© 2022 Resilient River Communities

Resilient River Communities

Webinar library

This is our library of previously recorded webinars. Click into the webinar you're interested in watching to find the link to the recording.

Best practice

This series of webinars focuses on best practice in the context of river management.

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This webinar is an introduction to the concepts described in the NZ River Managers SIG – Room for the River Guidelines. An outline of the technical basis for the Room for the River concept will be presented along with some high-level examples of its implementation.

Presenter: Kyle Christensen - River Engineering Consultant
Kyle is the lead author of the NZ River Managers SIG – Room for the River Guidelines and has developed design river management lines for a number of rivers across New Zealand.

 

 

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A users guide to the ‘Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s - Stopbank Design and Construction Guidelines 2021’ and its relevance in the design, construction and maintenance of the Lower Rangitaiki River flood protection scheme.

Presenter: Peter Hay
Peter Hay is an accomplished Civil Engineer/Project Manager with a 35+ years’ experience managing complex engineering projects in the field of flood management, climate adaptation, and infrastructure development. Currently serving at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council since March 2017, his key accomplishments include managing the Rangitāiki River April 2017 Flood Recovery Works and overseeing the design and construction of the Rangitāiki Floodway & Spillway.

 

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The provision and management of river schemes is the responsibility of Regional Councils through the Local Government Act. The origins of the schemes date back to the Soil and Conservation Rivers Control Act 1941 which recognised that flooding and drainage problems were best considered on a catchment basis.
Traditionally the river scheme flood protection approach relied on structures based on European technology and science to control floodwaters and improve drainage.
The historical approach of hazard control and “holding the line” is no longer considered sustainable against a backdrop of change. Our New Zealand climate is changing, and these changes will continue for the foreseeable future. Adaptation is essential to ensure our river schemes remain sustainable in the long term.

Long Term Sustainability
The strategic view for local authority river management is now more focused on reducing the long-term risk of flood hazards, encouraging a more natural and less engineered/confined river system to improve overall river and ecological health, promoting environmentally and economically sustainable land-use practices along with raising awareness in our communities. An integrated approach to flood risk management is needed to ensure river schemes remain viable and affordable.
Our councils are concerned with the long term environmental and financial sustainability of existing river schemes and are investigating alternative flood management options while considering international and national evolving best practise.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council - River Scheme Sustainability Projects
The need for the River Scheme Sustainability project was identified in 2011 following a number of flood events. As part of the project defined work streams were developed including the optioneering work stream. This work stream looked at long term sustainable flood management practices for the Bay of Plenty Regional Councils five major river and drainage schemes. Exploration included investigating catchment wide options, general and catchment specific ideas, enhancing existing structures, structural and non-structural solutions.
This webinar will present a floodplain assessment methodology and solutions that can be considered for any catchments.

Presenter: Katalin Maltai
Katalin Maltai Senior Projects Engineer working for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been leading the River Scheme Sustainability Project for over 10 years and delivering long-term flood mitigation solutions for the region, while also involved in climate change adaptation, sea-level rise, coastal hazards, risk management, hydrological and hydraulic assessments. She works with a range of regional and district councils, water agencies. Katalin has a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering with research experience in USA and Belgium and work experience in both UK and NZ working for consultancies, territorial and regional authorities.

Climate change adaptation

This series of webinars focuses on climate change and the different impacts it has and will have on river management local communities.

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Mā te Haumaru ō te Wai: Flood Resilience Aotearoa is a 5-year MBIE funded Endeavour programme to understand Aotearoa’s flood inundation hazard and risk under the current and future climate. We are also developing an understanding of social vulnerability, especially in the case of repeated flooding events and working with iwi, central, regional and local government and other stakeholders to develop tools and practices to make Aotearoa more resilient to our most frequent natural hazard.

In this webinar your presenter, Dr Emily Lane provides an overview of the programme and then present a case study for Westport. 

Presenter: Dr Emily Lane

Dr Emily Lane is a hydrodynamic scientist with a specific focus on natural hazards.  She is actively researching tsunami, storm surge and flooding inundation. She is leading Mā te haumaru ō te wai - an Endeavour programme focussed on understanding Aotearoa's flood inundation hazard and risk at a national level and using this to improve our resilience to flooding. Her background is applied mathematics and she has a PhD in applied mathematics with a geoscience minor from the University of Arizona.  She has been working at NIWA since 2006. 

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This webinar provides an overview of the assumptions, methods, limitations and regional scale finding results associated with the Deep South’s Climate Change impacts project. This project coupled the IPCC 5th climate projection ensemble for New Zealand (Ministry for environment 2018) with an a-priori parametrised hydrological model across New Zealand.  

