I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Hauraki Gulf Forum will be held on:




Meeting Room:



Monday, 15 May 2017


Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street


Hauraki Gulf Forum









Mayor John Tregidga

Hauraki District Council

Deputy Chairperson

Ms Liane Ngamane

Tangata Whenua


Mr Andrew Baucke

Department of Conservation


Mr Jeff Cleave

Great Barrier Local Board (Auckland Council)


Cr Paul Cronin

Matamata-Piako District Council


Cr Chris Darby

Auckland Council


Mayor Sandra Goudie

Thames-Coromandel District Council


Mr Steve Halley

Ministry for Primary Industries


Cr Richard Hills

Auckland Council


Mr Terrence Hohneck

Tangata Whenua


Mr Leo Koziol

Te Puni Kōkiri


Cr Mike Lee

Auckland Council


Ms Nicola MacDonald

Tangata Whenua


Mr Paul Majurey

Tangata Whenua


Cr Rob McGuire

Waikato District Council


Mr John Meeuwsen

Waiheke Local Board (Auckland Council)


Cr Dal Minogue

Waikato Regional Council


Ms Lucy  Steel

Tangata Whenua


Ms Moana Tamaariki-Pohe

Tangata Whenua


Cr Wayne Walker

Auckland Council


Cr John Watson

Auckland Council


(Quorum 11 members)



Kalinda Gopal, Governance Advisor

5 May 2017

Contact Telephone: 021 723 228

Email: kalinda.gopal@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz






The purpose of the Forum is established in Section 15 of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 to:


·         Integrate the management and, where appropriate, to promote the conservation and management in a sustainable manner, of the natural, historic and physical resources of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people and communities of the Gulf and New Zealand;

·         Facilitate communication, cooperation, and coordination on matters relating to the statutory functions of the constituent parties in relation of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands and catchments and the Forum; and

·         Recognise the historic, traditional, cultural and spiritual relationship of tangata whenua with the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and where appropriate, its catchments.


Relevant legislation includes but is not limited to:


Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000





Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE

            Whakatau – Karakia / mihi

1          Apologies                                                                                                                        5

2          Declaration of Interest                                                                                                   5

3          Confirmation of Minutes                                                                                               5

4          Public Forum                                                                                                                  5

5          Extraordinary Business                                                                                                5

6          Notices of Motion                                                                                                          6

7          Proposed amendments to the Forum's governance statement                               7

8          Hauraki Gulf Forum - Governance Review and Recommendations report          11

9          Hauraki Gulf Forum: High level operating models in a changing context – including the introduction of the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari Marine Spatial Plan               13

10        Hauraki Gulf Forum 2017/2018 Work Plan and Budget                                           27

11        Hauraki Gulf Forum Executive Officer's Report                                                      31

12        Constituent party report                                                                                             35  

13        Consideration of Extraordinary Items 





1          Apologies


At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.




2          Declaration of Interest


Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.


At the close of the agenda no requests for declarations of interest had been received.




3          Confirmation of Minutes


That the Hauraki Gulf Forum:

a)         confirm the ordinary minutes of its meeting, held on Monday, 20 February 2017 as a true and correct record.




4          Public Forum


At the close of the agenda no requests for public forum input had been approved.




5          Extraordinary Business


Section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:


“An item that is not on the agenda for a meeting may be dealt with at that meeting if-


(a)        The local  authority by resolution so decides; and


(b)        The presiding member explains at the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public,-


(i)         The reason why the item is not on the agenda; and


(ii)        The reason why the discussion of the item cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting.”





Section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:


“Where an item is not on the agenda for a meeting,-


(a)        That item may be discussed at that meeting if-


(i)         That item is a minor matter relating to the general business of the local authority; and


(ii)        the presiding member explains at the beginning of the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public, that the item will be discussed at the meeting; but


(b)        no resolution, decision or recommendation may be made in respect of that item except to refer that item to a subsequent meeting of the local authority for further discussion.”




6          Notices of Motion


            At the close of the agenda no requests for notices of motion had been received.

Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



Proposed amendments to the Forum's governance statement


File No.: CP2017/08133





1.       To clarify processes for facilitating public input to Forum meetings and preparing submissions on behalf of the Forum.



That the Hauraki Gulf Forum::

a)         amend its governance statement by replacing the existing standing orders relating to public forums (Appendix F of the Model Standing Orders), with the following public input section based on the LGNZ revised standing orders:

Public input

1 Time allocated for input

Any meeting of the Hauraki Gulf Forum and that is open to the public will set aside up to 30 minutes near the start of the meeting for input from members of the public. Speakers may speak for up to five minutes each during this time.

However, the meeting may resolve to reduce or extend the time allocated for public input, and the speaking time allotted to a particular speaker.

2 Request to speak

A person who wants to speak during public input time must request to do so (through the Governance Advisor) at least ten working days before the meeting.

The request to speak must include the subject matter.

The Governance Advisor shall forthwith advise the chairperson and the deputy chairperson of the Forum of the request and the subject.

3 Discretion of chairperson and deputy chairperson

The chairperson and deputy chairperson may decline a person’s request to speak during the time allocated for public input where they consider that:

a)   the request does not comply with these standing orders

b)   the subject matter is not relevant to the Forum’s role or responsibilities

c)   the person has already spoken about the matter

d)   the request is not appropriate

e)   the subject is disallowed by one or more of the reasons specified under “subjects”:

f)    it is necessary to reduce public input time to deal with the business on the agenda.

The decision of the chairperson and deputy chairperson shall be advised to the Governance Advisor within 3 working days.

The chairperson and deputy chairperson must advise the meeting of any request to speak they have declined, and the reasons for this.

The chairperson and deputy chairperson also have the discretion to waive the requirements in these standing orders where they consider there are exceptional circumstances. In particular, they may accept a request to speak that is made less than ten clear working days before the meeting where they consider the matter is urgent and of major public interest.

The chairperson and deputy chairperson may advise the speaker to approach a different committee or forum, if the proposed subject matter falls within its terms of reference.

In the event that the chairperson and deputy chairperson cannot agree on any decision made under this clause the decision of the chairperson shall apply.

The chairperson may prohibit a member of the public from speaking if he or she is offensive, repetitious or vexatious, or otherwise breaches these standing orders.

4 Subjects

A speaker may not use the time allocated for public input to speak about a matter that:

a)   has already been considered and decided

b)   has a separate public hearings or consultation process attached to it

c)   is subject to a quasi-judicial process

d)   is outside the terms of reference of the functions of the Hauraki Gulf Forum.

5 Language for speeches

A member of the public may address a meeting in English, Māori or New Zealand sign language.

However, for languages other than English, the person should advise the chairperson of their intention to speak in another language at least two working days before the meeting.

Where practical the Forum’s administering authority arrange for a translator to be present at the meeting. The chairperson may also order the speech and any accompanying documents to be translated and printed in English or Māori.

6 Questions for speakers

With the permission of the chairperson, members may ask questions of speakers during the time allocated for public input. Questions should be to obtain more information or clarify matters raised by the speaker.

However, members may not debate any matter raised during the public input session that is not on the agenda for the meeting, or take any action in relation to it, other than through the usual procedures for extraordinary business, if the matter is urgent.

The meeting may refer the matter to a future meeting or to the executive officer for investigation.

b)         add the additional guidance below regarding the preparation of submissions to its governance statement:

   That the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Forum be delegated the    authority to prepare and lodge submissions on behalf of the Forum, when invited or    requested to do so under powers defined in Section 18 of the Hauraki Gulf Marine    Park Act, subject to the following conditions:

i)    the matter to be submitted on cannot be considered by the Forum due to the closing date of submissions and the inability to place the proposed submission before the Forum because of its meeting schedule; and

ii)    the matter to be submitted on relates to:

·           a proposed change in the legislative framework; or

·           a proposed change in a regulatory framework; or

·           a proposed change to a policy matter (including a new policy matter).

