Definitions

pakihi

Hauraki Gulf

[hou-rah-kee]

The Hauraki Gulf is a coastal feature of the North Island of New Zealand. It has a total area of 4000 km², and lies between the Auckland Region, the Coromandel Peninsula, and the Hauraki Plains. Hauraki is Māori for North Wind.

Geography

Gulf

The gulf is part of the Pacific Ocean, which it joins to the north and east. It is largely protected from the Pacific by Great Barrier Island and Hauturu/Little Barrier Island to the north, and by the 80-kilometre-long Coromandel Peninsula to the east. The gulf is thus well-protected against all but northern winds.

Three large channels join the gulf to the Pacific. Colville Channel lies between the Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier, Cradock Channel lies between the two islands, and Jellicoe Channel lies between Little Barrier and the North Auckland Peninsula. To the north of Auckland several peninsulas jut into the gulf, notably the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Tiritiri Matangi Island is near the end of this peninsula. Further north, Kawau Island nestles under the Tawharanui Peninsula.

Numerous beaches dot the shores of the gulf, many of them well-known for swimming and surfing.

During the last glaciation period the whole gulf was dry land, with the sea level being around 100 m (300 ft) lower than at present.

Islands

In the west of the gulf lie a string of islands guarding the mouth of the Waitemata Harbour, one of Auckland's two harbours. These include Ponui Island, Waiheke Island, Tiritiri Matangi and the iconic dome of Rangitoto Island (a dormant volcano), which is connected to the much older Motutapu Island by a causeway. The islands are separated from the mainland by the Tamaki Strait and Rangitoto Channel.

Other islands in the gulf include Browns Island, Motuihe Island, Pakihi Island, Pakatoa Island, Rakino Island, and Rotoroa Island in the inner gulf, around Waiheke and Rangitoto; Motukawao Islands and Whanganui Island in the lee of the Coromandel Peninsula; and Channel Island in the outer gulf.

Firth of Thames

At the southern end of the Hauraki Gulf is the wide, relatively shallow Firth of Thames. Beyond this lie the Hauraki Plains, formed by the Waihou River and the Piako River. The Hunua Ranges and hills of the Coromandel Peninsula rise on either side of the Firth.

National significance

Sections 7 and 8 of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 state:

7 Recognition of national significance of Hauraki Gulf

  • (1) The interrelationship between the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments and the ability of that interrelationship to sustain the life-supporting capacity of the environment of the Hauraki Gulf and its islands are matters of national significance.
  • (2) The life-supporting capacity of the environment of the Gulf and its islands includes the capacity—
    • (a) to provide for—
      • (i) the historic, traditional, cultural, and spiritual relationship of the tangata whenua of the Gulf with the Gulf and its islands; and
      • (ii) the social, economic, recreational, and cultural well-being of people and communities:
    • (b) to use the resources of the Gulf by the people and communities of the Gulf and New Zealand for economic activities and recreation:
    • (c) to maintain the soil, air, water, and ecosystems of the Gulf.

8 Management of Hauraki Gulf

To recognise the national significance of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments, the objectives of the management of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments are—

  • (a) the protection and, where appropriate, the enhancement of the life-supporting capacity of the environment of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments:
  • (b) the protection and, where appropriate, the enhancement of the natural, historic, and physical resources of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments:
  • (c) the protection and, where appropriate, the enhancement of those natural, historic, and physical resources (including kaimoana) of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments with which tangata whenua have an historic, traditional, cultural, and spiritual relationship:
  • (d) the protection of the cultural and historic associations of people and communities in and around the Hauraki Gulf with its natural, historic, and physical resources:
  • (e) the maintenance and, where appropriate, the enhancement of the contribution of the natural, historic, and physical resources of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments to the social and economic well-being of the people and communities of the Hauraki Gulf and New Zealand:
  • (f) the maintenance and, where appropriate, the enhancement of the natural, historic, and physical resources of the Hauraki Gulf, its islands, and catchments, which contribute to the recreation and enjoyment of the Hauraki Gulf for the people and communities of the Hauraki Gulf and New Zealand.

2008

On 2008 11 January at 9am NZDT (10 Jan at 20:00 UTC) the famous 1st conqueror of Mount Everest; Sir Edmund Hillary, died. His ashes were scattered across the Auckland Hauraki Gulf as he desired on 29th February 2008 for the Private Ceremony.

References

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