As part of the seminar, I will use case studies to illustrate some of the challenges associated with the use and interpretation of those datasets to inform water resource and hydrological extreme investigations. The learnings form this project are used to inform method development associated with the use of the IPCC6th climate projections for New Zealand to be released in June 2024.  

Presenter: Christian Zammit 
Christian has been at NIWA since 2010. He is a hydrologist whose specialises in development of understanding of catchment scale hydrological processes and its implementation in hydrological models in gauged and ungauged catchments across spatial scales. Over the past 12 years, he has further specialised in the use of hydrological models at local-regional and national scale associated to understand and quantify how climate change may impact water resource decision making, and riverine weather-related hazards including extremes at local, regional and national scale.

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A case study: how to manage the powerful and dynamic Waiho River in South Westland.

This webinar focuses on the work completed by the 2023 Waiho Technical Advisory Group (TAG), which was formed by the West Coast Regional Council in response to the ongoing aggradation of the riverbed, and the development of an avulsion path between the Waiho River and the Tatare Stream in February this year. The TAG was tasked with producing a 10-year management plan for the river. Utilising the extensive geomorphic understanding of the river system, a risk assessment of each stopbank in the protection network, and the PARA framework, the TAG developed a five phase plan involving a managed retreat from the Waiho’s true left floodplain. This rather drastic action will allow the Waiho River to access it’s entire fan surface (as oppose to just one third), giving it more space to distribute its incredibly high sediment load across, which slow the rate of vertical aggradation, and therefore reduce the pressure on the developing avulsion, as well as the true right stopbanks which protect the Franz Josef township.

Presenter: Matthew Gardner, BE (hons) Natural Resources, CMEngNZ and CPEng, Land River Sea Consulting Ltd
Matthew Gardner is the director and principal engineer at Land River Sea Consulting, a small Christchurch-based specialist engineering consultancy.  First exposed to the Waiho River on family hiking trips as a child in the 1980’s; he was then educated in the classroom and on field trips to Franz Josef by Professor Tim Davies whilst studying Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury in 2004/2005.  His first professional involvement with the river began in 2014 when he was tasked with building a hydraulic flood model of the river for the West Coast Regional Council. Since then, he has been involved in a range of investigations and workshops on the river helping the West Coast Regional Council as well as the Department of Conservation better understand the big picture behaviour and hazard profile of the river.  He has conducted several hydraulic modelling studies on the river as well as detailed analyses in relation to changing bed levels and behaviour of the river over time.

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This webinar looks at the journey across the Waikato region on climate change adaption/resilience with a focus on river systems and flood protection schemes that will appeal to river managers, engineers and planners across local and central government, as well as researchers.  We'll show you how climate change is addressed through current and proposed processes, that require partnerships and collaboration with other agencies, researchers and key stakeholders. We'll share the learnings we have made throughout our journey.

Presenter: Rick Liefting 
Rick is the Regional Resilience Team Lead at Waikato Regional Council (WRC), North Island, New Zealand.  The WRC covers some 25,000 km2 (~9,700 Square miles) with over 100 lakes, 1,150 km (715 miles) of coastline and manages 620km (385 miles) of stopbanks protecting some 3,000 km2 (1,158 square miles) of land.  The Regional Resilience team provides knowledge on current and future natural hazards and risk, provides technical support in managing flood protection and land drainage schemes as well as emergency management and responding to natural hazard events.   

The breadth of expertise within the team allows for an integrated approach to understanding projected impacts of climate change on communities and adaptation options.  Rick’s 20 plus years of experience as a coastal scientist and natural hazard lead has guided a strategic approach to community resilience.  A key component to successful adaption is community empowerment to make informed decisions using publicly available resources such as the WRC Coastal Inundation Tool, Waikato Regional Hazards Portal and site specific assessments.

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The adaptation agenda is not new, but appears it is only able to be progressed once people have experienced severe impacts and the scale and scope of damages have become clear. So what have we learned from our experience? 

To prepare for the impacts of climate change in a climate exposed and unstable pluvial country we need fit for purpose governance and institutional arrangements that enable implementation of adaptation actions, planning frameworks and decision tools that account for dynamic changing risks, in tune with our Treaty partners, and iwi/hapu cultural values and that are inclusive of wider community values.  

This webinar addresses these issues, illustrated with practical examples from New Zealand.  

