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Hauraki Gulf Forum

It's that time of year again when the members of the Forum become agitated over the state of the Gulf, and their apparent inability to get Government action on their draconian proposals. See Jamie Morton's report in today's NZH on the subject.

If you enter 'Gulf Forum' into the search engine here you will see that the agitation goes back over six years or more, and basically follows the same line around acquiring greater powers and bureaucracy to control what goes into the Gulf, and what comes out of it. See here for example the post from February last year just prior to the adoption of the Sea Change document by the Forum. The futility brought about by the conflicting demands of iwi, commercial and amateur fishers, councils and 'Uncle Tom Cobbly and all' are by now well understood, but with a new Government, they are now appealing directly to Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage to sort out the mess.

Good luck with that - she will find like others before her that the bureaucrats, and courts have created an almost insoluble tangle of conflicting and over-lapping regulations, and there are indeed important players, including our own Mayor and Council who have no desire to see this situation sorted - it suits them just fine to have the current imbroglio, and they remain implacably opposed to the kind of neat solutions being proposed by John Tregidga and fellow members of the Forum. 

Sage will have her work cut out if she thinks that there is an easy solution to what she fondly imagines is a situation entirely brought about by the previous Governments "unwillingness to act." It will need more than political support to get the 'Sea Change' plan off the shelf where it has been "gathering dust" as she claims. New Governments' have this bright-eyed desire to act, but she may find that there are more potential pratfalls in this Plan than she could possibly have imagined, starting with the almost complete abrogation of statutory powers into the hands of iwi interests. 

It will be interesting to see how this develoips, and our Council will need to remain extremely vigilent if it is not to be side-lined in this process.


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