In the event that the chairperson and deputy chairperson prepare and lodge a submission they shall have regard to:

·    the statutory role of the Forum; and

·    the responsibilities of the Forum; and

·    the adopted policies of the Forum.

The submission will be tabled as an information item of the Forum at its next meeting.




Public Forum

2.       At the previous meeting some members were surprised that there was a presentation during public forum. The application had been received after the agenda had been published and so was not included in the agenda. In order to provide clarification around the rules for accepting requests to speak in public forum/public input a change to the standing orders has been drafted.

3.       The current Governance Statement notes that the Forum has adopted the NZ Model Standing Orders.

4.       The proposed change to would be in relation to section F on Public Forums and would be replaced with the proposed text, based on the Local Government New Zealand revised standing orders.

5.       An amendment to standing orders requires a 75% vote.

Preparation of submissions

6.       At the meeting additional clarity was also sought on the processes for preparation and approval on submissions made on behalf of the Forum.

7.       The proposed section would be added to the Governance statement (in Section 3).



There are no attachments for this report.     



Mayor John Tregidga, Forum Chairperson

Liane Ngamane, Forum Deputy Chairperson


Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



Hauraki Gulf Forum - Governance Review and Recommendations report


File No.: CP2017/08191




1.       To enable the Forum to consider the Governance Review and Recommendations Report.



That the Hauraki Gulf Forum:

a)         support the recommendations from the Governance Review and Recommendations report as stated below; and

b)         request that the Minister of Conservation initiate the processes necessary to amend the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 to implement the recommendation of the Governance Review and Recommendations report.



2.       At its meeting held on 20 June 2016, the Forum passed resolution number HGF/2016/33:

a)   note and receive the responses to date on the Governance Review and Recommendations Report.

b)   agree to consider the Governance Review and Recommendations Report when the Hauraki Gulf Forum reconvenes after the 2016 local government elections.

3.       During the 20 February 2017 meeting of the Forum there was a request that the recommendations from the Governance Review and Recommendations Report be placed on the 15 May 2017 Forum agenda for further discussion.

3.       The Forum Chair has subsequently received additional requests that these recommendations be placed on the agenda for further discussion.

4.       The following recommendations from the Governance Review and Recommendations Report are therefore to be considered.

a)      that particular attention is paid to Treaty settlement processes and the SeaChange Tai Timu Tai Pari process alongside this governance review process;

b)      that the governance model for the Forum is changed to a co-governance approach, comprising equal numbers of mana whenua and other members;

c)      that mana whenua appoint their members directly through a process designed and approved by mana whenua;

d)      that the size of the Forum is reduced to 16 members;

e)      that the Forum membership is made up as follows:

·        8 members appointed by mana whenua;

·        5 members appointed by the Minister of Conservation (for example political, business or NGO leaders rather than Crown representatives); and

·        3 members appointed by local authorities (1 from each of the Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council and the territorial authorities collectively) – these may or may not be elected members;

f)     that the term of appointments be 3 years with the ability to reappoint up to a maximum number of terms to be agreed, with a staggering of terms to ensure that there is some continuity of knowledge across terms;

g)    that in addition to the other changes recommended in this report, the Forum undertakes a process to promote a clear understanding of and focus on the governance task of the Forum, including the relevant purpose, objective and function provisions of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000;

h)    that any reform of the governance arrangements for the Forum should include provision for the Forum to have more statutory authority and a stronger and more direct role in terms of statutory decision-making over the Hauraki Gulf;

i)     that as an interim step, the Forum creates a smaller ‘core group’ of 12 members to drive more focused and strategic governance for the Forum, and at the same time advance a case for legislative amendment to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000; and

j)     that the chief executives of the local authorities and relevant ministries/departments work together to implement these recommendations immediately following the 2016 triennial local authority elections.

7.       The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Forum give notice that they intend to move the recommendations contained in this report.




There are no attachments for this report.    



Mayor John Tregidga, Forum Chairperson

Liane Ngamane, Forum Deputy Chairperson


Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



Hauraki Gulf Forum: High level operating models in a changing context – including the introduction of the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari Marine Spatial Plan


File No.: CP2017/08276





1.       To respond to a resolution arising from the Forum meeting in February 2017 that requested the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s Executive Officer to work collaboratively with the Technical Officers Group to “provide information/advice to the Forum’s May meeting on options to promote and implement the vision and pathways identified in the Sea Change plan, within its powers and functions under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000.” (Resoultion number HGF 2017/7)

Executive summary

2.       The Forum has a broad purpose and enabling powers and functions under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000. The scope of actions it could take in response to the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan recommendations and/or other contextual changes and opportunities can be determined by the ambition of its members and support of its member agencies.

3.       This paper identifies operating model options, utilising functions and powers enabled under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, and indicates corresponding resourcing for a secretariat to support them.

4.       It seeks the Forum’s direction on preferences that would enable further work to be undertaken.



That the Hauraki Gulf Forum:

a)      note the options to reorganise and resource its work, utilising powers and functions under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act.

b)      identify a preferred option and instruct its executive officer to further scope the preferred option and its resourcing implications.



Introduction and background

5.       For the first fifteen years of its life, the Forum focused its attention on identifying strategic issues, reporting on the state of the environment, and building public awareness of the state of, and pressures on, the Hauraki Gulf/ Tīkapa Moana (the Gulf). It also considered initiating responses to priority issues.

6.       This work forged the Forum’s identity and gave form to its purpose. In recent years the Forum has questioned whether the scope of its work is sufficient – the Forum is confident it has made a difference but is that enough and, if not, what else it should do?

7.       As part of this process of inquiry, the Forum advocated for the development of a marine spatial plan, to help coordinate and sharpen the objectives of the management agencies with responsibilities for the Gulf. This advocacy led to the initiation of Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari (Sea Change) which, in late 2016, delivered a series of recommended changes to the way the Gulf is managed – recommendations that have potential implications for the Forum’s structure and activities.

8.       Mindful of changes in the Forum’s operating context, including the vision and pathways promoted by Sea Change, Treaty Settlements and other policy initiatives, this paper provides a framework to assist Forum members as they consider the Forum’s medium-term (1-5 year) work programme – a timeframe that includes the Forum’s 20 year anniversary.

Forum purpose, ambition and role

9.       The Forum has a broad purpose and enabling powers and functions under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000. With the support of members and sufficient resourcing from its contributing agencies, there is much the Forum can do within its mandate.

10.     To a large extent, the scope of actions it could take in response to Sea Change is limited only by the ambition of its members and the support of agencies.

11.     Discussion at the Forum’s February 2017 meeting revealed different perspectives among members regarding the role of the Forum. Some members may wish to empower the Forum as a vehicle for hard debate, direction-setting and action. Others may wish to restrict the Forum to passive information-sharing – a place for bringing members ‘up to speed’ with each other’s actions.

12.     This suggests members come to the Forum expecting to do different things:

a)   review and debate technical and policy advice with the objective of forming a collective political or agency position, and/or

b)   gain insight into members’ views and discuss points of consistency or inconsistency, and/or

c)   ‘hold people and agencies to account’ and express views about what people and institutions should and shouldn’t be doing in relation to the Gulf, and/or

d)   promote the achievement of specific environmental outcomes in localised areas through advocacy or governance of restoration/protection funds that support direct action, and/or

e)   help advance regulatory plan-making processes by convening discussions, brokering relationships and identifying possible solutions, and/or

f)    identify and give support to creative non-regulatory solutions to complex issues that cut-across the responsibilities of two or more management agencies. 