Presenter: Dr Judy Lawrence  
Dr Judy Lawrence is Senior Research Fellow at the Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington and Director of PS Consulting Ltd. Judy’s research and practice focus on climate change adaptation, sea-level rise, coastal hazards, river and water resource risk management, land use management and soil conservation. She is an active member of the global decision making under deep uncertainty network. Judy works with a range of regional and district councils, water agencies, central government agencies and supervises post graduate students. Judy was Co-Author of the MfE Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance (2017), Co-Chaired the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group (2018), Governance Domain Lead for the first NZ National Climate Change Risk Assessment (2020), Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report Working Group II Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (2022). Judy was a  recipient of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize 2019 Melting Ice and Rising Seas Team 2019 and the Terry Healy Coastal Project Award in 2017 and 2018 for the Living Edge Resilience and the MfE Coastal Guidance Projects. She has a PhD in Public Policy on the adequacy of institutions for climate change adaptation and a Masters degree in Geomorphology. Judy is a Climate Change Commissioner 

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This presentation looks at the concept of adaptation benefits and what adaptation is supposed to achieve. It also discusses the latest findings from the IPCC 6th Assessment on what effective adaptation looks like and which strategies seem feasible and effective and in which context. The presentation also unpacks the main ideas and heuristics around adaptation and explains how these implicit understandings of adaptation influence how adaptation decisions are made. 

Presenter: Johanna Nalau  
Dr Nalau is an award-winning climate adaptation scientist who thrives on finding clues how humans can better see into the future and make decisions how we adapt to climate change. Her Australian Research Council DECRA research focuses on understanding climate adaptation heuristics and the role these play in adaptation decision- and policy-making processes globally and nationally. Dr Nalau is Lead Author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment report in Working Group II, Co-chair of the Science Committee of the World Adaptation Science Program at United Nations, and leads the Adaptation Science Research Theme at Cities Research Institute, Griffith University. She was awarded Griffith University Young Outstanding Alumni Award 2019 for the Sciences Group, and the Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award 2020. She is passionate about the role of innovation and foresight in enabling the building of better futures.

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Stationarity is now invalid for dealing with the continually changing risks we face from climate change and the inherent widening uncertainties over time.  

Consequently, a different approach to risk assessments and risk treatment must explicitly include the:  

  1. increasing rate of change in risk over time
  2. interlinkages and feedback within the catchment system including cascading impacts
  3. compounding of coastal and freshwater hazards in coastal lowlands (including groundwater and salinisation)
  4. deepening uncertainties stemming from multiple possible coastal-climate futures

Being explicit about planning and/or design timeframes is now a critical component of risk analysis, when considering adaptation, whether using nominal or policy-driven timeframes (thereby artificially closing off ongoing changes in risk) or taking a realistic view of the permanence of the built environment and land-use decisions. Even short-term or incremental adaptation can lead to path dependency to a particular course of action or maladaptation and increasing residual risk down the track as climate-related risks unfold. 

Rather than a conventional “predict-then-act” approach, we need to shift to an adaptive pathways paradigm taking a systems viewpoint (ISO 14090: 2019). Starting with a set of scenarios and re-framing risk assessments (ISO 14091: 2021), dynamic adaptive approaches provide a flexible solution and engagement space to explore and devise alternative pathways for fluvial and coastal plains that perform across a range of possible futures, considering the implications and limits of incremental versus transformative (eg, making room for the river, managed retreat, enhanced lowland wetlands) adaptation options. 

Presenter: Dr Rob Bell 
Managing Director, Bell Adapt Ltd, Hamilton 
Teaching Fellow, Environmental Planning Programme, University of Waikato, Te Whare Wananga o Waikato 
PhD (Civil Engineering–Canterbury), Fellow EngNZ, CPEng (Environmental) 

Rob Bell has 42 years’ experience in coastal and estuary engineering, risk from coastal hazards, the impacts of climate change on coastal lowland communities and infrastructure and adaptive planning for climate adaptation.  
Rob, formerly with NIWA, was the Lead Author of the 2017 coastal guidance for local government published by NZ’s Ministry for the Environment for planning adaptation to climate change. He was a Contributing Author for the IPCC Working Group II 6th assessment report on climate change impacts for Australasia (2022). He has been involved in several bridge projects for Waka Kotahi in the estuary/river transition situations, where sea-level rise will be an emerging issue compounding with fluvial flooding.  
Rob is a certified Resource Management Act Hearings Commissioner and Charter Professional Engineer (Environmental). He is a key advisor for the new NIWA coordinated 5-year MBIE-funded Future Coasts Aotearoa programme. It focuses on rural settings and holistic adaptation pathways and economic evaluation for both built and squeezed natural lowland environments eg, wetlands, marsh and lowland sections of rivers (see recent Policy Quarterly article Vol. 19 No. 1)

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to play a significant role in disaster management, including mitigating the impact of cyclones like Gabrielle. While AI cannot directly prevent or stop a cyclone from occurring, it can be utilised in several ways to reduce its impact and improve disaster preparedness and response. 

