November 30, 2020
Hauraki Gulf islands suffering death of 1000 cuts
The Environmental Defence Society is calling for the 20-year-old Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act to be strengthened.
A new report by its policy director Raewyn Peart and solicitor Cordelia Woodhouse says the Gulf is a place of outstanding landscapes, rich indigenous biodiversity and spiritual importance to Māori.
But the Act is making little useful contribution to the protection of the island environments because of its broad language and competing objectives.
They say current planning provisions are not up to the task of managing Waiheke’s intense development pressure, and the cumulative impacts of case-by-case consenting threatened death by a thousand cuts to the island’s environment.
More than half the land on Aotea/Great Barrier Island is managed by the Department of Conservation, which has failed to allocated enough land to protect its biodiversity, while Rakino is covered in kikuyu grass and could benefit from indigenous replanting.
As well as beefing up the Act, the society recommends improved planning provisions in the Auckland Unitary Plan, better tourism management and greater funding for biodiversity protection.
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