Member agencies at different stages

13.     Agencies are currently in the process of considering their responses to the Sea Change recommendations, including their implications for governance arrangements (see Attachment A). The Forum needs to be informed of the resolutions of member agencies and consider their implications before making final decisions on its response to Sea Change. Notably:

a)      An initial assessment of Sea Change went the Auckland Council’s Planning Committee on 2 May, with further analysis to be undertaken over the next four months. This includes consideration being given to the role of the Forum.

b)      Ministers are assessing the plan and considering the way forward. Officials have provided an initial high level review. A more detailed analysis is almost completed and will be presented to Ministers soon.

c)      Waikato Regional Council will have an implementation plan by mid-May 2017 which it will discuss with impacted Territorial Local Authorities, some of which have determined positions on recommendations relevant to them.

Agreeing next steps

14.     Because members hold different views on the appropriate role for the Forum and are at different stages in their consideration of Sea Change, we have drawn on the input of technical officers to highlight critical choices facing Forum members, and to identify several high-level packages of options. The approach is designed to facilitate constructive debate on the Forum’s response to the vision and pathways promoted by Sea Change, and tease out where there are areas of difference and common ground.

Questions and critical choices for the Forum

·         Does the Forum wish to extend the scope of its activities beyond the current and anticipated work programme?

Are member organisations prepared to provide or seek the funding and resourcing necessary to establish a suitably capable secretariat to support a greater scope of actions?

Can operational processes, communication and sign-off protocols, delegations and supporting roles be modified to better support the work of the Forum?

·         How much discretion is appropriate for the Forum to delegate to its executive/ secretariat?

Are members prepared to give high level direction and a budget to an enhanced secretariat and then audit performance quarterly against agreed objectives – adopting a governance and strategic leadership role?

Do members focus the Forum on political debate, charge the executive/ secretariat with delivering the current programme of action and provide tight direction over any additional actions – adopting a hybrid governance/management role?

If the Forum does not pick up the roles and functions identified as necessary by Sea Change, how will it communicate that decision, and how will it engage with another entity, should one be created to fulfil these roles and functions?

·         How does the Forum view co-governance and should it work towards understanding (and taking steps towards) what that might look like in the context of managing the Gulf?

·      How will the Forum define future success?

High-level option packages 

15.     The following four operating model options provide ‘packages’ of actions the Forum could adopt to give effect to its vision for the Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana and to promote and implement the pathways identified in the Sea Change plan.

16.     They were identified in discussions over two meetings of the Technical Officers Group.

17.     The actions identified within each option are not exhaustive, nor are they necessarily exclusive to that option. Particular actions could be included within another package provided it was consistent with the intended role.




Practical considerations 

Passive (‘dialled-back’ status quo)

1.   Shift the focus of the Forum to providing updates on the activities of constituent members and facilitating political discussion on their consistency and integration or otherwise.

2.   Consider delegating responsibility  for delivery of state of the environment reporting to Waikato and Auckland regional councils.

Shift from ‘executive’ and ‘technical’ support to more administrative functions to align with the Forum’s more passive stance. Would prompt a review of support arrangements, including processes for agreeing external communications.

Auditor and Communicator (status quo +)

1.   Continue to perform current scope of actions (including publishing the state of the environment  assessment due in 2017).

2.   Communicate knowledge and promote integration through  a variety of channels:  website, newsletter, events, media partnerships, annual report to parliament etc.

3.   Foster increased agency input to the Forum’s agendas and briefing material, and facilitate more comprehensive political debate of technical analysis/advice to increase the quality and independence of agenda reports. Enhance  follow up and coordination of agencies with responsibilities to the Gulf.

May require additional technical skills and resourcing to support the Forum’s members. Will require more active engagement from agency officers. Experience from other comparable institutions is that establishing a secretariat with responsibilities to the Forum is an effective way to clarify accountabilities and increase the quality of input. This could involve secondments from each member agency (DOC, MPI, TPK, AC and WRC) and ideally MfE to a Forum secretariat, as well as resourcing to enable tangata whenua officers to contribute effectively.

Solutions and Relationship Broker

1.   Continue to perform current scope of actions (including publishing the state of the environment  assessment due in 2017).

2.   Increase emphasis on helping to broker regulatory and non-regulatory solutions (recognising that the Gulf encompasses the rohe of a range of iwi and jurisdictions of statutory management agencies). Work with, or on behalf of, agencies to progress opportunities, including pathways identified within Sea Change:

a.   With MPI support, help broker transitional fishing arrangements proposed by Sea Change.

b.   With mana whenua guidance and TPK support, help further define and develop the Ahu Moana – place-based and community led – management framework.

c.   With DoC, MPI and MfE support, help broker a coordinated approach to the management of coastal and marine environments.

3.   Over time, as the Forum demonstrates its ability to broker solutions, central and local government agencies could commission the Forum to deliver certain outcomes on their behalf. 

- May require changes to current support arrangements to match the demands of the new function. Would prompt a review of current role definitions and potentially the appointment of technical staff (possibly on secondment from member agencies and mana whenua).

- May prompt consideration of the current Chair arrangements – in some comparable Forums an independent Chair has helped broker solutions to complex problems. Given the political nature of this Forum, a political Chair may remain appropriate, especially if supported by an independent secretariat with primary responsibilities to the Forum rather than individual member agencies.

- May also prompt consideration of whether it would be efficient and effective for the Forum to commission enquiries or establish task-forces to undertake particular pieces of work on its behalf or with its support. 

Active Agent and Leader

In addition to Solutions and Relationships Broker actions:

1.   Adopt a coordinating role for Gulf-related research

2.   Provide ‘quality independent advice’ to agencies on draft regulatory plans and policy direction.

3.   Prepare detailed implementation plan and review process for Sea Change recommendations.

4.   Lead restoration initiatives identified by Sea Change.  Provide a home for operational project staff to extend initial mussel restoration work  (currently stalled due to regulatory and resourcing constraint), potentially through external funding.

5.   Design and deliver training, advisory and guidance services and/or assurance programmes with decision makers and user groups.

6.   Scope and administer a sediment reduction initiative identified by Sea Change (potentially with Government clean up-funding).

7.   Address public policy questions through commissioned enquiries (requiring high degree of independence and ‘think tank’ capacity).

8.   Evaluate the case for a major inquiry into the implementation of the HGMPA and audit of relevant plans, policies and programmes – individually and collectively – perhaps with partners and associated with the 20th anniversary of the marine park and 180th anniversary of the treaty.

- Will require a review of the funding model for the Forum and the split of roles and functions between agencies and the Forum, which may need to be re-engineered to give the Forum greater agency and allow it to adopt a coordinating and direction-setting role.

- Will require a review of supporting and procedural arrangements, including considering the applicability to the Gulf of different secretariat models (e.g. those adopted by the Fiordland Marine Guardians, Land and Water Forum, and Biodiversity Collaborative Group – see Figure 1).

- Current support arrangements would need to be re-engineered to match the demands of the new function - roles would need to be redesigned and technical staff appointed (perhaps on secondment from member agencies and mana whenua) to provide the necessary skill-set. Additional resourcing would be required to enable tangata whenua representatives to play an effective role within the secretariat.


Next steps

18.     These are initial options for discussion. If a particular direction is supported then further work will be required.

19.     The implications of changes to executive/ secretariat services have not been costed.

20.     A contingency is included within the proposed work plan and budget contained within this agenda to enable further scoping of potential new arrangements.