This webinar gives you an overview of the latest research using AI through recent innovations and development. It focuses on flood risk and presents the latest results to predict floods using machine learning by the TAIAO research team. This webinar will present the new TAIAO ML courses roadshow for flood practitioners. The TAIAO team is delighted to provide a data science and machine learning course designed specifically for flood practitioners.

TAIAO is a data science programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) over seven years. It aims to tackle our country's critical environmental problems by developing new machine-learning methods for time series and data streams to deal with large quantities of big data in real time. 

Presenter: Dr Phil Mourot, PhD, Senior Hazard Advisor, Waikato Regional Council  
Meet Dr Phil Mourot, a senior data scientist with over 25 years of experience in natural hazards and early warning system systems. With a PhD in geophysics from France, Phil specialises in developing new methods and tools to predict natural disasters. He has extensive field experience, from analysing the Mont Blanc glaciers in the French Alps to monitoring the Merapi volcano in Indonesia. In New Zealand since 2015, Phil is now a Senior Hazard Advisor for the Waikato Regional Council and advocates resilience to reduce disaster risk and support climate adaptation. Two years ago, Phil joined the TAIAO team from the University of Waikato, and his research focuses on predicting the impact of floods using deep learning and improving emergency management during a crisis. Phil is involved in numerous advisory groups and national projects, such as the AI Researcher Association of NZ (he holds the Secretary position) and QuakeCORE IP4.

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This session introduces floodplain sediment archives and their potential for flood series extension in New Zealand. A broad, nationwide overview of centennial-scale river activity in the last 10,000 years will be followed by focusing on specific flood histories in discrete catchments. Assessing flood risk is presently constrained by short (generally ~50 year) gauged river flow records that poorly represent the distribution of hydrological extremes because these records typically do not include the largest floods generated in a catchment. There is a need to extend flood series to improve our understanding of flood hazard and risk, particularly in light of a rapidly changing climate. Floodplain sedimentary archives offer the prospect of generating flood histories over centuries and even millennia because they directly record the sediment signature of discrete flood events. These palaeo flood reconstructions provide a window into historic and prehistoric floods occurring within a catchment during a range of climate conditions, which allow us to better prepare for future floods. 

Presenter: Ian Fuller, Massey University, New Zealand
Ian holds the position of Professor in Physical Geography at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand, where he co-directs the Innovative River Solutions group and has been based since 2003.  His research in fluvial geomorphology provides an integrated understanding of river systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. He has completed numerous projects for stakeholders in river management and worked in catchments throughout New Zealand, as well as the UK and Europe. Prior to arriving in New Zealand, Ian completed his PhD at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1996, which was followed by a lectureship in Physical Geography at Northumbria University. He is passionate about educating students in NZ’s rivers and linking geomorphology with river management.

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Research aim 3: This part of the programme aims to develop useful, useable, scalable, and transferable sets of knowledge, processes and practices for understanding flood risks in a way that accounts for cascading impacts and complexity.

Objectives of research aim 3: Understand the social dimensions of flooding.

Use case studies and a systems-mapping approach to study how flooding affects hapū and communities, directly and indirectly.
Explore how cascading events (multiple large flooding events or combinations of flooding with other exacerbating factors) can affect tolerance to flooding, especially under climate change.

Mā te haumaru ō nga puna wai ō Rākaihautū ka ora mo ake tonu: Increasing flood resilience across Aotearoa | NIWA

Presenter: Dr Paula Blackett, NIWA
Paula is an environmental social scientist with the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA). She has extensive research experience (20 years+) in the social impacts and implications of climate change, climate change adaptation strategies and engagement practices, and system approaches to framing complexity and decision-making. She has worked across several environmental domains including coasts freshwater and rural systems and is an adept integrator of ideas and practice. She currently leads NIWA’s climate change impacts and implications research programme.

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Climate change will continue to super-charge the atmosphere with water vapour and energy, ensuring stronger storms and heavier rainfall as things continue to warm. But, when it isn’t raining, the weather looks drier, with faster evaporation and greater chance of drought. One signal that comes through clearly in future projections of river flows is an increase in variability. Even if the overall flows are not expected to change, variability in the flows is likely to increase. I’ll discuss the overall picture of how the climate is changing, and I’ll relate it to New Zealand river flows, water availability and extreme events. 

