Hauraki Gulf

Oh noes…. Government starting a fight with fishermen

Commercial fishers who have worked in the Hauraki Gulf for generations are bracing for a fight with the Government.

They say proposals to preserve the inner gulf for recreational fishers will put them out of business overnight, causing job losses and possibly a spike in the price of fresh fish.

Sport fishing groups are not completely sold on proposals either, saying that the effect on fish abundance will be minimal.

But the Government warns fish stocks need to be protected.

Unveiled as a National Party election promise in 2014, the recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and the Marlborough Sounds are now in the consultation phase.

The Hauraki Gulf fishing park covers from Leigh, 80km north of central Auckland, to the north-western tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, and takes in popular fishing spots around Kawau Island and Waiheke Island. It also captures commercial fishing grounds.

Peter Thorburn, who runs Piako Petes, has caught flounder in the mudflats between Thames and Miranda for 20 years.

“My family has been fishing here since before the Treaty,” he said. “I’m 59 years old and don’t want to go and start up anywhere else. I will go down kicking and screaming.”

The feelings run deep.  Very deep.  Read more »

Government creates marine park in Hauraki Gulf, allows some commercial fishing

The government has made the right decision in declaring the Hauraki Gulf a marine park and placing restrictions on commercial harvesting of popular recreational fishes.

Some commercial fishing will be allowed in a proposed new marine park for recreational fishing in the inner Hauraki Gulf.

However, the Government plans to banish commercial operators from catching fish that are popular with recreational fishers, including snapper, kahawai and john dory.

More details on the controversial Hauraki Recreational Fishing Park have been released today in a discussion document that covers wider reform to marine protection legislation.

The new recreational fishing parks will cover parts of the inner Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds.   Read more »

How big were those mice?

Apparently a 6ha island was over run by 68 mice, so says the Herald.

mice-overtake

Researchers are shocked at the speed with which mice over-ran an island in the Hauraki Gulf after just two were released in a controlled trial.

In five months the pair triggered a population of nearly 70 – demonstrating the danger pests can pose to endangered native species on our predator-free island sanctuaries.

University of Auckland researcher Helen Nathan tracked the population explosion on 6ha Te Haupa/Saddle Island, which had only just been cleared of pests before the study.    Read more »

Dirty Media

Apparently when I publish publicly available information from QV and other public sources as to the address, value and other information about a ‘journalist’ who likes to do the same thing to the subjects of his book it is a gross invasion of privacy that requires public sanction, official complaints, and complaints to other bodies as well. All despite the fact that the same ‘journalist’ is listed in the public directory, the electoral roll plus submissions to parliamentary select committees that all publish the same address for the world to see.

I look forward then to the left wing blogs, David Fisher, John Drinnan, Matt Nippert and John Campbell all being outraged over the publication of the private details of Mark Hotchin, his wife, and his assets all over the Herald on Sunday today in a rather derogatory article designed to continue the vilification of a man who still remains uncharged for any crime and despite that has his assets still sequestered by the same judge who let Kim Dotcom splash the cash despite him actually being charged with real crimes.

For most people, shelling out $3.4 million on a plush Waiheke Island pad would be trading up.

But for former Hanover Group director Mark Hotchin it seems a case of trading down.

In November, Hotchin family trust KA No 3 bought 74 Korora Rd, Oneroa, for $3.4m.

The purchase comes after the same trust sold an exclusive 4.5ha property at nearby Boatshed Bay for $14.25m three months earlier.

The property at 46a Matapana Rd, Boatshed Bay, sold well above its July capital valuation of $13m.

Real estate agent Harry Howe would not comment on the new pad at Korora Rd, but marketing brochures described panoramic views over Owhanake Bay and the Hauraki Gulf to Little Barrier Island.

Read more »

Get ready for massive rates increases

Rates increases are on the cards for Auckland residents.

Len Brown has said that they won’t be more than the rate of inflation, but the Council will undoubtedly use the recent valuations to further ratchet up the rates in coming years…massively.

Council valuations of Auckland homes have jumped by almost a third on average, new figures reveal.

Auckland Council will tomorrow release new valuations for more than 220 suburbs across the region for three-yearly review of CVs.

The figures will show properties in 10 areas have had an increase to their valuation of 50 per cent or more over the past 12 months; including Hobsonville which has jumped by a massive 65 per cent.

