Hauraki Gulf Forum 
Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:19PM
Bill Barclay

The Hauraki Gulf Forum will consider all the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pati Marine Spatial Plan recommendations at its meeting on Monday 20 February.

The recommendations are that:

a)      note that the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari Marine Spatial Plan provides a package of integrated actions or pathways that are broadly consistent with the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s vision and the management objectives of the Hauraki Marine Park Act 2000.

b)      agree to have a substantive discussion at the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s May 2017 meeting on the Sea Change recommendations and their implications for its future work programme.

c)      request that the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s Executive Officer, working collaboratively with the Technical Officers Group, provide advice prior to its May 2017 meeting on options to promote and implement the vision and pathways identified in Sea Change plan, within its powers and functions under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000.

After much beating round the bush, it boils down to this - the new Forum will have expanded powers as follows: 

"There is scope within the Forum’s current mandate for it to expand the range of activities it undertakes. Some of Sea Change’s detailed recommendations relating to the anticipated governance entity refer directly to the Forum, and several suggest functions that go beyond what the Forum currently does but that may be a natural extension of the Forum’s role and are arguably within the scope of its current mandate, including:

a)      overseeing the implementation plan for the Sea Change Marine Spatial Plan

b)      convening “action committees” and “multi-agency advisory groups” charged with making recommendations to responsible agencies and ministers

c)      establishing a research and monitoring committee to act as a broker and hub for research activities

d)      leading strategic Gulf-wide initiatives

e)      coordinating the actions of community initiatives and restoration groups

f)       providing advice to applicants for major infrastructure projects

g)      requiring reports from agencies on their progress towards implementing an ecosystem/mātauranga Māori-based approach to marine management"

These recommendations could be implemented by the Forum without the need for statutory change. (My underline!)To play these roles effectively, however, the Forum would likely need:

a)      the support of its member agencies

b)      additional resources

c)      amendments to the Forum’s governance statement

d)      changes to the role definitions of agency staff supporting the Forum (i.e. through formal secondments to a Forum secretariat).

Some of Sea Change’s recommendations, however, suggest changes to the structure and membership of the Forum, and substantial extensions to its role – mandating it to approve plans that agencies would then be required to “give effect to”. These changes would fundamentally change the shape of the Forum and relationship to the other management agencies with responsibilities in and to the Gulf. To play these roles effectively, enabling statutory change would also be required in addition to the points noted in paragraph 14 (potentially going beyond the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act to include the Resource Management Act 1991 and other statutes). (My underline!)

Now to the crunch - the only one of the various member agencies that gave a definitive reply is own own:

        "Review Process :

"At a Council meeting on 24 January 2017, Councillors gave their input to the Mayor on the governance review of the Hauraki Gulf Forum. Council does not support the changes to governance arrangements for the Hauraki Gulf Forum proposed by the independent reviews, and nor does it support the consequent actions required to support those changes."

Initial Position:

"Council considers the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan, “Sea Change”, should be used as an information tool only to inform the strategic action functions of the Hauraki Gulf Forum going forward and that any moves to change its status as a statutory document should trigger a full resource management consultative process"

I think that we can be proud of the position taken by our Council - the most affected by the Plan. All the other agencies equivocated, and stalled. Hauraki failed its rate-payers by referring its response to its District Plan over the next three years, and indicating that its Mayoir "would make any comment" - pathetic!

I can hardly recommend that you read the document above - it is so full of double speak and bureaucratic crap, but at least you will understand just what we up against in getting some common sense into this process.

The complete abbrogation of the rights of every person using the Gulf is substantially proven by the craven nonsense promulgated in today's HH by Catherine Delahunty. Why am I not surprised?



Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
See website for complete article licensing information.