HAURAKI GULF PETITION REACHES 10,000 SIGNATURES
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition opposing proposed changes to the management and governance of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.
The petition, organised by the Gulf Users Group, expresses concerns that the Hauraki Gulf Forum plans to remove its elected member majority and introduce a co-governance authority.
“The Group has been overwhelmed with support since it launched the petition online last week”, Gulf User Group spokesperson Lee Short says.
“The Forum must stay in the hands of elected representatives. We want decisions on the Hauraki Gulf to remain fair, transparent and democratic and believe all decision-makers should be accountable to the wider public.”
“The Hauraki Gulf Forum’s proposal to alter its composition and gain more statutory powers could mean more than 2 million people who live in and around the Gulf may lose their voice and Councils could be powerless to look after the rights and interests of the general public in relation to the Hauraki Gulf.” Mr Short says.
The Hauraki Gulf Forum, established under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act, will vote later this month on a proposal asking the Government to change its composition to a 50:50 co-governance authority with mana whenua and what the proposal calls ‘others’. The proposal also recommends the new Authority develop its own statutory vision which would prevail over regional and district plans, and relevant central government decision making regarding the Hauraki Gulf.
“The Hauraki Gulf is a treasure for all to enjoy and its management must remain democratic and in the best interests of everyone.” Mr Short says.
Mr Short encourages the public to let the Hauraki Gulf Forum members know that the proposal is unacceptable by signing the petition at www.gulfusers.org.nz.
The Forum will vote on the proposal on 28 February.