Just four areas have recorded reductions in their CVs; Manukau Heads, Kawau Island, Great Barrier Island and Rakino Island.

The new valuations will apply from next year and have an impact on rates for 2015.

Read more »

Now this is a game changer policy

fishgraphic

Many politicians have claimed that this policy or that policy or this person or that person is a “game changer”.

Yesterday National delivered up a definite game changer.

They have created two massive recreational fishing reserves and banned commercial operators in those zones.

This is a massive policy, one where John Key and Nick Smith have backed the hundreds and thousands of fishers vs the few companies that are commercial fishing in those areas.

It is pure realpolitik and middle New Zealand will rejoice.

Commercial fishing would be banned from the inner Hauraki gulf and the entire Marlborough Sounds if National creates new recreational fishing parks for those areas.

Prime Minister John Key announced the creation of the new parks while at Westhaven Marina in Auckland this afternoon.   Read more »

Slow down for Whales

Ships are being asked to slow down for whales in the Hauraki Gulf.

Ports of Auckland will ask ships to slow down in and out of the harbour to save endangered whales in the Hauraki Gulf.

The gulf is home to fewer than 200 adult Bryde’s whales. On average about two a year are found dead, many from vessel-strike. Ports of Auckland will soon be asking visiting ships to slow to 10 knots in the gulf. If that doesn’t work, they could be forced to slow down.

Hauraki Gulf Forum chairman John Tregidga said lower speed drastically reduced whale deaths.

“Most ships are doing around 12 or 14 knots so we aren’t asking much.”  Read more »

Whale Week What Was

682zoomWe started our Saturday by paying our respects to Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., the hard-charging US Army general whose forces smashed the Iraqi army in the 1991 Gulf War.  He died aged 78.  At The Standard 2012 Worst Political Blog Mike Smith is told some home truths about long term grass-roots Labour families heading for the Greens.  A quick vid on how to put out a boat fire the Kiwi way is next, followed by a vote for Best Minister.  The winner, at 52%, is Judith Collins.  The Whale Week That Was summarised all the stories this blog covered in the previous seven days.  A quite active Saturday Debate (for the time of year especially) led a post calling for nominations for Best Political Blog.  Those who see WOBH as any sort of threat to them (and those that don’t too), should take heed of this Malcolm Tucker quote: “marshal all the media forces of Darkness to hound them to an assisted suicide”.  A CNN piece showing Teachers in Utah taking a class on gun use shows some common sense around the gun debate.  A reader has taken yesterday’s US Fiscal Cliff graphic and created one for New Zealand – great work.  As Cameron Slater predicted from the outset, the Aussie Hoax DJs will not face charges.  The NZ Herald continues to amuse – this time a car crashed into a poll.  The blog then introduces us to two sexy taxidermists showing you don’t have to look like a front row forward to deal with dead animals.  And you’d think we’re picking on an incompetent NZ Herald, and you would be right.  This time they have Jesse Ryder beating himself at Eden Park in Wellington.  Then a hilarious story about a Queensland woman who fell into the longdrop and was there for two hours before being discovered by her husband.   Turns out that during the Falklands War the French tried to send missiles to Argentinia behind Margaret Thatcher‘s back.  Commerce first eh?  The last post of the day highlights a report of a man holding up a Countdown Supermarket with a hammer.  Our readers get fired up about the idea of hammer banning.

Read more »

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Members of the Pod having fun in the Hauraki Gulf

You know how it works, any article about Orca will get commented on. They are the coolest whales:

Expatriate Kiwi Craig Harman’s festive holidays got a special boost when he had this close encounter with a group of orcas in the Waitemata Harbour.

The London-based television cameraman was in Auckland visiting his parents when the orcas, including two youngsters, surrounded the family boat near Motuihe Island about 4.30pm on Thursday.

“We were on a fishing trip and suddenly eight or nine whales in two groups appeared from nowhere and came over to the boat for a look at us,” Harman, 34, said. “It was incredible seeing something so majestic swimming in a city harbour.

“In London, the most exotic thing I have seen was a seal in the River Thames so this was an unforgettable experience.”

Face of the Day

Two stories about Humpback Whales in the Hauraki Gulf yesterday and some photos.