Public consultation on a proposal to establish a marine reserve at Hākaimangō – Matiatia (Northwest Waiheke Island) has closed.
DOC Planning, Permissions and Land Director, Natasha Ryburn, says the Department will now move to the next step of the process – to review the submissions which will help inform the advice provided to the Minister of Conservation.
“DOC’s role so far has been to facilitate the statutory steps under the Marine Reserves Act (1971) which includes supporting the applicant with the process and receiving all written submissions on the application during the public notification period,” said Ms Ryburn.
“We received a lot of submissions, and we are delighted the community have taken their time to provide feedback, but we want people to know that public consultation is just one step in a long process, and we are now heading into the next phase of reviewing and analysing the submissions received.
“When reviewing the submissions, we look at things like the content and the views shared which means each submission plays a huge part in helping us understand what the community thinks is beneficial for the moana and for them.”
She said the analysis of submissions would take two to three months and will be made publicly available on the DOC website after the process is complete.
The applicants, Friends of the Hauraki Gulf Inc., have proposed an area of 2,350 ha be protected as a marine reserve. The proposed reserve spans from Hakaimango Point to Matiatia Bay and extends seaward.