Great Barrier Island Environmental News


Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari - an Update
by Linda Bercusson - Engagement and Media Lead, Sea Change

2016 has been a busy year for Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari, with the Stakeholder Working Group close to finishing work on several chapters of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan.

The plan will only be completed when there is consensus across all of the proposed areas and recommendations. Each of the major topics such as water quality has overlapping causes and potential solutions, and an integrated approach is needed to all of the issues facing the Hauraki Gulf.

The recommendations focus on creating a 'sea change' – a real difference to all 1.2 million hectares of the Hauraki Gulf – rather than maintaining business as usual. The health and wellbeing of the gulf and the communities that depend on it, above and below water, are too important for us all not to be taking this challenge on.

Refresher: what is Sea Change?

Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari has been underway since December 2013 as a co-governance and stakeholder-led spatial planning exercise for the Hauraki Gulf. The project has engaged iwi, commercial fishers, recreational fishers, marine farmers, land users, conservationists and others in a consensus-based collaborative process.

The development of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan is now well advanced. The plan is scheduled to be finalised prior to the end of 2016. Its purpose is to achieve sustainable management of the Hauraki Gulf which is vibrant with life, has a healthy mauri, is increasingly productive and supports thriving communities.

Within the Stakeholder Working Group’s scope are commercial, customary and recreational fisheries, as well as marine protection, with recognition that fisheries and marine protection are interconnected.

Mātauranga Māori

Mana whenua representatives (working together as the Mātauranga Māori Representative Group) have been working ‘in step’ with the Stakeholder Working Group to provide a mātauranga Māori context for each topic of the developing plan. 

The Representative Group’s focus is also to ensure mana whenua o Tīkapa Moana/Te Moana Nui-ā-Toi interests are at the forefront of this work.

The Representative Group meets monthly to further this work; have held a series of hui-ā-iwi; and conducted a number of kanohi ki te kanohi hui to check in with and report back to iwi/hapū. Most recently, members attended a hui with Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Māori Trust Board at Kawa marae, Te Motu o Aotea/Great Barrier Island. 

Working with agencies

The Stakeholder Working Group meets regularly with key agency representatives in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. The continued support of central and local government is vital to successfully implementing the plan’s collaborative process, as well as the direction of the plan.

Access to the technical expertise from the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Primary Industries, Waikato Regional Council and Auckland Council throughout this project has been invaluable in ensuring the logic and science behind the Group’s recommendations are sound.



You are very welcome to share your thoughts either directly with Stakeholder Working Group members or through the ‘contact us’ button ( on the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari website.


Environmental News Issue 36 Winter 2016