A groundbreaking new poll shows huge public support for measures to protect and restore the Hauraki Gulf, including the waters around the Coromandel coast.
The poll of 1020 respondents was conducted by Horizon Research from 27 September to 17 October 2021. Respondents were asked whether the Gulf was important to them, what they valued about it, and whether they supported or opposed the goals of the Hauraki Gulf Forum. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 per cent.
“After speaking at packed marine protection meetings in Whitianga and Tairua recently these poll results are impressive but not unexpected,” says Hauraki Gulf Forum member and Thames Coromandel representative on Waikato Regional Council Denis Tegg. “People have had enough of dredging, trawling and dumping in our big blue backyard,” said Cr Tegg “It’s time for them to go”.
The poll reveals massive support for action to turn around the Gulf’s degraded environment: “81 per cent of respondents said the Gulf was important to them, with its beautiful beaches, natural environment, and water the most valued aspects.”
Even those polled who fished in the Gulf supported the Forum’s 30 per cent marine protection goal by a factor of 7 to 1.
Waikato Regional Council is currently reviewing its Regional Coastal Plan. “This is a once in a generation opportunity for the public to convert their overwhelming support for Marine protection and restoration around the Coromandel coast into policies and rules which have some teeth”, said CR Tegg. “The new Coastal Plan can achieve significantly better outcomes for the marine environment, but only if enough people get involved. Sign up for updates from the regional council