Department of Environmental Management

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The Department of Environmental Management promotes the advancement of knowledge, through teaching and research, that will allow the sustainable use of environmental and natural resources.

Staff publications and research activities reflect the well established interdisciplinary nature of the Department; research interests include environmental policy, planning and politics, natural resources and environmental economics, ecological economics, transport studies, biodiversity and biodiversity policy, ecological evaluation, environmental ethics, environmental education, women and the environment, the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori approaches to environmental management, indigenous peoples and sustainability and socio-cultural and political perspectives of the environment.

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 1191
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    Designing law and policy for the health and resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems—Lessons from (and for) Aotearoa New Zealand
    (Taylor & Francis, 2023) Macpherson, E; Jorgenson, E; Paul, A; Rennie, Hamish; Fisher, K; Talbot-Jones, J; Hewitt, J; Allison, A; Banwell, J; Parkinson, A
    Ecosystem-based approaches to marine management, which integrate marine law and policy across sectors, communities, and scales, are increasingly advocated for in international policy debates and scholarly literature. We highlight critical and timely opportunities in Aotearoa New Zealand’s evolving legal context to support an ecosystem-based approach across fisheries regulation, biodiversity conservation, environmental effects management, and Indigenous or customary rights. Given the scale of proposed law reform affecting the ocean in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are important global lessons to be elucidated from (and for) the Aotearoa New Zealand experience, revealing the potential for law to center the health of ocean ecosystems and related people in integrated marine decision making.
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    Offshore decommissioning horizon scan: Research priorities to support decision-making activities for oil and gas infrastructure
    (Elsevier, 2023-06-20) Watson, SM; McLean, DL; Balcom, BJ; Birchenough, SNR; Brand, AM; Camprasse, ECM; Claisse, JT; Coolen, JWP; Cresswell, T; Fokkema, B; Gourvenec, S; Henry, LA; Hewitt, Chad; Love, MS; MacIntosh, AE; Marnane, M; McKinley, E; Micallef, S; Morgan, D; Nicolette, J; Ounanian, K; Patterson, J; Seath, K; Selman, AGL; Suthers, IM; Todd, VLG; Tung, A; Macreadie, PI
    Thousands of oil and gas structures have been installed in the world's oceans over the past 70 years to meet the population's reliance on hydrocarbons. Over the last decade, there has been increased concern over how to handle decommissioning of this infrastructure when it reaches the end of its operational life. Complete or partial removal may or may not present the best option when considering potential impacts on the environment, society, technical feasibility, economy, and future asset liability. Re-purposing of offshore structures may also be a valid legal option under international maritime law where robust evidence exists to support this option. Given the complex nature of decommissioning offshore infrastructure, a global horizon scan was undertaken, eliciting input from an interdisciplinary cohort of 35 global experts to develop the top ten priority research needs to further inform decommissioning decisions and advance our understanding of their potential impacts. The highest research priorities included: (1) an assessment of impacts of contaminants and their acceptable environmental limits to reduce potential for ecological harm; (2) defining risk and acceptability thresholds in policy/governance; (3) characterising liability issues of ongoing costs and responsibility; and (4) quantification of impacts to ecosystem services. The remaining top ten priorities included: (5) quantifying ecological connectivity; (6) assessing marine life productivity; (7) determining feasibility of infrastructure re-use; (8) identification of stakeholder views and values; (9) quantification of greenhouse gas emissions; and (10) developing a transdisciplinary decommissioning decision-making process. Addressing these priorities will help inform policy development and governance frameworks to provide industry and stakeholders with a clearer path forward for offshore decommissioning. The principles and framework developed in this paper are equally applicable for informing responsible decommissioning of offshore renewable energy infrastructure, in particular wind turbines, a field that is accelerating rapidly.
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    The civic legacies of disaster for youth political agency
    (Elsevier, 2023-11) Nissen, Sylvia; Carlton, S
