Anyone wanting to learn more about New Zealand's first marine spatial plan Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari is being invited to a public meeting taking place in Whangamata this month.
The upcoming meeting has been organised by the Whangamata Ocean Sports Club and will take place at their Port Road clubrooms in Whangamata on March 29.
The creators of the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan say it's designed to improve the health of the Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana and better protect it for current and future generations.
Four years in the making, the non-statutory plan is the outcome of a huge collaborative project overseen by a partnership between mana whenua, and local and central government.
WSOC general manager Phil Keogh says if you use the Hauraki Gulf for leisure, sport, aquaculture, commercial or recreational fishing, shipping or tourism – or if you are simply interested in maintaining its wellbeing – this plan affects and involves you.
“Whangamata Ocean Sports is one of the largest membership-based fishing club in New Zealand with more than 6000 members, and this plan is going to directly them.
“There's been a bit of hearsay around what's happening with the plan, what people will be allowed to do and not to do, so we're holding this forum to inform and educate our members, the community and anyone else who's interested in coming come along to learn more.”
The MC for this the upcoming meeting will be Peter Campbell, who is a highly respected member of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council's management board. Peter was the council's vice-president from 2001-09, and resumed this roll in 2015.
“He is an experienced leader, advisor and advocate, and has more than a decade of high-level council management experience.”
While guest speakers include Sea Change Stakeholder Working Group member Dirk Sieling, fellow fellow NZSFC member and LegaSea spokesman Scott Macindoe, Waikato Regional councillor Dal Minogue, Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie and Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga, with more speakers yet to confirm.
“We believe the club has an obligation to its members to get involved in this discussion and feel our members would want us to be involved in some form.
“Whatever happens on the night we promise you will go home well informed.”
The Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari Public Meeting takes place at the Whangamata Ocean Sports Club clubrooms, 1100A Port Road in Whangamata, on Wednesday, March 29, starting at 7pm.