14,000 SIGN PETITION OPPOSING HAURAKI GULF PLANS
There are only a few days left for people to add their voice to proposed changes to Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act that could impact how the treasured waterway is used for decades.
Already more than 14,000 people have signed a petition organised by the Gulf Users Group, which is concerned that the voices representing the rights and interests of 2.2 million people, including those businesses making a living on the Hauraki Gulf, will be greatly diminished under the proposals.
The Group has published an open letter in yesterday's (Thursday, February 24) New Zealand Herald calling on elected members of the Hauraki Gulf Forum to vote ‘no’ to the proposal, which changes the way the Marine Park is managed and governed, at its meeting on Monday 28 February.
Group spokesman Lee Short says the letter is intended to ensure elected representatives hear the concerns of their constituents and the thousands who have supported the petition and sent letters.
“We believe how you vote will impact generations of people who live in and around the Hauraki Gulf, and those who visit, for years to come,” the letter says.
“Please don’t hide behind officialese, don’t hide behind spin. Do what you are supposed to do. Represent”.
Mr Short says the Gulf Users Group was established in opposition to the proposal and wants decisions on the Hauraki Gulf to remain fair, transparent, and democratic. “We strongly believe all decision-makers should be accountable to the public.”
The Hauraki Gulf Forum, established under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, will be voting on whether to ask the Government to change its composition to that of a 50:50 co-governance body with mana whenua and Crown appointees, including updated and prioritised functions and powers. Another recommendation under discussion includes developing a ‘vision and strategy’ that could prevail over council policies and central Government decision-making for matters in respect of the Gulf.
The petition can still be signed at www.gulfusers.org.nz and will be presented to the Forum at its meeting on Monday.