Presenter: James Renwick, Climate Researcher 
James is a climate researcher who studies Southern Hemisphere climate variability, and the impacts of climate change on the Pacific, New Zealand and the Antarctic. He has been a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the last 20 years, contributing to three Assessment Reports. James was awarded the Prime Minister’s 2018 prize for Science Communication and was part of the team that won the Prime Minister’s Science Prize in 2019. He was appointed to the New Zealand Climate Change Commission in 2019. 

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Belinda Storey leads the Duct-Tape project in the Extreme Events and the Emergence of Climate Change, a five year, $10M research programme funded by MBIE. This project couples rainfall and river flow models with investment criteria to determine how extreme rainfall events affect the financial viability of river-based infrastructure.   

Presenter: Belinda Storey 
Belinda is a Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute, where she conducts research on the impact of escalating climate hazards on infrastructure, real estate, banking and insurance. As Managing Director of Climate Sigma, Belinda has developed a new model for valuing property under climate change called “climate leases” and in 2017 she coined the term “insurance retreat”.   

Belinda Storey is Managing Director of Climate Sigma and Whakahura: Extreme Events and the Emergence of Climate Change, a five-year, $10M research programme funded by MBIE. Her research in this programme couples rainfall and river flow models with investment criteria to determine how extreme rainfall events affect the financial viability of river-based infrastructure.    
In May 2022 Belinda was named Wellingtonian of the Year for Science and Technology in recognition of her work in pricing climate risk.

Communication and engagement 

This series of webinars looks at building skills and knowledge in the areas of communications and engagement.

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Lynette discusses her research team's study on encouraging key beneficial behaviours (reporting stormwater pollution, installing urban rainwater tanks, volunteering) for urban freshwater biodiversity. 
Residents’ behaviour is fundamental to protecting and restoring freshwater biodiversity in urban areas. However, a key challenge facing government agencies, environmental organisations, and community groups is convincing people to engage in activities that will benefit urban freshwater biodiversity. Lynette will describe a systematic approach to designing effective human behaviour change interventions, illustrated with a practical example for improving volunteer involvement with urban freshwater restoration projects.
The research team conducted a set of nationwide online surveys and established volunteering for urban freshwater restoration as a key target behaviour. They developed a randomised control trial with a restoration group in Kirikiriroa | Hamilton and tested ways to increase first-time volunteer participation and investigated volunteering benefits. Participants were recruited through social media and 627 potential first-time volunteers were identified. In the first stage of their experiment, they found that a $50 voucher combined with a nudge was most effective at increasing volunteer rates at an actual event. In the second stage, they found that volunteering for the first time increases future volunteering behaviour, generates positive spillovers to other pro-environmental behaviours and strengthens environmental attitudes and self-identity.
This research was partly undertaken in collaboration with Robbie Maris (University College London), Zack Dorner (Lincoln University) and Fredrik Carlsson (University of Gotherburg).

About the BioHeritage Challenge/Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho
The  BioHeritage Challenge/Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho aims to protect and manage Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity, improve our biosecurity and enhance our resilience to harmful organisms by creating real, on-the-ground impact in the areas of Whakamana/Empower, Tiaki/Protect and Whakahou/Restore.
We are doing this through national partnership, delivering a step-change in research innovation, globally leading technologies, and community and sector action.

What are the National Science Challenges?
Eleven National Science Challenges were created in 2014 to answer some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest science questions. The Challenges bring together the country’s top scientists to work collaboratively across disciplines, institutions and borders to achieve their objectives.
In total they were given just over $680 million by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). This was to fund research from 2014 – 2024, with a review period at the end of ‘Tranche 1’ (2014 – 2019).
New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge was allocated $63.7 million of this to facilitate research and impact in the areas of biosecurity and native biodiversity. We are hosted by the Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, with our offices in Lincoln, just south of Christchurch.
Leading our mahi (work) are Co-Directors Daniel Patrick and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, as well as a dedicated Leadership Group.
You can keep up-to-date by checking out our research programmes or following us on social media.

Presenter: Lynette McLeod
Lynette McLeod is an environmental psychologist whose work is focused on improving human behaviour change to achieve better outcomes for people and the environment. Her interdisciplinary approach to research is guided by thirty years of experience across both science and social science fields, holding professional research positions within NSW Department of Primary Industries and the New England University and working with the community to manage a range of issues, including free-roaming cats, wild dogs, spray drift and human waste management in alpine areas. In 2021, she started McLeod Research, a consulting company helping organisations better understand their target audiences and design improved behaviour change interventions. Her current clients include RSPCA NSW, Maanaka Whenua Landcare Research and New Zealand Alpine Club. Lynette also holds an adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Canterbury and is part of the Aotearoa New Zealand BioHeritage Science Challenge team empowering environmental stewardship and Kaitiakitanga.

