Tonight, the Environmental Defence Society launches ‘The Story of the Hauraki Gulf’, a high quality, hard-covered, coffee-table book published by David Bateman Limited. Authored by EDS Policy Director Raewyn Peart, the book is a celebration of our long association with the Hauraki Gulf.

“Like many of us, I grew up enjoying the wonders of the Hauraki Gulf. During the 1970s, our family spent the summer holidays cruising the Gulf and beyond, in small home-built sailing craft. They were magical days, when we lived life simply and close to the sea, and when sealife in the Gulf was notably abundant” said Ms Peart.

“Things have now markedly changed, and sadly, the Gulf is only a shadow of what it once was. These changes inspired me to capture the rich human history of the Hauraki Gulf through published accounts, people’s reminiscences and images.

“The book includes inspiring stories from people who have had a lifetime association with the Gulf; iwi leaders, commercial and recreational fishermen, underwater divers, surfers, bach owners, farmers, conservationists and scientists.

“The book also presents a rich visual history through the reproduction of numerous historical charts, paintings and photographs sourced from museums and libraries. These are supplemented by contemporary photographs, many shot specially for the book.

“I have brought these stories and images together into a multi-facetted account of how the Hauraki Gulf has shaped our lives and how we have, in turn, shaped the Gulf. The book is something I wanted people to enjoy, to learn from, and to treasure over time.

“I hope that the stories and images in the book will prompt readers to recall their own special stories of the Hauraki Gulf and other treasured locations, and that these will inspire us all to take better care of the Gulf,” concluded Ms Peart.

For more information on the book see The book can be purchased online at or through bookshops.