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Our Gift to the Gulf

Our Gift to the Gulf

Your part in protecting and improving the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park for future generations. 

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, New Zealand's only marine park, turns 20 years old this year. To celebrate, we reflect on the riches it has provided to the people of Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand and international visitors. It’s a place of rich beauty and great adventure. The Gulf is home to 25 species of whale and dolphin and is a global seabird hotspot with 26 species resting and nesting here. There are over 45 predator-free Gulf islands that provide sanctuary for some of our country’s most endangered wildlife including kokako, kiwi and tuatara. Tīkapa Moana is recognised as a precious taonga (treasure), highly valued by many for cultural, environmental, social, recreational and economic reasons.

However, as we commemorate the 20th birthday, we also reflect on the impact humans have had on our cherished Marine Park. The once mighty ecosystem is suffering from the decimation of shellfish beds, decreasing fish stocks, a seabed littered with plastic, sediment issues and increased pressure from development and tourism.

We all have a responsibility to ensure our actions support and improve the mauri of the Gulf. The next 20 years need to embody regeneration and renewal, not degradation, to ensure the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is safeguarded for future generations – it’s our gift to the Gulf.

Join us at Auckland Conversations as MC Clarke Gayford welcomes the Hon. Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation, and facilitates a conversation between a panel of experts and ocean lovers. The panel will reflect on the greatest changes to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park since its inception twenty years ago and discuss priority actions to restore and regenerate the Gulf.

This event is in partnership with:

Hon Eugenie Sage

Minister of Conservation

Eugenie Sage is the Minister for Conservation, Minister for Land Information New Zealand and Associate Minister for the Environment.She has been a Green MP since 2011. Before that she was an elected Environment Canterbury regional councillor. For much of her adult life she has worked to better protect Aotearoa/New Zealand’s natural landscapes and seascapes, and the indigenous plants and wildlife that call them home, including 13 years with the conservation organisation, Forest and Bird.

Clarke Gayford

Clarke Gayford was raised on a farm outside Gisborne. By the age of 10, he had memorized all the Latin, Māori and English names of fish along the New Zealand coastline he called his backyard. Slightly obsessed at school he wrote stories about fishing, took art and drew pictures of fish, and spent his spare time making fishing lures and spears. 

A shift north to Auckland led to a gig as one of the original presenters on free-to-air music channel C4 and he drifted away from his connection to the sea to become a successful television and radio host. Over the last 15 years he has fronted a huge variety of travel, entertainment and music television shows. On screen, Gayford competed on reality show Treasure Island (2001) and was a host on United Travel Getaway in 2007 and the Kiwi version of Ultimate Guiness World Records in 2008. In 2010 he presented the third season of Extraordinary Kiwis. His radio hosting credits included The Edge, Channel Z, the drive shift on More FM, and the George FM breakfast slot. On screen, Gayford competed on reality show Treasure Island (2001). 

However in 2015 he realised something was missing in his life and the call of the sea is something you can't disquiet forever. So he quit his job as a breakfast radio host, he drew breath and dived quite literally back into the ocean to combine his broadcast skills with a rekindled passion for the ocean. With producer Mike Bhana he created fishing show Fish of the Day for Choice TV. Fish of the Day won Best Lifestyle Show at the 2016 Houston International Film Festival and now screens in over 80 countries as a National Geographic series promoting New Zealand and the Pacific to the world. 

An active advocate of ‘Spare Fishing’ over ‘Spear Fishing’, Clarke brings a much needed intelligent, entertainment and information based package to a show that dives that much deeper into one of the worlds most popular past times.

Moana Tamaariki-Pohe

Member, Hauraki Gulf Forum

For many years Moana has managed to combine her life’s passions and employment skills to achieve job, family and community satisfaction. She is passionate and purposeful about building sustainable communities, promoting cultural harmony and advocating for change.

Her work is an expression of who she is and reflects her personal values. Working in Community Development, Environmental Awareness and Empowering Communities has provided Moana with the opportunity to serve her Whanau, Hapu and Iwi, Maori and Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Moana enjoys designing, developing and delivering community development programmes that support and empower communities around Aotearoa. The programmes she writes and delivers are designed to ignite passion and purpose; driving sustainability and self-sufficiency. 

