‘Benefit of the public’
A key objective of the Marine Reserves Act is that while being suitable for scientific study a marine reserve must also be for the ‘benefit of the public...’
These include economic benefits and we note again the ground-breaking research of Auckland University’s (Qu et al 2021) revealing significant economic benefits just from the spawning of just one species (tāmure / snapper) in one of the smallest marine reserves in the Hauraki Gulf (Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve 547ha).
These benefits amount to $1.9 million annually plus $NZ 3.21 million added from recreational fishing activity associated spending per annum. The economic valuation of this marine reserve’s snapper recruitment effect demonstrated $NZ 9.64 million in total spending accruing to recreational fishing per annum and $NZ 4.89 million in total output to commercial fisheries annually.
The Hākaimangō-Matiatia Marine Reserve, being four times bigger and perhaps more advantageously placed to distribute larvae of many species through the Hauraki Gulf, is likely to have an even greater economic benefit in this regard.
Former Conservation Minister speaks out in support of the Hākaimangō-Matiatia Marine Reserve
A key submitter addressing the aspect of public benefit was a former Minister of Conservation Hon Chris Carter who during his five years as Minister achieved a number of important conservation gains across the country, but perhaps especially conservation in the Hauraki Gulf where he led the purchase of Motu Kaikoura, approved the successful eradication of rats and other pest animals from Hauturu / Little Barrier, Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands and approved and opened the Te Matuku Marine Reserve on Waiheke. Chris writes…
‘Establishment of the Hākaimangō-Mataitai Marine Reserve would establish a marine sanctuary in the mid Gulf, an area 10 times the size of the Tiritiri Matangi Nature Reserve, one of the jewels in our terrestrial conservation portfolio.
“Today there is an even more urgent need for expanding marine protection in the Hauraki Gulf for the issues of declining marine biodiversity and pollution that l have outlined. Hākaimangō-Matiatia Marine Reserve, a proposal supported by numerous local conservation groups, the Waiheke Island Local Board and l understand, the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board, already has wide popular support and is a bold conservation initiative.
“The establishment of this new Hākaimangō- Matiatia marine reserve, in my considered opinion, is a long overdue marine conservation initiative. It has my whole hearted support.”