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This webinar shares insights from two participatory research projects on how community groups, tangata whenua, government and stakeholders are working together to achieve catchment scale improvements in freshwater health, and barriers to collective action. Jim’s research reveals the support community groups need to realise collective freshwater management, while Kiely’s focusses on the role catchment collectives can play in supporting coordinated community-led restoration.

Presenters: Kiely McFarlane, PhD, MSc, and Jim Sinner, MSc, both from the Cawthron Institute

Kiely McFarlane is a social scientist at the Cawthron Institute whose research explores the social dimensions of freshwater issues and collective approaches to restoration. Kiely has a PhD in resources, environment and sustainability from the University of British Columbia and a MSc in geography from the University of Auckland. Her work at Cawthron has included research on the environmental history of lakes in Aotearoa, the application of environmental limits and targets in policy, collective approaches to ecosystem restoration, and the future of freshwater fish management in Aotearoa.

Jim Sinner is a senior social scientist at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, New Zealand. Current and recent projects involve work on catchment groups, understanding values, collaborative planning, structured decision making and the concept of social licence. Jim has a MSc in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a BA in government from Harvard University. He came to New Zealand in 1991 and has worked in government, consultancy, advocacy and research roles concerning resource management and environmental stewardship. Jim has been at Cawthron since 2007.

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When applied in the right way, project management brings value and ensures smooth sailing throughout all stages of a project. The tools used by project managers can be useful for anyone working in a project environment, regardless of your role. Project reporting is one of the key tools to communicate successes and raise risks but how does one ensure the right things are captured at the right time for the right audience?

Presenter: Anna Ivanova, Regional Lead-Rivers Delivery, Enironment Canterbury

Join us as Anna Ivanova walks us through key project management principles, how to apply them in the public sector and shares a case study of reporting using the Climate Resilience Shovel-ready Programme (part of the COVID-19 recovery scheme) example.

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Graeme Campbell convener of the New Zealand River Managers group will recap the activities of the past year and the upcoming future opportunities.

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Chantez Connor-Kingi – (Northland Regional Council) leads us in her reflections and perspectives on Māori Engagement and how we can do better by not repeating past grievances and building partnerships. We should ask ourselves as local government are we being genuine about Partnership, Protection, Participation.

Hiwa - to be watchful, focus on, to be vigorous (of growth), active, robust, light-hearted, entertaining, engaging

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Through a case study, hear of the Hawke's Bay experiences (pre–Cyclone Gabrielle) in getting people involved and interested in making decisions about their rivers. Mary will share some lessons learnt through a freshwater plan process undertaken recently.

Cultural and environmental values

This series of webinars is about understanding the relationship between culture and our environment

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Aotearoa New Zealand’s BioHeritage Challenge, Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho ‘Empowering Environmental Stewardship and Kaitiakitanga’ team presents: Te-ia-o-te-Rangi: Exploring localised Tūhoe astronomical knowledge in relation to the localised environmental management of water.

Presenter: Nathan Matamua
Nathan will be presenting qualitative research that aims to shed light on how a local Māori community can be better empowered to enact kaitiakitanga. Sharing kōrero with two Tūhoe tohunga (experts) from the local Tūhoe community of Ruatāhuna, the research draws on their experiences and meaning making when considering their understandings of the relationship between localised Tūhoe star lore and localised environmental knowledge associated with water.
Through analysis of collected data, the research provides a discussion on a lived Tūhoe perspective in relation to understanding water quality, and how these understandings may better empower local communities to enact local forms of kaitiakitanga.
Nathan Matamua (Ngāi Tuhoe) is a member of the BioHeritage Challenge/Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho ‘Empowering environmental stewardship and Kaitiakitanga' team. Nathan was born and raised in Levin, a town to the south of Palmerston North. “My tribal home is in the Bay of Plenty,” says Nathan. “I’m Tūhoe, and I’ve always been made aware of that. But even though we’ve constantly travelled home, in many ways, I still see myself as an outsider.”

Nathan has recently completed a Master’s in Psychology at Massey University and has found this a way of reconnecting with his roots and with his whānau. “Prior to being a student, I was a supply chain manager for a global company,” says Nathan. “I had the good career, but I wanted to spend a bit more time focused on family.” Studying was a way of doing that, and Nathan has found that it has naturally progressed to reconnecting with his identity. Read more about Nathan Matamua here.

About the BioHeritage Challenge/Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho
The BioHeritage Challenge/Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho aims to protect and manage Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity, improve our biosecurity and enhance our resilience to harmful organisms by creating real, on-the-ground impact in the areas of Whakamana/Empower, Tiaki/Protect and Whakahou/Restore.
We are doing this through national partnership, delivering a step-change in research innovation, globally leading technologies, and community and sector action.