Through kaupapa waka she has worked with her whanau, and wider whanau, to provide opportunities for others to experience Kaitiakitanga through kaupapa Maori and kaupapa waka in an inclusive, all-encompassing and insightful way.

Moana has been involved with the Hauraki Gulf Forum since 2010 and proudly works to make an environmental difference through awareness and education, inclusion, advocacy and commitment.

She believes that through inclusion and mutual respect for each other and the environment, Eco Full – Ego Free,  we will achieve our goals of a healthy and vibrant Hauraki Gulf, Tikapa Moana, Te Moananui a Toi.

All that she does is to be of service to community. Kaitiakitanga, Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga are some of the values that define who she is. 

Eva Rickard said “somewhere in my past is my destiny”, I agree.

Dr Rochelle Constantine

Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences & Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland

Rochelle is a conservation biologist and behavioural ecologist who uses multi-disciplinary research to answer challenging questions about marine megafauna. She runs several collaborative projects on whales, dolphins, sharks and seabirds to understand their abundance, distribution, movement patterns and the environmental drivers behind their habitat use in our changing oceans. This includes the 'Pulse of the Gulf' project focusing on ecosystem dynamics andcetaceans in the Hauraki Gulf - Tīkapa Moana - Te Moananui-ā-Toi. Rochelle leads international research programmes in the Pacific and Southern Oceans and is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Cetacean Specialist Working group and co-chair of the IUCN Pacific Region Important Marine Mammal Areas. She is an expert Panel Member for the Hector's and Māui Dolphin Threat Management Plan and Threatened Species Lisiting for Marine Mammals. In 2018, she received the inaugural Sir Peter Blake Trust Environmental Leadership Award ( and works hard to bring people together to solve our most urgent conservation issues.

Riley Hathaway

Riley Hathaway is a passionate 19-year-old ocean advocate. As a 12 year old she completed a school project on turtles and plastic which became the inspiration for Young Ocean Explorers.

Initially Young Ocean Explorers started as a children’s TV series, where Riley went on adventures into her underwater cameraman dad’s world, looking for the biggest, scariest and most fascinating marine creatures in NZ. Now they’ve created an inspirational marine education site ( ), that was designed to be used within the NZ school curriculum and has been freely used by thousands of NZ classes. Their aim is to educate, motivate and activate this generation of children - who are environmental natives - inspiring hope and giving tools, so they can be the game-changers in caring for our unique and magnificent underwater world.

At 14, Riley (and dad Steve) spoke at TEDx Auckland and since then she has inspired tens of thousands of students and teachers around NZ through her presentations.

Riley’s youth and enthusiasm helps her to relate to others and pass on a love for the ocean. She is particularly passionate about reducing plastic harm to sea creatures.

Andrew Jeffs

Professor of Marine Science, University of Auckland

Andrew is a marine biologist who is passionate about improving the outcomes from our oceans.  A major focus of his work is attempting to figure out how to restore extensive mussel beds around parts of the New Zealand coast which were wiped out last century by overfishing. These mussel beds are hugely productive and biodiverse, providing important nursery habitat for coastal fish and other marine creatures. Industry and community groups, such as Revive Our Gulf and the Marine Farming Association are key partners in these efforts. Based at the University of Auckland, his research interests are broad and varied, with international reach.

Pippa Coom

Councillor, Auckland Council

Pippa was elected Councillor on Auckland Council, representing the Waitematā and Gulf ward, in 2019 after having served nine years on the Waitematā Local Board as Deputy Chair and Chair for the 2016 - 2019 term.  Pippa was born in London and immigrated to New Zealand when she was 14 attending Auckland Girls’ Grammar School.  She holds a law degree from Otago University. Following a legal career, in early 2009, Pippa became a full-time volunteer in the community focused on cycling advocacy, community development and sustainability.  In 2011 Pippa received the SBN’s Sustainability Champion award for her cycling advocacy work and as chair of the Grey Lynn Farmers Market.Pippa is Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, a member of Local Government NZ’s National Council and is the new co-Chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum.

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