Find out more about the people behind Cawthron Institute.

Jim Sinner

Senior Scientist – Policy and Planning


  • MSc (Agriculture and Resource Economics). Cornell University, 1986
  • BA. Harvard University, 1981

Role at Cawthron

Jim Sinner is a Senior Scientist in the Coastal and Freshwater Group at Cawthron, and Science Leader for Social Science. Jim's main areas of work are freshwater and coastal management and marine biosecurity, and he has also worked on climate change, trade policy and fisheries management. For a 6-year research project on Values, Monitoring and Outcomes, Jim and his co-researchers are exploring how "value" is perceived, constructed and negotiated in freshwater management, including through collaborative processes.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Water management
  • Marine biosecurity
  • Leadership of research projects on sustainable development concepts and principles, focusing on collaborative governance and market-based instruments

Professional affiliations

  • Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society
  • New Zealand Association of Resource Management

Conference papers and presentations

Sinner J et al 2017. Policy Brief no. 20 – Riding the wave of change: Reflections on the evolution of freshwater management in New Zealand

Sinner J 2017. Composing a story about Connection to Water – Concluding comments at workshop with the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee

Sinner J 2016. Freshwater Management in New Zealand: The world we thought we knew. Freshwater Management: Second National Symposium Wellington, 5 September 2016 

Sinner J, Scherzer J 2007. The public interest in resource rent. Connections 2007.

Watch Jim's presentation at Otago Regional Council's Water Quality Workshop 2017

View Jim's ResearchGate profile

Publication links

+64 3 548 2319 ext 208