Figure 1 – Indication of secretariat support that may be required for different Forum roles









Small team of experts + access to specialists ~ $600K per annum
eg Biodiversity Collaborative Group
Potential funding streams/ models:
•	Proportional shared funding formula (status quo)
•	Increased Central Government allocation for Vote: Hauraki Gulf
•	Agency purchase of project deliverables from the Forum
•	Third party project funding
















Summary of the current status of agency response to Sea Change




Tim  Higham - Executive Officer, Hauraki Gulf Forum


Jacques  Victor - GM Auckland Plan Strategy and Research


Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



PDF Creator

PDF Creator

PDF Creator

Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



Hauraki Gulf Forum 2017/2018 Work Plan and Budget


File No.: CP2017/08173





1.       To seek approval of work plan and budget for 2017/2018.

Executive summary

2.       This work plan and budget enables the delivery of a state of environment assessment in 2017 and other statutory requirements of the Forum, associated communications products and the scoping of any operating model changes sought by the Forum.



That the Hauraki Gulf Forum:

a)      receive the report

b)      approve the proposed 2017/2018 work plan and budget.



Work plan

3.       The proposed work plan and budget for 2017/2018 looks to enable the Forum to deliver its statutory requirements, build on its current level of activity and position itself for potential new phases of leadership and impact.

4.       A triennial assessment of environmental state is planned for publication in late 2017. The report will build on previous assessments through a refresh of indicators and analysis of responsiveness to the Marine Park Act’s objectives and prioritised issues. Greater use of info-graphics and web accessibility will be considered in its production.

5.       Investment in a refreshed communications platform was completed this year with messaging now enabled through the Gulf Journal website and associated e-newsletter, published quarterly. A marine park seminar is being planned for September, including the Holdaway Award presentation. Continuation of a media partnership with NZME will be explored to build on the marine park poster series and associated educational content.

6.       An annual report is required for tabling in Parliament in August, and opportunities for engagement with political leaders associated with its presentation will be considered.

7.       Support for collaborative processes to address whale strike and seabird mortality will continue as these are delivering positive results. Opportunities for broader application of marine park linked standards of operating will be explored.

8.       Engagement with Foundation North and other funders will continue to encourage awareness of, and alignment, with Forum priorities.

9.       The proposed budget allows for further examination of any preferred options for operating model changes associated with the promotion and implementation of Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari.




State of the Gulf assessment (annualised contribution)


Communications (Annual report, web site, seminar, award and education initiatives)


Facilitation of responses to issues (including whale strike and seabird capture)


Operating model changes




Executive support












Shared funding formula





Tim  Higham - Executive Officer, Hauraki Gulf Forum


Jacques  Victor - GM Auckland Plan Strategy and Research


Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



PDF Creator

Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



Hauraki Gulf Forum Executive Officer's Report


File No.: CP2017/08197





1.       To receive an update from the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s Executive Officer.

Executive summary

2.       This report is prepared by Hauraki Gulf Forum Executive Officer to update Forum members on the delivery of the annual work plan, follow up actions from previous meetings, delivery of statutory requirements, and other matters of relevance since the last meeting.



That the Hauraki Gulf Forum:

a)      receive the Hauraki Gulf Forum Executive Officer’s report.



Sea Change -Tai Timu Tai Pari project

3.       Agency processes to consider the Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari proposed marine spatial plan are reported, where possible, in the related paper within the agenda.

4.       A formatted version of the proposed plan and a popular summary are currently being prepared for distribution under the guidance of the ‘project board’.

5.       A public meeting on the proposed plan was held at the Whangamata Ocean Sports Club on Wednesday 29th March, which involved several members of the Forum, the Stakeholder Working Group and Coromandel MP Scott Simpson.


6.       I continue to support Foundation North with its Gulf Innovation Fund Together investment, $5 million, five-year fund created address the issues identified in the Forum’s State of our Gulf assessments. See http://www.giftofthegulf.org.nz/.

7.       I participated in a presentation to Foundation North trustees and other philanthropic organisations on the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari plan, along with members of the Stakeholder Working Group and writing team on 1 May.

8.       The first two projects have been funded: the potential for impact investment in the in-shore fishing sector and the feasibility of predator-free Waiheke. See http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1705/S00078/first-steps-towards-more-sustainable-fisheries.htm

State of Environment report

9.       I am currently scoping preparation of the state of the environment assessment due this year to enable its presentation to the Forum’s November meeting.

10.     The report will refresh indicator information and review responsiveness to the management objectives of the marine park act (integration, environmental enhancement and recognition of tangata whenua relationships).

11.     Assistance with commissioning contributors, accessing information and reviewing drafts will be arranged with technical officers.

12.     I plan to consider greater use of info-graphics and accessibility via web platforms in its production.

Briefing of Chair the Local Government and Environment Select Committee

13.     The Forum Chair and I briefed Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, recently appointed to the role of Private Secretary for Environment and Conservation, on the work of the Hauraki Gulf Forum in March. Scott Simpson has subsequently also been assigned the Associate Environment Minister portfolio and is Minister of Statistics outside Cabinet.

Bryde’s whale ship strike collaborative group

14.     The latest quarterly monitoring results show:

          January – March 2017

·         No. transits: 474

o   No. speed records (4 per transit): 1896

·         Average speed all vessels: 10.7 kts

o   Average speed all cargo vessels (n=366): 10.5 kts

o   Average speed all tanker vessels (n=37): 10.9 kts

o   Average speed all passenger vessels (n=71): 11.8 kts

(I think this might be the first time the cruise average has been below 12, which is good news. Although I should qualify that by saying there were still indivisual vessels averaging 18 knots.)

·         Risk categories, all vessels:

o   Low risk (<10kts): 41%

o   Medium risk (10-12kts): 37%

o   High risk (12-14 kts): 17.5%

o   Very high risk (>14kts): 4.5%

15.     Commitments to its promotion have been secured from port authorities in Whangarei and Tauranga, to address cross-Gulf transits which have been identified in the higher risk categories.  Approaches are also being made directly to cruise operators, as their vessels also remain in the higher risk categories.

16.     I am currently preparing a nomination of the shipping sector for the Green Ribbon Awards, on behalf of the collaborative group.

Black Petrel Working Group

17.     A meeting of the Black Petrel Working Group was hosted on February 16.

18.     The group is considering the potential of an assurance programme to further define, recognize and reward seabird smart fishing practices. An application has been prepared for the Gulf Innovation Fund Together (GIFT) fund to scope feasibility.

19.     In February I accompanied a television crew filming Islands of the Gulf to the black petrel colony on Hirakimata, Great Barrier Island to discuss the seabird smart initiative and other successes around the Gulf. The series is expected to screen in June on TV One.

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar

20.     I am currently working with Auckland Museum to set a date for the 2017 Hauraki Gulf Marine Park seminar  in Septemeber, and identifying speakers.

21.     Members are encouraged to start to consider candidates for the 2017 Holdaway Award –initiated to recognise leadership in and around the marine park– which is to be presented at the seminar.

22.     2014 winner, fisherman Adam Clow, will be the subject of the 6 May 2017 Country Calendar programme.


Gulf Journal

23.     The next issue of Gulf Journal and its associated e-newsletter is being compiled for publication this month.

24.     The site provides a platform for news and commissioned articles about the Gulf and access to the knowledge products prepared by the Forum.

25.     Subscribers and page views continue to grow with each issue.

Poster series

26.     The Explore the Gulf Hauraki Gulf Marine Park poster series was published within the New Zealand Herald on February 27, 28 and March 1.

27.     The posters were distributed to all schools in New Zealand through the Education Gazette.

28.     The associated App is being promoted as part of school visits by Young Ocean Explorers (Steve and Riley Hathaway).

Tara Visit

29.     I am exploring opportunities for collaboration with the Sir Peter Blake Trust to mark the return of the French vessel, Tara, to New Zealand for the first time since the death of Kiwi yachtsman and environmentalist Sir Peter Blake.

