A celebration of achievements so far and new actions for the future mark the endorsement of the refreshed Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy at a meeting of the Ohiwa Harbour Forum earlier this month.
The original Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy, which guides the management of the Ōhiwa Harbour, is now almost eight years old. Almost all of the actions set out in the Strategy have either been completed or are now part of business as usual. This includes specific actions related to improving signage and facilities, planting and coastal erosion works, and research into bird and fish life in and around the Harbour. The refreshed version brings the document up to date.
The Ōhiwa Harbour Forum is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Strategy and the Forum Chairman, Tiipene Marr said that the implementation of the Strategy actions over the years was a credit to the partner organisations and the wider community, particularly those who live in the Ōhiwa Harbour and Nukuhou River catchments.
“The Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy is action-focussed and we have achieved a lot in the last few years that has really made a difference to the health of the Harbour. It is a great moment to acknowledge that success and in the same breath look ahead to the next things we can do to continue to improve the health of the Harbour and catchment area.
“We have spent a lot of time talking to the community about how they see the future for the Harbour and what sort of concrete steps we can take to reach that goal and this is reflected in the refreshed strategy.
“This document has a practical focus and gives the partner organisations definitive, achievable actions to complete. We have seen the benefits of this approach from the first version of the Strategy and I think we are all pretty excited to see where the next set of tasks takes us,” Mr Marr said
The Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum (OHIF) has members from the three Councils (Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Ōpōtiki District Council, Whakatāne District Council), representatives of local Iwi (Whakatōhea, Upokorehe, Ngāti Awa and Ngāi Tūhoe) and other invited representatives such as from the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Fisheries, Nukuhou Salt Marsh Care Group. The meetings are also open to the public.
OHIF members each carry out agreed actions within their individual areas of responsibility in order to implement the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy.
The Strategy identifies issues, key community values and aspirations, and recommends actions on how to take Ohiwa Harbour and its catchment from where it is now, to where people want it to be in the future.
Information on some of the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy activities, including a recent marshbird survey, is available on request. Please also follow up for more information on the volunteers involved in the survey and other Care Group activities