What are the National Science Challenges?
Eleven National Science Challenges were created in 2014 to answer some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest science questions. The Challenges bring together the country’s top scientists to work collaboratively across disciplines, institutions and borders to achieve their objectives.
In total they were given just over $680 million by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). This was to fund research from 2014 – 2024, with a review period at the end of ‘Tranche 1’ (2014 – 2019).
New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge was allocated $63.7 million of this to facilitate research and impact in the areas of biosecurity and native biodiversity. We are hosted by the Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, with our offices in Lincoln, just south of Christchurch.
Leading our mahi (work) are Co-Directors Daniel Patrick and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, as well as a dedicated Leadership Group.
You can keep up to date by checking out our research programmes or following us on social media.

Click here to view the recording

This webinar offers the opportunity for river engineers and environmental managers to learn about Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi (the Treaty) and its relevance to contemporary river governance and management policies, planning, and strategies in Aotearoa New Zealand. The webinar begins by providing a brief overview of the history of the Treaty, which includes the reasons for disagreements about what the Treaty means.

Next, it will explore what Treaty principles are and what it means in terms of river governance and management approaches and on-the-ground practices. The different ways in which the Treaty (duties and principles) is recognised in relevant legislation, court decisions, and proposed bills are discussed, with a focus on providing environmental managers and water engineers with an understanding of the legal dimensions of the Treaty as well as how it is embedded within Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) and Māori concepts and values.

The webinar is designed to be an introduction to the Treaty and provide case studies that demonstrate why the Treaty is of critical importance to improving how rivers are governed and managed in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Presenter: Dr Meg Parsons, School of Environment, The University of Auckland
From my early days as a student, I have always been interested in the relationships between people and places, and how these relationships shift, change, are maintained and contested over time. My research is transdisciplinary in scope and nature, and crosses the boundaries between human geography, historical studies, and Indigenous studies. This transdisciplinary and intersectionality emerged from my own experiences as someone of mixed heritage (Māori/Pākehā/Lebanese) who grew up in small-town Aotearoa New Zealand, and noticed the ways in which different individuals and communities relationships with each other and their local environments were tied to their identities, values, histories, and different knowledge systems; all of which was bound up in their memories of and experiences of colonialism, social-environmental crises, and perceptions of what constituted healthy people and environments. My research is focused on examining how different values and belief systems are translated into environmental policies and actions, the ways in which specific historical narratives, memories, and discourses influence both the construction and practices of scientific knowledge, and how colonialism influences contemporary Indigenous societies' responses to climate change and other environmental changes.

Key areas of research include:

  • Historical geographies of colonialism and environmental change
  • Indigenous peoples' perceptions and responses to climate change
  • Decolonising approaches to freshwater and coastal governance and management regimes
  • Socio-cultural dimensions of climate mitigation
  • Climate change adaptation and justice (social, climate, gender)
  • Decolonising methodologies and co-production of knowledge
  • Interaction of different knowledge systems (western scientific, Indigenous and local knowledges)
  • Indigenous histories and conceptualisations of health and wellbeing

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Join us for this one-hour webinar to learn about evolving freshwater policy and how it is changing freshwater management in Aotearoa New Zealand. The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) is central to river management planning, consultation engagement and operational activities. Te mana o te wai was introduced as a key concept in the NPS-FM 2014 and in the most recent NPS-FM 2020 was elevated to a principle that puts the health and well-being of freshwater bodies at the forefront of decision-making about water. In line with the NPS-FM, this session will broaden the view beyond water quality and habitat management to include other aspects of river ecosystem health such as aquatic biota and ecosystem processes. A broadening of our view of rivers beyond ‘channels’, and ‘drains’ is more closely aligned with a Māori worldview of waterways. Additionally, this seminar also introduces Māori concepts and values relevant to understanding and implementing the NPS-FM such as water as taonga (treasure), mauri (life force of water), and mahinga kai (food-gathering). 

Presenter: Linda Te Aho, Associate Dean Māori for the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences; Associate Professor 

Linda is the Associate Dean Māori for the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences (Te Wānanga o Ngā Kete), and a legal academic at Te Piringa Faculty of Law. Linda is a member of the executive board for Waikato-Tainui (Te Arataura), a board member of the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development, and a director of Tainui Group Holdings Ltd. Linda was appointed by Waikato-Tainui as a guardian mandated under the landmark settlement for the co-management of the Waikato River ecosystem to develop the long term vision for its holistic restoration. Linda is a board member for the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board. 