30.     Tara was originally Seamaster, Sir Peter’s yacht. It will be berthed outside the Viaducts Event Centre in Auckland from 1 to 9 July and be open to the public, along with a travelling ocean awareness exhibition. I am looking at repurposing the poster series into a large scale, interactive display.

31.     Several events are also being planned - an official powhiri and greeting from waka and boats,  a special VIP welcome,  and public talk at the Viaduct Events Centre (capacity 1,200) – which provide opportunity to celebrate the Gulf and Sir Peter’s connections with it and involve Forum members.

Technical Officers Group

32.     Meetings of the Technical Officers Group were held in March and April to prepare the agenda papers and assist with project delivery.

Parking tickets

33.     As noted at the last meeting, a change in policy by Auckland Council meant that parking tickets were not available for members travelling to the meetings by car and using the Civic Carpark.

34.     I have arranged the purchase of tickets and can make these available at the meeting.



There are no attachments for this report.    



Tim  Higham - Executive Officer, Hauraki Gulf Forum


Jacques  Victor - GM Auckland Plan Strategy and Research


Hauraki Gulf Forum

15 May 2017



Constituent party report


File No.: CP2017/08300





1.       This report describes recent activities undertaken by Forum constituent parties which address the strategic issues of the Forum.  This report is a regular means of meeting the Forum’s purpose of facilitating communication, co-operation and co-ordination among its members

Executive summary

2.       This report describes recent activities undertaken by Forum constituent parties which address integrated management and prioritised, strategic issues. 

3.       This report is a regular means of meeting the Forum’s purpose of facilitating communication, co-operation and co-ordination among its members. 

4.       The strategic issues framework adopted by the Forum for focus and action identified the following management response areas:

a)      Regenerating green and blue areas

b)      Enhanced fisheries

c)      Mana whenua integration

d)      Active land management to address nutrient, sediment and contaminant pollution

e)      Knowledge generation within an integrated eco-system management approach


5.       The left-hand column of the following table can be used to link initiatives to this response framework.

6.       The sub-headings describe broad functional areas that can be used to categorise activity.



That the Hauraki Gulf Forum:

a)      receive the constituent party report.






Constituent party name: Ministry for Primary Industries

Hauraki Gulf Forum Strategic Issue


Enhanced fisheries


Future of our Fisheries Work Programme


MPI has launched a major work programme to improve the way we manage our fisheries. Called the Future of our Fisheries the programme involves three projects:


1.The Fisheries Management Review: includes 3 priorities for our fisheries policy programme over the next 2 years:


·    Maximising Value

·    Better Fisheries Information

·    Agile and Responsive Decision-Making


2. Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System -regulatory change: Proposed electronic reporting of catch and fishing activities by commercial fishers. Plus monitoring and verification using automated geospatial position reporting and automated on vessel cameras.


3. Enabling Innovative Trawl Technology (EITT) – regulatory change: Proposed regulations to allow innovative trawl gear to be approved for commercial use.




To ensure MPI’s approach was on the right track, MPI held a public consultation from 11 November to 23 December 2016. As part of this, MPI met with tangata whenua and held 15 public consultation meetings across the country.


Partnership with Maori


Tangata whenua are inextricably linked to New Zealand’s seas and fisheries by whakapapa and through the exercise of kaitiakitanga over marine resources. Uniquely, tangata whenua have interests in all fisheries sectors – customary, recreational and commercial. Tangata whenua are also partners with the Crown in managing customary non-commercial fisheries.


The 1992 Deed of Settlement and the Settlement Act have confirmed the rights and interests of tangata whenua in fisheries. Tangata whenua have a central role in the sustainable use of New Zealand’s fisheries resources.


MPI will continue to work in partnership with tangata whenua in the development of the Future of our Fisheries work programme.


Technical Advisory Group


A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) has been appointed to give expert, independent advice on the draft work programme. The group has wide experience in many fishery sectors and a deep understanding of the importance of a sustainable future for New Zealand’s oceans.

Members include:


·      Sir Rob Fenwick (Chair) 

·      Harry Burkhardt

·      Graeme Sinclair

·      Lesley Campbell 

·      Graham Stuart.


Next Steps


Cabinet has approved proposals for the 2 regulatory changes for an Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS), and Enabling Innovative Trawl Technology (EITT). Regulatory changes for both IEMRS and EITT are expected to be in place later in 2017. For IEMRS, it is expected that geospatial position reporting and electronic catch and activity reporting will be introduced on all commercial fishing vessels from 1 October 2017. Video monitoring will be phased in from 1 October 2018. MPI expects to work with key stakeholders to ensure the regulations meet intended objectives and are fit for purpose.


MPI is reviewing all information received to inform the work programme for the Fisheries Management Review project for Minister’s review and Cabinet approval later this year.


Other Fisheries Management


Alongside the Future of our Fisheries initiatives MPI is continuing to deliver its operational work programme for fisheries.


Snapper 1 Strategic Plan

A long-term plan for the future management of New Zealand’s most valuable snapper fishery has been accepted by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.


Establishing a collaborative multi-stakeholder group to develop a management strategy was an important part of the changes to support the rebuild of the Snapper 1 stock announced by Minister Guy in 2013. The report has a strong focus on improving fishing practices, minimising waste and gathering accurate information. The recommendations include:


·  Aiming to achieve a biomass target of 40 per cent of the unfished state by 2040, with an aim of 30 per cent by 2025

·  A review conducted by 2021 with updated stock information

·  Educate all fishers on ways to avoid juvenile fish and increase survival rates of snapper released

·  Close monitoring including analysis of catch levels by all sectors.


Assessment of the stock status


Each year, MPI convenes a large number of Fisheries Assessment Working Group meetings that are open to everyone who wishes to attend. The results of scientific research are combined with catch and effort reports from commercial fisheries, data from our on-board observer programme, and other information to produce assessments of the status of NZ fish stocks. This information is summarised in two annual Fisheries Assessment Plenary Reports.

The Fisheries Assessment Plenary Report for May 2017 is currently being updated and will include new information on freshwater eel, bluenose, gurnard, jack mackerel and ling quota management stocks that overlap with the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. 


The stock status of all NZ fish stocks has recently been summarised and is available at http://www.mpi.govt.nz/law-and-policy/legal-overviews/fisheries/status-of-the-fisheries-resources/  This report summarises the status of New Zealand’s fish stocks relative to the requirements of the “Harvest Strategy Standard”.


Management reviews


Each year, MPI reviews catch limits and other management controls for selected stocks. This occurs twice a year to inform decisions for the 1 April and 1 October fishing years. This is consistent with the requirement that MPI ensures fisheries resources are used sustainably.


New science information from the Fisheries Assessment Working Groups contributes to determining which stocks are put forward for review. For example, the new information on bluenose will be used to inform a management review ahead of the October 2017-18 fishing year (consultation planned for June).


In other cases, MPI may use the new information to support discussions about management of shared fisheries, to inform future management reviews.


MPI is seeking to improve and increase opportunities for engagement across the range of interests in these fisheries. MPI wants to better involve local communities in the business of fisheries management.


Two key topics for engagement coming up are reviews for freshwater eels and for rock lobster in the CRA2 quota management areas.


New information on longfin and shortfin eels in the North Island has recently been presented for scientific review. MPI will be setting up an engagement process to discuss this new science alongside other information to inform a management review next year.


