A Strategic and Integrated Management Approach to the Marine Environment: An Evaluation of Marine Spatial Planning in New Zealand
There is an escalating demand for both living and non-living resources in the world’s oceans. This has led to the loss of biodiversity, habitat degradation and irreparable damage to the marine environment. Concurrently, the emergence of new sea uses, the spatial expansion of current sea uses and the need to better protect and conserve marine biodiversity is resulting in increased conflicts among various ocean users, as well as between those ocean users and the environment in which they interact with. A potential solution to mitigate this unravelling scenario is through the application and use of marine spatial planning (MSP). Internationally, MSP is becoming a widely accepted strategic and integrative marine management tool, however, MSP in New Zealand is still a new concept that is not fully understood nor been fully utilised. New Zealand’s marine environment is under immense pressure and the Hauraki Gulf is reflective of this, being New Zealand’s most heavily utilised marine environment. The development of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan in late 2016 marked a novel and innovative change for marine management in New Zealand. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the extent to which MSP is an adequate tool to manage marine space in New Zealand through analysis of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan. The research uncovers the challenges and complexities associated with producing and implementing a marine spatial plan, this includes the difficulties in manging various marine users and activities whilst ensuring the health, productivity, and wellbeing of the marine environment. Also it provides an insight as to whether the use of MSP is feasible across other areas of New Zealand’s marine environment.
Advisor: Hilton, Michael
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; Spatial; Planning; Marine; MSP; conservation; biodiversity; Hauraki
Research Type: Thesis