What is the Gulf Users Group?
The Gulf Users Group is a lobby group that wants to ensure ongoing access for all New Zealanders to the Hauraki Gulf. We believe our ability to use and enjoy the Hauraki Gulf is at risk and that decisions in respect of the Gulf should be fair, transparent and democratic.

Who can join?
Anyone can join the Group, though our interest is in protecting access to the Gulf for the residents and ratepayers of the seven Councils that have interest in the Hauraki Gulf, and all users of the Gulf.

Simply click here to complete a few details and you will receive updates and information on how you can support the Group’s actions.

Why has the Group been established?
The Gulf Users Group has been established to ensure ongoing access for all New Zealanders to the Hauraki Gulf. We are concerned with plans to change the management and structure of decision making around the Gulf and the proposed loss of democratic representation of the Hauraki Gulf Forum. These plans are largely taking shape out of public sight.

Hauraki Gulf Forum Member John Watson has said the double-barrelled changes signal a significant change to the management and governance of the Hauraki Gulf and Regional Parks and that the changes lacked transparency (NZ Herald 26/1/22).

What is the purpose of the petition?
The Gulf Users Group has started a petition opposing the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s plans. These plans put at risk our ability to use and enjoy the Hauraki Gulf.

The petition’s purpose is to stop the Hauraki Gulf Forum from making changes that leave 2.2 million ratepayers without a say on the way the Gulf is managed. The Forum wants to ask Government to change its composition to remove elected Councillors and instead create a 50-50 co-governance body with members appointed by the Government and Tangata Whenua. The Forum also wants the Government to give it full autonomy above statute and bylaw for matters in respect of the Gulf. We oppose these proposals.

Click here to sign the petition and support our action.

Is this group just against iwi representation on the Hauraki Gulf Forum?
No, the current structure and makeup of the Forum serves all users of the Gulf well. It includes representation of Government, iwi and elected Councillors. We do not believe changing the structure is in the best interests of Gulf users and are concerned at the loss of democratic accountability.

Won’t these proposals be better for the environment of the Gulf?
The environmental protection of the Gulf is a strong priority of decision makers. However, in our opinion, removing elected representatives and giving the Forum autonomy over decision-making will not necessarily lead to better environmental outcomes for the Gulf. Our Group believes that while the Gulf Forum could be structured to be more effective at protecting the Hauraki Gulf, its governance and composition should not be changed.

How is the Group funded?
The group has a modest budget. It is funded by residents, ratepayers, Gulf users and the public. We encourage you to make a donation by clicking here to support us in our action.

Where is the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park?
The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park covers the Hauraki Gulf, Waitemata Harbour, Firth of Thames and the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. It consists of public land - reserves and conservation areas administered by DOC, the foreshore, seabed and sea.

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