December 2020

Kia ora, 

As 2020 draws to an end and we start to enjoy our summer holidays we wanted to bring you an update on progress at Revive Our Gulf, the project that aims to restore the mussel reefs of the Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana / Te Moananui a-Toi.   

As many of us enjoyed watching the boat racing in the inner Hauraki Gulf last week, it was hard not to contrast the incredible speed of these boats to the slow progress we feel we’ve made below the waterline in 2020.  Nonetheless, in a year of covid interruptions and restrictions, there have been significant achievements off the water, and it’s worth reflecting on some of these. 

A big thank you for your interest and support in 2020.  We wish you and your whānau a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

ROG partners with Auckland Foundation for local fundraising support

Auckland Foundation has chosen the Mussel Reef Restoration Trust as the “below-the-waterline” partner for the Hauraki Gulf Regeneration Fund. Together we aim to raise funds for the Revive Our Gulf project from generous Aucklanders keen to see tangible action taken on restoring the mauri of the Hauraki Gulf / Tikapa Moana / Te Moananui a-Toi. 

Photo: Chairs John Laurence (ROG) and Joy Marslin (AF).

Dr. Kura Paul-Burke joins the ROG Science Advisory Panel

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kura Paul-Burke to our Science Advisory Panel (SAP). Kura (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakahemo, Ngāti Mākino) is a marine biologist, scientific diver and transdisciplinary researcher at the University of Waikato. She is a project leader for Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge, with extensive experience in combining mātauranga Māori (customary knowledge) with Western science.  She has practical experience in assisting coastal iwi/hapū with kaitiakitanga projects.  Kura joins Dr. Andrew Jeffs, our SAP chair, and Dr. Jenny Hillman both from the University of Auckland.  Both Andrew and Jenny have had a long involvement with the Revive Our Gulf project.

HGF to new government: Let’s partner to restore 1,000 of shellfish-beds and reefs

The Hauraki Gulf Forum’s (HGF) briefing paper to the incoming government included a call to ensure a supportive biosecurity regulatory framework and an expansion of investment with mana whenua and community to supercharge deployment.   The restoration of 1,000 of shellfish-beds and reefs is one of the big four goals identified to improve the health / mauri of the Gulf alongside increased marine protections, riparian plantings and restrictions on marine dumping.

Photo: Ms. Nicola MacDonald (co-chair, tangata whenua) and Cr. Pippa Coom (co-chair)

Keep an eye out for green-lipped mussels this summer

If you’re diving or snorkelling in the Gulf this summer and come across natural beds of green-lipped mussels then please take some pictures and send them to us.   The University of Auckland and Revive Our Gulf project are collecting data on all known naturally occurring mussel beds.  We need to know how: many (roughly); area covered (sq.m); surface type (rock, sand, mud); photos; and GPS coordinates.  Email to:

Other news

We can’t halt ocean decline as individuals - Dr. Jenny Hillman on the importance of policy. Newsroom

Iwi asks to close Thames coastlines to protect shellfish from summer 'onslaught' - Ngāti Tamaterā place rāhui on Western Coromandel shellfish collection.  Have "serious concern that the shellfisheries are depleted and will not withstand another Christmas and New Year's peak season harvesting onslaught”. iStuff

Hauraki mussel project impresses Conservation Minister - Then Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage gets a close up view of mussel reef restoration work from Dr. Jenny Hillman and Malarie Sea of Motuora Island. Local Matters

Reducing the costs of mussel restoration - PhD candidate Al Alder from the University of Auckland provides an update on his mussel restoration research at the NZ Marine Sciences Society talks.  Youtube

Early signs of success at mussel ‘restoration stations’ - Examining the feasibility of using natural fibre lines to help restore kuku/mussel beds in Ōhiwa Harbour. The work of Dr. Kura Paul-Burk.  Sustainable Seas Challenge

Mātauranga Māori in Aotearoa's science sector - Dr. Kura Paul-Burke talks to Jesse Mulligan about the growing role of Mātauranga Māori in the science sector.  Includes work on Ohiwa Harbour mussel bed restoration. Radio NZ

Coromandel locals take scallop decline crisis into their own hands - Joe Davis, Kaumātua of Ngāti Hei speaks about the voluntary actions locals are taking to save the scallop beds of Eastern Coromandel. Radio NZ

Mussel farmers support restoration. Mike Moy explains why mussel reef restoration is good for him and North Island Mussels Ltd.  Baird Marine

More marine species thanks to the muscle of the mussel. Monitoring of our restored mussel reefs in Mahurangi by Auckland University researchers reveals marine biodiversity. DoC

Mussels to be planted on mussel shell base to revive 'devastated' population.  The Marine Farming Association to place 20 tonnes of green-lipped mussels atop 12 tonnes of shells in the Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere to restore mussel beds wiped out by 50 years of overfishing. Stuff

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