We love the built environment. It’s our passion, property, workplace and urban renewal. Unfortunately the reality is there are consequences to intensifying our land use.
The recent report Environment Aotearoa 2019, undertaken by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ describes our environment here in little old New Zealand as besieged in numerous ways, largely as a result of human actions.
The team here at TwentyTwo were shocked, but not surprised at this and like most New Zealanders want to help. We already have some great initiatives in the office underway to reduce our environmental footprint – but we wanted to do more.
That’s when we came across Rochelle Constantine (pictured above with TwentyTwo's Rob Campbell and Steffi McKeown) and her ambitious research programme into the state of our magnificent Hauraki Gulf, Tīkapa Moana/Te Moananui-ā-Toi, aptly named Pulse of the Gulf (more on Rochelle below).
The Gulf is New Zealand’s only Marine National Park, but also a large proportion of New Zealand’s population live in the areas surrounding the Gulf. This brings multiple pressures on the Gulf: commercial and recreational fishing , aquaculture and then the impacts of land clearing, farming, pollution and forestry. And of course, there is climate change.
“As New Zealanders, we forget that 93% of our nation’s territory is ocean. It’s our big beautiful backyard and it’s time we started having serious conversations about it, says Rochelle.
The Gulf is not only home to many New Zealanders but also a vast array of sea life. 20% of the world’s whale and dolphin species visit here and 25% of the world’s seabirds migrate here to breed.”
“Research to help us understand how human activities are affecting the environment is one step we can help with to ensure we reduce our environmental footprint. Why not start in our back yard and support Pulse of the Gulf,” says TwentyTwo’s Rob Campbell.
TwentyTwo is thrilled to be supporting this research and recently donated $500. If you’d like to help, you can donate here.
The magnitude of this endeavour will make it biologically and scientifically valuable for decades to come. It will contribute greatly to working towards restoring a thriving marine ecosystem and wider environment for the future.
What does a thriving Gulf mean (for property, workplace and urban renewal)
There is significant urban renewal occurring across the Tamaki and Manukau region in response to aging infrastructure and communities, and to cope with further population growth. Panuku Development Auckland is leading the charge in this area alongside the development community and underpinned(in the case of commercial use) by business.
A key feature of many of these projects (Wynyard Quarter, Hobsonville Point, Takapuna) are their proximity to water – the Gulf. As we know, proximity to the waterfront and the opportunities this creates considerably enhance the built environment. Without a thriving marine environment these urban spaces would not be as attractive or successful. People and businesses want to live, work and play close to beautiful natural elements. And the Gulf (if protected) is a key feature in making Auckland a great place.
Rochelle Constantine is a graduate, and Associate Professor, of the University of Auckland.
She is also a conservation biologist, behavioural ecologist and the inaugural winner of the Sir Peter Blake Trust Environmental Leadership award for her work in marine research.
Rochelle has been deeply involved in initiatives to protect humpback whales and the world’s rarest dolphin – New Zealand’s Māui dolphin. She was also instrumental in lowering vessel speeds in the Hauraki Gulf. Since then not one whale has been killed by ‘ship strike’ in the Gulf.
Now, Rochelle and her team are tackling their biggest project yet: an ambitious research programme into the state of our magnificent Hauraki Gulf, Tīkapa Moana/Te Moananui-ā-Toi, aptly named Pulse of the Gulf.
Photo credit: Chris McLennan