MPI is aware of ongoing concerns over the availability of rock lobster in the Hauraki Gulf. In response MPI has brought the full scientific review of the fishery forward from 2018 to later this year.  Prior to the confirmation of the new science MPI will be establishing an engagement process to gather local input into characterising problems and potential solutions for management of this fishery. This information will be used to inform catch limit settings from April 2018 and the implementation of any other management controls later in 2018. As an interim measure the CRA2 Industry have voluntarily cut their commercial catch limit. For the 2017 April fishing years, the voluntary commercial catch limit will be 150 tonnes (down from 200 tonnes).


Over the medium term MPI is planning to revisit its fisheries planning process to look for opportunities to better coordinate the research programmes and management reviews of associated fishstocks to improve consideration of the interactions between species and respond to aspirations for ecosystem based management which have been further highlighted through the Future of Our Fisheries review.


Shellfish Bed Closures


Monitoring will continue at sites within the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park as part of the MPI intertidal monitoring programme. MPI is also planning to continue work initiated in 2016 on a broader management strategy for intertidal shellfish.

Aquatic and Biodiversity Annual review


The focus of the Fisheries Assessment Working Groups is fishstock status and environmental considerations at a fishstock or species scale.  A broader analysis of environmental considerations is compiled each year in   the Aquatic and Biodiversity Annual Review, the most recent edition, published in 2016, is the sixth of the series of “Environmental State of NZ Fisheries Waters” and  expands and updates previous editions.


The report summarises available information and research on themes such as the environmental effects of fishing and aspects of marine biodiversity and productivity relevant to fish and fisheries. The impacts of fishing on protected species and incidental bycatch are other themes.


MPI is currently developing an overarching plan to describe and guide the management associated with these environmental themes. 


With regards to bycatch MPI is currently trialling camera technology on the snapper 1 (SNA1) trawl fleet. The project is designed to validate mandatory catch reporting of undersized snapper and evaluate the efficacy of current measures to mitigate these catches.


A proof of concept project has also been initiated in the FMA 1 Snapper (SNA) and Bluenose (BNS) bottom longline (BLL) fishery, to coincide with the 2016-17 black petrel breeding season (October – May). This project, primarily funded by industry and supported by the BPWG, will assess the capacity for Electronic Monitoring to detect seabird interactions with commercial fisheries. The results will be used to inform standards and specifications for IEMRS.


Other seabird work


The BPWG most recently met in February this year. The main focus was to discuss a proposed assurance program for the Hauraki Gulf to reflect the work that members of the group, and wider stakeholders have done to mitigate fisheries risk to Black Petrels and other seabirds. The group is seeking funding from Foundation North to fund the exploratory phase of the program. The focus will be on access and social license rather than value adding in the medium term.

With the black petrel breeding season almost over the observer program in the FMA 1 SNA and BNS BLL fisheries will be wrapping up. The information collected from this program will be used to inform future iterations of the New Zealand seabird risk assessment. Information collected during the IEMRS proof of concept project should provide an additional source of information on seabird captures in FMA 1 BLL fisheries and improve overall monitoring in this fishery.

The recreational team have recently published a responsible fishing brochure for recreational fishers, which includes information on safe handling and release of captured seabirds. This was distributed in the fishing news magazine and is available at all MPI offices.




Department of Conservation

Hauraki Gulf Forum Strategic Issue

Policy and Plan Development, Regulation and Compliance


Regenerating green and blue areas

Enhanced fisheries

Mana whenua integration Active land management Knowledge generation within an eco-system based framework

Hauturu/Little Barrier Conservation Management Plan


Development of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for Hauturu/Little Barrier is a key piece of redress in the Ngāti Manuhiri Treaty settlement. The Ngāti Manuhiri Trust and the Auckland Conservation Board are co-approvers of this plan.


Work on the plan has reached a further milestone.  Following revision of the plan in response to public submissions, the draft plan has been referred to the NZ Conservation Authority and Minister of Conservation for comment. 


For more see:  http://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/have-your-say/all-consultations/2016/te-hauturu-o-toi-little-barrier-island-conservation-management-plan/


Motu Plan (Conservation Management Plan)


Development of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for four inner Gulf Islands (Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe/Te Motu-a-Ihenga, Motukorea/Browns) is a key piece of redress in the Tāmaki Collective Treaty settlement.  The Tūpuna Taonga o Tāmaki Makaurau Trust (a post Treaty settlement entity of the Tāmaki Collective) and the Auckland Conservation Board are co-approvers of this plan.


It had been hoped that work on the plan would have commenced in March.  This has been delayed while resourcing needs for both the Department and the Trust are identified, and a funding package can be approved. 



Operations and Asset Management

Rakitu Island pest eradication

It is now likely that the long planned pest eradication of Rakitu will now take place in the winter of 2018.  The Department has been engaging with iwi and other interested parties about the future of the weka present on the island, which were introduced many years ago from the mainland.   There are differing views on the long term future of this population and the future vision for the island.  In the meantime planning for the eradication is proceeding on the basis that weka will be retained on the island for at least the short term.



Kauri dieback recreation facilities upgrades

The Department has previously reported the Government’s funding of $21m to fund upgrades to recreation facilities to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease.  Work on upgrades to the Okura Bush walkway have been completed and work has now moved to tracks on Great Barrier Island.  Work on two tracks on Gt. Barrier has been completed.  Contracts for undertaking the upgrade work on the remainder of the critical tracks on the island have been let and the bulk of the work will commence soon. 

A large number of tracks on the Coromandel are scheduled for upgrades under the project, and work specifications are presently being prepared before putting this work out to tender.

For more see:  http://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/kauri-dieback-recreation-project/


Storm damage

The series of significant storms in recent weeks has resulted in damage to recreation facilities in a number of sites across the Marine Park.  Damage was reported in the Kauaeranga Valley and on some of the Gulf islands such as Motutapu.

The Department is working to progressively re-open tracks and other facilities once repairs have been made and public safety can be assured.  Motutapu has been temporarily closed to the public.

For more on Motutapu see:  http://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2017/motutapu-closed-to-protect-the-public/


DOC Community Fund

A number of applicants within the Hauraki Gulf area were successful with their applications for funds under the DOC Community Fund.  The Fund is available to support community groups undertaking conservation projects.  Th Government allocated $26m for expenditure over four years for the Fund.  The third year of allocations has now been completed.

Projects funded in the Hauraki Gulf area include:

·    weed control on Motuihe Island (Motuihe Trust);

·    weed control on Motuora Island (Motuora Restoration Society);

·    rat and cat control in the Windy Hill Sanctuary on Gt. Barrier (Windy Hill Rosalie Bay Catchment Trust);

·    further translocation of Coromandel brown kiwi to Motutapu (Motutapu Restoration Trust);

·    weed control at Te Matuku Bay on Waiheke (Te Matuku Bay Landcare Group);

·    wilding pine control at Te Karo Bay, eastern Coromandel (Tairua Environment Society); and


·    kiwi recovery work on the Kuaotunu Peninsula, eastern Coromandel (Project Kiwi Trust).


For more see:  http://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/funding/doc-community-fund/


Gulf-wide plan for threatened species

The Department has a concept for a plan setting out how threatened species populations in the Hauraki Gulf will be managed at a Gulf-wide scale.  Such a plan would be developed in association with partners in conservation, including the Forum and its constituent parties.  At the time of writing it is still a very conceptual idea and has yet to be tested with key partners.

The intention is that such a plan would provide an overall framework for managing threatened species populations across the Gulf.  It could bring the aspirations and work of all partners together in one place to help tell the overall story about what we hope to collectively achieve.  It could be a guide for identifying and resourcing priority work, and encourage new work where gaps are identified.  It could also help guide those involved in restoration programmes about where future translocations might be appropriate.





