The Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park
Where does Great Barrier fit it?
by Judy Gilbert
 

Recognition of the importance of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is growing. The Hauraki Gulf Forum which brings together DOC, the Ministry of Fisheries, Te Puni Kokiri, Council, and Iwi representatives has the driving mandate to promote integrated management to protect the values of the islands and waters of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park (HGMP). The means guarding the Gulf from impacts – be that the effluent of the 410,000 dairy cows grazing the Hauraki Plains, to overfishing, to sediment from land development along the Waitemata seaboard. Regional, district and city councils are tasked with mitigating threats like pollution and sedimentation at sources well beyond the park Boundaries.
The HGMP was created in 1967 by an Act of Parliament, and administered by the then Department of Lands and Survey. However, by the time that DOC was created in 1986, the old park was disestablished. In 2000, new legislation, the HG Marine Park Act, prescribed a new way and will to manage and sustain the life supporting capacity of the Gulf and islands. The marine park is a unique concept in New Zealand conservation – its goal is to connect communities living and working in the country’s largest city to the unique natural and cultural heritage values of the Hauraki Gulf. The fact that Auckland was ranked fourth-best city in the world in a recent Quality of Life report reflects the importance of this connection. Boaties will tell you there isn’t any better cruising in the world.
Of the 50 or so islands within the HGMP, Great Barrier Island at 28,500 hectares is by far the largest island and has perhaps the greatest opportunity to showcase its unique biodiversity, natural untamed beauty, wilderness experiences, and marine environment. With close to 70% of the island already in the DOC estate and another 1000 hectares of private land being ecologically restored there is already sown the seed of the biggest inhabited “Hauraki Gulf Sanctuary”.
The island will be profiled at the 10th Anniversary of the Marine Park creation in February 2010 with the release of the GBI Trust State of the Environment report. This comprehensive report is a first for the island and will provide DOC, ARC, and Auckland City with the most comprehensive current snapshot of the islands unique values, the threats to these values, and the pathway to mitigating further loss. A smaller edition will be sent to all island residents and ratepayers.

Peter Glucklman
Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister  “ Science is not simple – it is a process of reducing uncertainty – it never proves anything: science disproves things or reduces uncertainty”