Worth approximately US$119 billion; aquaculture has become the fastest growing area in the global food economy. The Kaipara Harbour is big on aquaculture with almost 45% of New Zealand’s Pacific Rock Oysters being farmed in the region. In addition to this the Kaipara district is economically dependant on agriculture (with a large dairy sector), horticulture, sand mining and quarries. The Kaipara Harbour region could be the best place for business and investing, as it has natural and local advantages such as very productive and fertile soils, natural beauty, and its proximity to and the relationship with the largest market in New Zealand, especially Auckland.

The Kaipara Harbour is the largest enclosed harbour and estuarine system in New Zealand. Its northern side falls within the boundaries of the Kaipara District Council and Northland Regional Council, while the southern side lies within the jurisdiction of Auckland Regional Council. However the Harbour has been in a major environmental decline. Shrinking fish stocks, increasing sedimentation, poor water quality are among the issues faced by the Harbour. As the Harbour encompasses a variety of environments including inter-tidal mudflats, mangrove forests, swamps, sand flats and salt meadows. It is an important habitat for diverse flora and fauna, including globally threatened species, and has been identified as a site of significant wildlife interest with a wildlife habitat. The land surrounding the harbour is similarly diverse, with sand dunes, river valleys, rolling hills, steep ranges and some unmodified native forests.

The IKHMG has been working with various stakeholders and local communities to change this and make the Harbour a safer environmental place through the teaching of sustainable and environmental friendly farming, which in return will also help the region bloom and shift the economy that can keep on supporting the well-being of its communities. The Kaipara Harbour can be capable of contributing largely to the New Zealand economy through its richness of marine life and fertile soil in the enclosed region.

For more information on the work the IKHMG has been doing for the last 10 years please come and attend an inaugural event being hosted on November 15-16, 2014 at the Te Hana Te Ao Marama, Te Hana NZ showcasing and celebrating our taonga.

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