A ‘sea change’ in marine planning: the development of New Zealand’s first marine spatial plan
Marine spatial planning is a well-established approach internationally, and has been used to assist in the application of an ecosystem-based management approach to the marine environment (Ehler and Douvere, 2009; Ehler, 2014). New Zealand’s first marine spatial plan was completed in December 2016. It was the result of a three-year Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari project which focused on addressing the growing spatial resource conflicts and ecological degradation associated with the Hauraki Gulf. The project was innovative in a number of respects, including: establishing a cogovernance structure; tasking a group of Mana Whenua (Hauraki Gulf iwi) and stakeholder representatives with producing the plan on a collaborative basis; addressing both catchment and marine issues in an integrated manner; and integrating mätauranga Māori and Western science.
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