Two recent announcements demonstrate a big step forward in seeing Auckland’s Gulf Harbour / Tīkapa Moana restored to a better, healthier state.

In late November, the Ministers’ of Conservation and Fisheries recently announced their intention to establish a Sea Change Ministerial Advisory Committee to address the restoration aims for the Hauraki Gulf.

Also in November, marine conservation and tourism experience Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari triumphed in the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards 2018, winning the ‘Restoring Nature’ category. 

While both are separate matters, each are aligned with the goal to improve the harbours and marine environment around Auckland – which is a win for the city, the people that live here and the people who visit.

It is an undeniable truth that the huge population growth and rise of land-based activities in the region, since the 1800s, have had a noticeable effect on the health of our harbours and put pressure on the marine environment. This is why it is fantastic to see new efforts attempt to reverse the actions of the past.

As this is particularly true of the Hauraki Gulf, it is a significant reason why the Sea Change Ministerial Advisory Committee will be formed.

The committee will find a way to progress its vision alongside all other parties interested in the restoration of the Gulf; they will also lead a better, more coordinated evaluation of the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan, which outlines aspirations for improving the marine environment.

And their goal is helped along by inspirational businesses like Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari. 

The tour operator was recognised for its strong conservation focus that is at the core of the experiences they provide.

A marine research vessel is used for the daily safaris and customers have access to on-board marine mammal experts and researchers, and they can participate in sample and data collection. Whale and dolphin watching may be in the name, but conservation awareness is the end game.

These announcements are hugely welcomed by ATEED, who have outlined in the Destination AKL 2025 strategy that there is a need to improve Auckland’s environment, be more sustainable and for Aucklanders and local businesses to become champions of our natural playground.

For further information on the Sea Change Ministerial Advisory Committee, please follow this link.

For further information on Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari, please visit

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