    Disasters are considered pivotal in young people's lives, yet their civic legacies have been neglected. We examine how youth political agency is shaped through experiences of disaster, drawing on in-depth interviews with young people over a decade of successive disasters in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. Our study demonstrates that the legacies of disaster for youth agency extend well beyond the narrow spatial-temporal boundaries that often frame disaster response and recovery. We trace the multiple emergent forms of youth political agency in Christchurch, which we describe as ‘react’, ‘reassess’, ‘(re)kindle’ and ‘retreat’, and identify an action-focused politics of ‘doing’ that emerged among some young people in the spaces opened by disaster. Through our analysis, we caution against one-dimensional framings of youth political agency in disaster, such as those that position it as uniformly positive or as useful resource. We argue such approaches hold the potential to essentialise young people and conform their action to the disaster management status quo, while also obscuring the possibilities embedded in their agency. We therefore call for nuanced analysis of the multiple, ambivalent and open-ended legacies for youth political agency that develop in the contested spaces of disaster and compounding crises.
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    Newly-claimed seascapes: Options for repurposing inundated areas
    (Elsevier, 2023) White, FR; Urlich, Stephen; Rennie, Hamish
    Sea-level rise is unstoppable. Communities worldwide are facing difficult choices in responding to changing coastlines and estuaries. Understandably, there is little attention on the potential for repurposing inundated areas because retreat and adaptation take precedence. Repurposing may be infeasible for newly-claimed seascapes in exposed and high energy coasts. Nevertheless, for sheltered coastal areas, shallow estuaries and harbours, there may be potential for repurposing some areas for aquaculture, fisheries, wetlands, and/or blue carbon. For example, abandoned and decontaminated structures may provide fish nursery habitat as artificial reefs. Here, we present the results of a systematic literature review of potential options, along with identified benefits and implementation barriers. Our purpose is not to examine the feasibility of such options because these will be place- and context-specific; rather, we explore whether the solution space can be extended beyond the point of impact. We suggest that repurposing could be added to the PARA management framework.
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    A rough-turbulent Froude law physical hydraulic model of the Waiho alluvial fan head: A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Engineering (Natural Resources) at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2001) Jolly, Frederic Tom
    Located at the head of the Waiho alluvial fan, Wetland, New Zealand is the township of Franz Josef Glacier. Aggradation of this region of the Waiho alluvial fan has been occurring for much of this century, and as a consequence, the Waiho River now presents a significant natural hazard for the Franz Josef Glacier community. Intrinsic to the process of aggradation occurring on the Waiho alluvial fan head, is the inability of the Waiho River to transport sediment, and more specifically bedload. A 1: 100 scale, rough-turbulent Froude law physical hydraulic model of the Waiho alluvial fan head is developed to gain some insight into the potential bedload transport capacity of three steady flows across this region of the fan. In addition, an assessment of the validity of the use of the Schoklitsch (1962), cited in Young and Davies (1990) and Bagnold (1980) bedload transport capacity equations for predicting sediment transport on the Waiho alluvial fan proximal region is undertaken. Although there are limited prototype validation data available, similarity between the model and its prototype is shown to be achievable at the design scale of 1: 100. In the context of this study as a preliminary to further research, it is therefore considered that the representation of the prototype is sufficient to allow scaling of the results obtained at the design scale, to the prototype situation. Difficulties experienced with uncontrolled variations in the sediment feed rates to the model limited the accuracy of the measured bedload transport capacities to a range of values. The range of potential bedload transport capacities that would be expected on the proximal region of the Waiho alluvial fan, for the four year return period, annual return period, and the 500 m³s⁻¹ flood flows are determined to be 2160 - 2270 kgs⁻¹ , 1870 - 2080 kgs⁻¹, and 790 - 930 kgs⁻¹ respectively. The form of both bedload transport capacity equations investigated is found to be incorrect for application to the Waiho alluvial fan proximal region modelled here. It is concluded that the use of the Schoklitsch (1962), cited in Young and Davies ( 1990), equation is not valid for the prediction of bedload transport capacities on the Waiho alluvial fan proximal region. The Bagnold (1980) equation demonstrated potential for its use for the prediction of bedload transport capacities on the Waiho alluvial fan proximal region. However, given the limited measured bedload transport capacities for comparison, further research is required to allow a more comprehensive validation of the Bagnold (1980) equation.