restore the health of the Hauraki Gulf.” said Eugenie Sage.