Coastal and Freshwater

People, policy and planning

We put people at the heart of environmental decision-making for better outcomes

People are at the heart of every resource management development and environmental challenge. 

Our multi-disciplinary team of social scientists, environmental economists, planners and policy analysts use proven methods, strategies and tools to understand human responses to environmental change and bring policy makers, scientists and communities together for better outcomes.

We can help by:

  • Engaging communities for better outcomes
  • Understanding barriers to change and motivating positive behaviour change 
  • Establishing a social license to operate 
  • Providing research and evidence-based information for informed decision-making 
  • Developing tools to support businesses to become more sustainable 
  • Connecting people with policy and science.

Our expertise in this area includes:

Recent projects and research

Our multi-disciplinary team of scientists work in New Zealand and around the world on small and large-scale projects, for private sector clients, government agencies, and research and community organisations.

Recent examples of our work include:

  • Guiding Coastal and Marine Resource Management – a research strategy for the Coastal Special Interest Group (C-Sig) that identifies regional councils' short- and long-term national science needs in relation to the Coastal Marine Area.
  • Regional freshwater planning including assisting Hawkes Bay Regional Council with a collaborative stakeholder group in the Greater Heretaunga and Ahuriri zone. Read the Landcare Research report.
  • Manaaki Taha Moana – working with iwi researchers to maintain and enhance coastal ecosystems of cultural significance.
  • An assessment of how Auckland residents value the coastal environment. Read the report.
  • Community engagement for Marlborough District Council to address concerns about stormwater impacts of urban development.
  • Policy advice to the Ministry for Primary Industries and regional councils on strategies to improve marine biosecurity and facilitating stakeholder workshops. Read the report.
  • Urban Planning that Sustains Waterbodies – a collaboration with NIWA that developed a decision support system for urban stormwater management with Auckland City as research partner. 
  • Resilient Urban Futures Project – a collaboration with NIWA, University of Otago, Massey University, University of Auckland and Ecologic to develop the resilience of New Zealand towns and cities.
  • Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation – definition and measurement of ecosystem services of Tasman and Golden Bays, including how these concepts are understood by iwi and stakeholders and how to use this approach to assist decision making by councils and government agencies.
  • Ka Hao Te Rangatahi – economic and financial analysis for a project to develop scampi aquaculture and potting technologies for live harvest of scampi.
  • Soft Urban Infrastructure for Sustainable Settlements (SUISS) project: This project investigates the notion that our current lifestyles are unsustainable and there is an urgent need for societal scale behaviour change to realise long-term sustainability. As part of this, the SUISS team have been studying the development of soft infrastructure (the networks and processes that foster participation in public life and help build a resilient and sustainable society) and the efforts of several settlements in the top of the South Island to become more sustainable. Reports published on this topic are available from the publications section of this website. Type search topic 'SUISS'.

For more information, please contact Jim Sinner.

Contact us

Contact us

+64 3 548 2319