Ecosystem Services Based Management: Evaluation of an approach to coastal management planning and decision making in New Zealand
Payne-Harker, Hannah T.
The ecosystem services based approach to management offers the potential to improve resource management planning and decision-making under the Resource Management Act 1991 by providing a way to draw together the often competing values contained in the single purpose of ‘sustainable management’ (s5). This thesis used a case study of the East Otago Taiāpure Management Committee and the Environment Court process in East Otago Taiāpure Management Committee v Otago Regional Council (2013) to explore values and outcomes of using the ecosystem services based approach for coastal management and in what form the ecosystem services based approach could be incorporated into New Zealand coastal management frameworks. The case study research involved a range of methods including interviews with coastal managers, document analysis of coastal management plans and analysis of expert evidence statements and Environment Court material. Results of the research showed that a key value of using the ecosystem services based approach is the ability to portray connections between humans and the environment and environmental components. Key outcomes include a greater ability to manage across broader spatial and temporal scales than may otherwise be achieved. Findings highlighted that there is strong potential for ecosystem services to be built into the RMA 1991 and pursuant planning documents to balance competing interests in sustainable management because of the ability to draw connections and manage on wider scales that was demonstrated. Findings also demonstrated that ecosystem services based approaches could be used in planning processes to portray connections and generate resource management decisions which take into account wider scales. However, key limitations to achieving this include short time-frames and miscommunication between coastal stakeholders, who have competing interests.
Advisor: Stephenson, Wayne; Hepburn, Chris
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Department of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Ecosystem Services; Coastal Management; Resource Management Act 1991; Planning
Research Type: Thesis