The Canterbury Water Management Strategy as a collaborative planning initiative: a preliminary assessment
This report is a preliminary assessment of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) as part of a longer term longitudinal monitoring study of institutional arrangements for sustainable water management in Canterbury. The CWMS is an innovative regional initiative to address exacerbating conflicts over allocation and management of freshwater resources in the region. Past attempts to satisfactorily address these concerns within the framework of the statutory RMA planning regime have encountered significant barriers. The CWMS is expected to overcome these barriers by adopting a collaborative, non‐statutory process combined with statutory backing (in particular via the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement). The above expectation of the CWMS poses a number of research questions including: • What difference, if any, will the CWMS make in overcoming RMA related statutory planning barriers towards sustainable water management in Canterbury? • Have the processes of crafting the CWMS been sufficiently robust in terms of informed deliberation in order to withstand contestation further down the line? • Reflecting on the Canterbury ‘experiment’ from a wider conceptual stance, how should collaborative water governance processes be designed to be successful? The answer to the first question will become evident through the course of monitoring the CWMS over the next six years as part of future research at Lincoln University (subject to funding). As the first step in this exercise, this particular report will focus on addressing the second question above. Thus, the specific aim of this report is to provide feedback from a group of key informants who have been closely involved in the development of the CWMS and who have been interviewed on three dimensions of the CWMS: • the processes of developing the CWMS; • content of policies in the CWMS to manage water resources; and • perceived anticipated challenges and opportunities of implementing these policies. In the discussion and conclusion, a preliminary appraisal of the CWMS is offered on the basis of the above analysis.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordswater management; water resources; collaborative governance; resource management; sustainability; Canterbury; natural resource management; planning; Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS)
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