Waikato Regional Council

Hauraki Gulf Forum Strategic Issue

Policy and Plan Development, Regulation and Compliance





The Coromandel Marine Farming Zone

In January 2017 Waikato Regional Council opened the tender round for 240 hectares of the Coromandel Marine Farming Zone for fish farming.


The space is in the Coromandel Marine Farming Zone about 10 kilometres to the west of Coromandel Town.


The criteria for selection focus on the socio-economic benefits to the local community as well as to New Zealand, and the environmental practices of the applicant.  The successful bidder or bidders must still obtain a resource consent before commencing fish farming within the zone.


Tenders closed in late April and are currently being evaluated. 




Investigation and Monitoring



Coastal water quality monitoring for contact recreation

Waikato Regional Council has monitored nine open coast beaches over the summer months to assess their suitability for recreation such as swimming or surfing. These beaches were monitored weekly from November to March following the national recreational water quality guidelines. Seven of these locations are within the Hauraki Gulf: Buffalo Beach (Whitianga), Hot Water Beach, Tairua, Pauanui, Onemana, Whagamata, and Whiritoa.


Results are published to the national environmental data reporting platform Land and Water Aotearoa (LAWA).  Monitoring to date has shown that water quality in the Waikato Region is high and typically well within guideline values.


Coromandel streams investigation

In January and February 2015, WRC investigated the water quality at several stream mouths throughout the Coromandel. We found that some of these water bodies were particularly susceptible to contaminants (excess nutrients and faecal bacteria) that are washed from the surrounding land, particularly 24–48 hours after heavy rainfall (waikatoregion.govt.nz/tr201607).


WRC is currently conducting a more comprehensive follow up study in four catchments (Stewart Stream [Opito Bay], Kuaotunu, Taputapuatea Stream [Mother Brown; Whitianga], Pepe Stream [Tairua]) to further identify potential causes of contamination. The study is designed to identify the source of contamination within the catchment and whether it is human or ruminant animal (e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, deer) derived. It will also investigate how the concentration and source of contamination might change during dry and wet weather and during spring and neap tides.

The findings from this investigation will be published on the WRC website in mid-2017.


The findings from this study will help us to better understand the range and source of contamination at these locations following different weather and tide events. This will help us to develop targeted investigations and responses to coastal water quality issues throughout the Waikato region. It may also inform the development of catchment management initiatives if there are opportunities to reduce contamination into these streams.


Coromandel Focus Catchment Project

The Coromandel Focus Catchment Project is a primary outcome of Harbour and Catchment Management Plans. It looks at key methods of minimising erosion and resultant sediment deposition to sensitive receiving environments. The project focuses on a sub catchment scale, looking at a range of at risk areas and identifying land management actions. These include actions such as retiring vulnerable areas from grazing, riparian retirement and enhancement, wetland creation and restoration and enhanced sediment trapping.


Two catchments have been chosen, Wharekawa River, in the Wharekawa catchment and Waitekuri Stream, in the Whangapoua catchment, based on risk of sediment contamination, types of land use, and connections with the coast, community engagement and ability to view/demonstrate good practice.


WRC staff are currently working with local landowners/managers in these areas to discuss and ground truth potential management options. 


A review of the impacts from invasion by the introduced kelp Undaria pinnatifida


WRC has published a review of the impacts from Undaria invasion to improve the ability of those managing impacts from marine invasive species to appropriately define (and weight) risks associated with Undaria invasion. It concludes that Undaria invasion can modify intertidal and subtidal communities and that impacts can occur across all trophic levels.


While there are knowledge gaps, enough evidence is available to warrant real concern over Undaria invasion and the subsequent ecological impacts on native communities.

The report is available at: https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/services/publications/technical-reports/2016-technical-reports/tr201640




Operations and Asset Management



Marine biosecurity

The 2017 annual Sabella survey is underway. The purpose of the survey is to check 150 random points in and around the Coromandel harbour for the presence of Sabella. Should the unwanted organism be found at any of these sites, it is removed and delimiting is carried out to ensure the area is clear of Sabella.


Results from the 2016 Sabella survey (range and removal of worms) of Coromandel harbour indicate the spread of Sabella has increased within the harbour, and is now at high densities. This new information is likely to impact management activities going forward. Council and MPI are currently investigating options.


Council is working with Bay of Plenty Regional Council to undertake marine biosecurity surveillance on the Coromandel. The purpose of the survey is to understand the range of pests to allow for better management of the issue; quick response increases likelihood of eradication.


Council continues to be a member of the Top of the North Marine Biosecurity Partnership. In this partnership is NRC, BOPRC, Auckland Council, Gisborne Council and MPI. Hawkes Bay RC attended the first meeting of 2017.



Two research projects have been funded this financial year to a) better understand how to destroy Sabella, and b) to increase understanding the biology of Sabella to aid in the management of this unwanted organism. The latter project is jointly funded by WRC, NRC, BOPRC, AC, MPI and Coromandel mussel farm association.





Auckland Council


Recent published reports


Auckland East Coast Estuarine monitoring report

Hewitt, J.E., McCartain, L.D., (2017). Auckland east coast estuarine monitoring programme: report on data collected up until October 2015. Prepared by NIWA for Auckland Council. Auckland Council technical report, TR2017/003.

This report presents the findings of the estuarine monitoring programme, of which the abundances of nine macrofauna taxa, macrofaunal community characteristics and bed sediment characteristics are monitored at four sites in each of seven east coast estuaries (Puhoi, Waiwera, Orewa, Mangemangeroa, Turanga, Waikopua and Whangateau), with 10 sites sampled in Okura due to the developments proposed within its catchment and immediate shoreline. The results provide important information on the health of these estuaries which has been used as evidence in state of the environment reporting, report cards and the development of the Auckland Unitary Plan. This report documents the degree to which each estuary may be affected by terrestrial sediment inputs as well as their present status. This report will be available by early May 2017 from here:



Treasure Islands campaign survey report

Lysnar, P. (2016). Summary of findings from the Hauraki Gulf Treasure Islands campaign survey 2014. Prepared for Auckland Council Environmental Services. This report summarises the findings of a 2014 survey undertaken in order to gain an understanding of the public’s awareness and involvement in biosecurity on the Hauraki Gulf islands, and their perception of the Treasure Island campaign. This report may be obtained from here: http://www.knowledgeauckland.org.nz/publication/show/1367





Monitoring continues on saline water quality, sediment quality (with focus on stormwater metals), subtidal reef ecology at a small number of sites and soft sediment intertidal benthic ecology in most of our harbours and estuaries although the number of sites covered is reduced. We are investigating the use of aerial images for subtidal habitat monitoring and methods for monitoring sediment accumulation rate and the effects of this. Our current focus is on making as much data available on line and in real time as possible where appropriate.

Our SoE report was released in October 2015 and our local board level report cards were updated in October 2016. Both are available on http://stateofauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/



In conjunction with NIWA approximately 80 long term intertidal sites are monitored on a 2-5 yearly rotational basis to assess benthic ecological health and sediment contaminants.  We are scoping the introduction of emerging contaminants to this monitoring programme.

King Tides Auckland is an ongoing community initiative that encourages people to visit and photograph king tide events, and share via the website (http://auckland.kingtides.org.nz) and social media (www.facebook.com/kingtidesakl/).  The project is designed to help record, and educate communities, in regard to changing water levels occurring along the coastline, and what to expect in the future, as a result of projected sea level rise.



Regional Parks

Regional Parks Update.


The management of Motukorea ‘Browns Island’ has been officially passed from DOC to Auckland Council. To date council parks staff have been on the island undertaking a handover from DOC on pest and weed control as well as looking at assets and facilities. A new sign has been made to reflect the change of ownership and staff are currently working with the Outboard Boating Club of Auckland over options for volunteer support.


Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke Island was severely damaged during the two recent storm events. The workshop and office was flooded four times and two walking tracks will remain closed due to a major slip and severe cracking along one track.



Local Boards


Waiheke and Great Barrier Local Boards

Auckland Council’s 21 local boards are all in the process of developing their local board plans for the 2017-2020 term. The plans chart each board’s strategic direction and outline key initiatives they want to progress during their term.


Each board must prepare a draft plan for formal community consultation over six weeks in June, with a final plan being produced by October. Both Waiheke and Great Barrier’s draft plans are now complete ready for consultation. Outlined below are the key elements of each plan of relevance to the Forum’s work.

The draft Aotea Great Barrier Local Board Plan includes an outcome that Our Environment is Protected and Enhanced.


·    The board will deliver marine protection and enhancement in collaboration with mana whenua, the community and the Hauraki Gulf Forum, using Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari as a guide.


·    The board will continue with targeted freshwater quality monitoring to identify pollution sources and agree actions to resolve them and investigate the supply of clean drinking water.


·    The board will identify key coastal infrastructure needing protection from erosion and develop environmentally sensitive ways to address this.


·    The board will investigate opportunities for the local sale of island-caught fish.


The draft Waiheke Local Board Plan includes an outcome that Waiheke’s Environment is Treasured.

·    Support academic and citizen science programmes to help understand and support the health of the aquatic environment

·    Develop an environmental and marine education centre.   This may require advocating to Council’s governing body or investigating partnership opportunities.

·    Continue to deliver wetland restoration and regeneration projects, working with local schools and the community

·    Partner with our schools to support the Sustainable Schools programmes on Waiheke

·    Monitor and regenerate freshwater ecology including impacts on the receiving environment

·    Pursue the establishment of Marine Protected Areas

·    Develop and deliver management plans for our Esplanade Reserves

·    Progress remediation of the Little Oneroa Stream water catchment

·    Implement Watershed / Catchment management plans, including monitoring of the drainage network

·    Work with Waiheke’s tourism industry to promote activities that retain and enhance our natural environment



Waiheke Marine Reserves

The Waiheke Local Board has commissioned an assessment of a number suggested locations for no-take marine reserves around the island by noted marine biologist Dr Tim Haggitt. The report states that the benefits of having parts of the north-western coastline of Waiheke Island as a no-take marine reserve would include:

·    Protection of high-quality habitat within the inner Hauraki Gulf;

·    Providing a refuge from line-fishing, spear-fishing, and dredging within the inner Hauraki Gulf.

·    Allowing for recovery of spiny rock lobster populations;

·    Protection of scallop beds;

·    Protection of a diverse range of soft sediment habitats and associated biological communities; and,

·    Enhanced larval export due to the strong tidal currents associated with the western and northern region of the reserve

For the areas suggested at Anzac Bay and Whakanehwa Bay on the south of the island the report suggested that the benefit from complete no-take protection of these reserves may lie in the protection of bivalve species that are commonly harvested (cockles and pipi); and the protection of important biogenic habitats from disturbance.




Policy Plan Development, Regulation and Compliance

Wai Ora- Healthy Waterways/National Policy Statement Freshwater Management


The programme continues, with an integrated watershed plan for the Waitemata due at the end of June.  This will act as a prototype for the other nine “watersheds” identified in Auckland, with IWPs developed for these by the end of the year.






Auckland Unitary Plan

The Auckland Unitary Plan includes the regional coastal plan as well as RPS, regional plan and district plans. Appeals closed on 16 September 2016.  There are only three coastal plan appeals (all to the High Court). The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society relates to most of the regional coastal plan and whether it gives effect to NZCPS policy 11 (Indigenous biological diversity). The other appeal points relate to the significant ecological area criteria, livestock access in the coastal marine area, outstanding natural landscapes and outstanding natural character.


Settlement of the Forest and Bird appeal point regarding the NZCPS has been agreed between the parties and consent DOCuments have been lodged with the High Court, which would see provisions in the Unitary Plan give greater effect to the NZCPS.  If the Court approves the settlement, the Plan will be sent to the Minister of Conservation for approval so the Plan can become operative in part.  The livestock access appeal may require a hearing.  Discussions with the parties are on-going for the points on outstanding natural landscapes and outstanding natural character.


Significant Ecological Areas

Identification of areas of significant ecological areas is a key tool in the Unitary Plan, and there are SEAs in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal environments.  However, SEAs in the CMA are focussed on the near shore area, and it is recognised and acknowledged in the Unitary Plan that there is inadequate identification of sub-tidal areas of ecological significance. The research unit is currently putting together a project plan to start addressing this, utilising the MARHads tool developed through Envirolink in 2009 and collaborations with DOC, LINZ and other researchers.


Resource Consents


There is no update on the two Westpac Mussel Distributors marine farming applications that were rejected.


The 470ha marine farming application by the Western Firth Consortium was accepted, but is on s37 pending consultation with iwi.  The applicant notes that if the application is granted they will withdraw the existing application for spat catching.


The Kennedy Point Marina application has been heard.  The hearing commissioners are yet to release their decision.  


Resource consent has been issued to Watercare for a wastewater discharge from the new Warkworth Snells Beach wastewater treatment plant.  This new MBR plant will cater for population growth in the area. The resource consent will see the cessation of the existing discharge to the Mahurangi Harbour within 5 years, and a new discharge to the Hauraki Gulf to the south of Martins Bay.


Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 - Customary Marine Title (CMT) and Protected Customary Rights (PCR)

Auckland Council recently received notification from the Ministry of Justice of a CMT and PCR application by Te Whānau Ā Hauanui, dated 16 February 2017, in respect of an area on the Firth of Thames between Wharekawa and Tapapakanga Streams, to an area out to 4.8 nautical miles.


Prior to the April 3 deadline for applications for recognition of customary interests, several broad applications were lodged, including one from Ngati Whatua covering much of the Waitemata Harbour (from North Head to Kohimarama).


Key Coastal Projects and Operational Matters


Orewa Beach


The resource consent application lodged by Auckland Council for a 600m long rock revetment, to protect esplanade reserve along the mid beach, has been publically notified.  Submission closing date is 12 May 2017.


Coastal slips


Following extreme rainfall events in late March and early April, a large number of coastal slips occurred along the Regions east coast.  This has resulted in the temporary closure of coastal cliff top walkways, damaged public infrastructure, and threatened private property.  The relatively high sand levels present on east coast beaches prior to these events provided a buffer to the high wave energies associated with these storms, with no significant resulting beach erosion observed.



Marine Biosecurity


Permanent marine biosecurity advisor FTE appointed. AC cross-council working group continues to identify opportunities for improved marine biosecurity outcomes, including in relation to Unitary Plan provisions.  Work also continues on a pan-regional and national basis, to improve coordination and support of actions by regional, national and non-governmental parties.  The “Top of the North” partnership (NRC, AC, WRC, BOPRC, GDC, MPI and DOC) is continuing to info-share and collaborate on marine biosecurity issues.


Baseline Auckland region hull surveillance programme has commenced with a number of marinas and popular anchorage/mooring areas being surveyed across the region for hull level of fouling (biofouling).


New marine pest incursions within the Hauraki gulf: confirmed range extension of Eudistoma elongatum (Australian droplet tunicate) with a population detected at Waiheke Island. Previous known locations within Auckland are Mahurangi Harbour and Sandspit. Sabella spallanzanii (Mediterranean fanworm) detected at Great Barrier Island. A response was launched and delimiting survey found localised populations at Port Fitzroy and on the hull of a boat at Tryphena harbour..







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Tim  Higham - Executive Officer, Hauraki Gulf Forum


Jacques  Victor - GM Auckland Plan Strategy and Research