February 16, 2022

Democratic control of the Hauraki Gulf & Regional Parks is about to be lost

Aucklanders' ability to freely use and enjoy the Hauraki Gulf is at risk. 

This is because the Hauraki Gulf Forum, a consultative and advocacy body established under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, is about to vote to remove elected councillors and in their place establish an iwi controlled model. If this goes ahead 2.2 million residents in and around the Hauraki Gulf will lose their ability for democratic accountability. Councils and elected officials won't even be able to ensure your ongoing access to these waterways and boatramps. 

This proposal will impact recreational fishing, boating, and swimming in some beaches and could be a barrier to businesses who make their livelihood on the Gulf. 

Right now a majority of the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s members, which also includes Ministerial representatives, as well as iwi representatives, are elected Councillors. This is about to change.

The newly formed “Gulf Users Group” has launched a campaign to protect democratic accountability in the Gulf. We are asking Aucklanders to consider signing their petition and back the cause via www.GulfUsers.org.nz

The Forum is proposing to ask Government to change its composition to that of 50-50 co-governance authority with mana whenua, and for elected Councillors to be removed. It is proposed that this new Authority develop its own statutory plans that will overrule council policies and even central government rule for all matters in respect of the Gulf. 

Regional Parks also at risk

This will mean that like Lake Waikaremoana, the Auckland volcanic cones and the gems accessible to the public could be cut off at a whim. Auckland Council is also consulting on a Regional Park Draft Management Plan that proposes shifting authority for Regional Parks that border the Gulf to the Forum. It would mean decisions on access to up to 21 of the 28 Regional Parks currently owned by Auckland ratepayers would be controlled by the co-governed Forum.

Some say a co-governance model is in the best interest of the Gulf. Today, Te Urewera, Lake Waikaremoana, and its Great Walk are under a co-governance model. This was established with the best intentions and assurances from Government that access would remain the same. In practice, access to the park, walk and lake has been severely restricted.

We can't give up democratic control of ratepayer assets

Take a minute to sign the petition to stop changes to the way the Hauraki Gulf is controlled

>> Click here to sign <<

Thank you for your support.

Jo Holmes

Jo Holmes
Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance

P.S We're backing this campaign because fundamentally here at the Ratepayers' Alliance we are democrats. The gulf proposal is totally inconsistent with democracy and accountability. Click here to support the cause.