Events across the Gulf


Check out summaries of the events programme and each event below or, for full details and results, you can read the full events report.

Events are a key component in the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari plan to inform and speak with people in Gulf communities. Project staff are active at key events that attract regular users of the Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana.

Armed with smiles and chocolate fish, the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari team invite visitors to identify their favourite places in the Hauraki Gulf by placing a heart sticker on a large Gulf map. The team introduces people to Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari, offer brochures and posters and a chance to sign them up for the project newsletter. A high rate of newsletter sign-ups confirms the value of targeting events where Gulf users gather.

We've been from one end of the Gulf to the other doing events and have gathered some fantastic contributions from the people of the Gulf.

International Cultural Festival: Auckland, 30 March 2015

International culture festival image

Showcasing Auckland’s diversity, Auckland International Cultural Festival was back for its 16th year. This event features international music and dance performances, exotic food from all around the world and craft stalls.We were lucky to speak with 80 people about Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari and sign up 33 families to the newsletter. Approximately 50% of people engaged from a wide range of ethnicities were pleased to learn about the initiative or had an awareness of what the project might mean for them.

ASB Polyfest: Auckland, 19 & 21 March 2015

The ASB Polyfest at the Manukau Sports Bowl featured traditional music, dance, costume and speech and is recognised as an important showcase of New Zealand’s diverse cultures and a celebration of youth performance.

It provides the opportunity for students from 64 schools and their surrounding communities to come together to learn and share their ideas on the interpretation of cultures through song, speech and dance. Students compete on five stages, performing traditional Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Samoan and Tongan items.

A diversity stage features performances from Fijian, Tokelau, Chinese, Korean Indian and other cultural groups. Polyfest presented the Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari Engagement team with an opportunity for a presence at a high-traffic event in a geographical area with a much-higher-than-average population of the target community groups, and which is focussed specifically on attracting attendees from those same ethnic communities.

Seaweek Activity Hub at Silo Park: Auckland, 8 March 2015

Event cancelled due to Cyclone Pam.

Seaweek Panel Debate: Auckland, 4 March 2015

Sea week panel imageSea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari hosted a lively and engaging celebrity panel as part of NZAEE’s Seaweek: the annual, national environmental education programme that celebrates and explores our connection with and dependence on the sea. The audience at AUT’s City Conference Centre heard a range of perspectives on the issues facing the Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana now and into the future.

Steve Hathaway, the underwater filmmaker, asked the Panel to suggest ways to engage people to value what’s under the surface as much as they do what’s on the land. Richelle Kahui-McConnell debated the place of matauranga mauri and citizen science. And Dr Roger Grace brought up the topic of protected marine areas within the Gulf. Scott Macindoe from Legasea, Professor Mark Orams from AUT University, Sam Judd, CEO of Sustainable Coastlines and Judith Curran, Executive Producer TV1’s “Our Big Blue Backyard”, all suggested ways to get people to step up and take ownership of conserving, valuing and caring for our national taonga.

Michèle A’Court, “Comedienne of the Decade” in 2010, kept the Panellists in line and the conversations on track. Nick Main, Independent Chair of the Stakeholder Working Group, summed up the content of the debate and said he wasn’t surprised “that there was ‘violent agreement’, because throughout the Sea Change process common themes have come through consistently.” The research and information gathering phase is now over, and Nick hoped everyone in the room would support the Marine Spatial Plan through its final phase, as leadership needs to come from people who are interested and engaged in the process.

The Panel was followed by the presentation of the NZAEE Seaweek Ocean Champions Award which was won by ocean campaigner, advocate, educator and conservationist Pete Bethune.

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival: Hamilton, 21 February 2015

Hamilton Gardens festival Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari staff were pleased to be able to participate in the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival in support of a local theatre group’s whales performance. This event provided the opportunity for Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari staff to utilise technology as a going concern to demonstrate SeaSketch data layers to connect people to the Hauraki Gulf through visual effect. Our staff were informing festival attendees of the progress of the project and connecting people to the Hauraki Gulf through SeaSketch data layers. We had a number of families keen to learn about the project.

Auckland Anniversary Weekend: Auckland, 25 January 2015

Auckland anniversarySea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari staff were on hand to help celebrate Auckland's 175th birthday on this beautiful sunny day. Our pint-sized crew were informing passers by about the project with an added push to fill in our survey. Knowledge of the project was at an all-time high following the NZ Herald and survey promotion, with approximately 1 in 3 people stating they had heard about the project or had filled in the survey already.

MAD Marine Trip: Hauraki Gulf (Auckland Harbour), 23 January 2015

MAD MarineMAD Marine Youth with Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari Engagement Function LeadIn January a group of 42 young Auckland students, selected from 21 Auckland high schools were immersed in all things marine. The four day ‘MAD Marine’ camp at Motutapu Outdoor Education Centre exposed them to the marine conservation issues facing the Hauraki Gulf and the globe. They’re young, environmentally minded, potential youth leaders – or MADsters as they have been dubbed. MAD stands for 'make a difference'.

Four days of workshops and team-building culminated with a morning trip aboard the Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari boat out into the Hauraki Gulf Harbour to spot endangered brydes whales and dolphins that reside in the area. The students were given a ‘dance card’ with the Roundtable topics and were asked to fill these in following discussions with resident ‘experts’ in each topic.

Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari staff involved were on hand to answer questions and probe the students on their ideas to ‘fix’ the Hauraki Gulf and some very frank discussions and outstanding suggestions came from the students. Highlights included were seeing these beautiful mammals in their natural habitat speeding alongside the boat, seeing a brydes whale mum and her pup, as well as the hilarious commentary provided by the skipper.

Hauraki Cultural Festival: Kopu, 18 October 2014

Hauraki Cultural FestivalThis annual event at Matai Whetu Marae in Kopu attracts more than 800 school performers and visitors from across Waikato, Hauraki and the Coromandel Peninsula. A project presence at this event increased awareness and engagement with Maori users of the Gulf.

Kowhai Festival: Warkworth, 11 October 2014

Targeting the Huge Day Out event, project staff visited multiple entertainments sites across Warkworth, speaking with visitors and distributing brochures. Some 38 signed up to receive our newsletters.

Auckland On Water Boat Show: Auckland, 25-28 September 2014

Auckland On Water Boat ShowWith an expected 35,000 visitors over four days, this was our biggest event for 2014, and this was reflected in the 1489 visitors who visited the project stand. Another 530 signed up for the project newsletter and most took home brochures and posters.

Whitianga Scallop Festival: Whitianga, 19 September 2014

Festival-goers placed 289 hearts on our big Gulf maps and it was no surprise when Whitianga emerged as the favourite Gulf location. Another 76 people signed up for the project newsletter. Face-to-face engagement often turned suspicious or even hostile visitors into project advocates. This pattern has been repeated at other events.

Hutchwilco Boat Show: Auckland, 15-18 May 2014

HutchwilcoStaff showcased the project to an estimated 2,000 of the 30,000 visitors over four days. Some 1059 hearts were placed on our maps, with Waiheke Island emerging as the favourite Gulf location. An impressive 539 visitors signed up for the project newsletter.

In addition to these events, two Love Our Gulf campaigns have targeted a further series of events, with more focus on youth.