Linda was a key member of the Ngāti Koroki Kahukura Treaty Claims team and continues to provides specialist advice on Treaty of Waitangi claims and post-settlement governance issues to iwi and hapū organisations. She provides expert advice on Māori legal issues in relation to lands and freshwater to iwi leaders, to crown agencies and government departments. 

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In this webinar as part of our cultural series you will learn more about the how to of navigating towards te mana o te wai. Linda will share with you methods to assist with empowering and enabling iwi hapu involvement. 

This will consider determining the right level of engagement, including considering the purpose and goals of the engagement, as well as the level of importance to a Council and level of interest for Māori. 

Planning engagements need to consider what suits the parties including capacity and capability, possible financial support and remuneration investment considerations, timeframes, along with discussions of wider issues, understanding kawa (protocol/rules) and tikanga (customs). 

Genuine and effective engagement is critical as part of supporting ongoing relationships and for leading to improved outcomes for the benefit of our work and community wellbeing. 

Presenter: Linda Te Aho, Associate Dean Māori for the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences; Associate Professor 

Linda is the Associate Dean Māori for the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences (Te Wānanga o Ngā Kete), and a legal academic at Te Piringa Faculty of Law. Linda is a member of the executive board for Waikato-Tainui (Te Arataura), a board member of the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development, and a director of Tainui Group Holdings Ltd. Linda was appointed by Waikato-Tainui as a guardian mandated under the landmark settlement for the co-management of the Waikato River ecosystem to develop the long term vision for its holistic restoration. Linda is a board member for the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board. 

Linda was a key member of the Ngāti Koroki Kahukura Treaty Claims team and continues to provides specialist advice on Treaty of Waitangi claims and Post-Settlement Governance issues to iwi and hapū organisations. She provides expert advice on Māori legal issues in relation to lands and freshwater to Iwi leaders, to Crown agencies and government departments. 

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Join us for this webinar to learn how to demonstrate kaitiaki obligations to Te Ao Māori and achieve genuine engagement. You will learn about Mana Whenua statements also known as cultural impact assessments which provide Mana Whenua decisions against the proposal or policy to decision makers. 

An understanding of these is fundamental for involvement in developing today’s river management including for research, planning, consultation and operation activities. 

Presenter: Julian Williams, Te Huia Natural Resources Limited 

Ko Taupiri tooku Maunga 
Ko Waikato tooku Awa 
Ko Pootatau te tangata 
He piko he taniwha 
Waikato taniwharau 
Tiihei mauriora

I was raised, and attended school, in Ngaaruawaahia before graduating from the University of Waikato with a degree focussed on resource and environmental planning. My wife and I have an established consultancy service providing support and engagement for community, marae and council within the governance and environmental space, while enabling quality time with our sons. Currently most of my mahi is focussed on progressing collaborative arrangements to restore and protect the Waikato and Waipaa Rivers, undertake meaningful engagement with Marae and develop mana whenua reports. I currently chair Smart Waikato as a matter of special interest to empower youth through real education to employment pathways.

Flood events

These webinars look at specific flood events.

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A presentation involving forecasting and preparation in the days leading up to the event, immediate response during the event, and rapid rebuild in the days following the event. We’ll touch on a few items from each of these topics and provide some insight as to what went well, and where there is room for improvement.

Presenter: Craig Goodier, Principal Engineer, Hawke's Bay Regional Council

 

Infrastructure interaction

This series looks at strategic challenges and opportunities for river managers

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The impacts when rivers meet landfills are well-known, with the 2019 Fox River disaster showcasing the impacts on an international stage. Join us to talk through the interaction of landfills, natural hazards and climate change. We will explore how we can use data to help understand the scale of the problem for New Zealand.

Presenters:

  • Alex Cartwright
    • Alex is passionate about better integrating people and the environment, with extensive experience in New Zealand, Asia and the UK. He focuses on developing knowledge and preparedness for natural hazards and climate change. Alex supports critical infrastructure organisations to assess risk and establish approaches to build resilience.
  • Morgan Lindsay
    • Morgan is a natural hazard risk and geospatial consultant, who has contributed to projects across New Zealand and the Pacific, that focus on understanding the impacts of natural hazards and climate change. A geospatial specialist, Morgan utilises her geospatial skills to analyse complex problems using large datasets, whilst communicating outputs simply to empower and better prepare communities for natural hazard events.

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Prior to the Local Government amalgamation in 1989, Landfills were managed by small poorly resourced councils, and the location and design of these landfills
would not meet modern standards. Many of these were located in vulnerable locations adjacent to beaches or within active river beds. Some of these were then poorly capped with the transfer stations that replaced them installed on top.
These now make up the largest cohort of problematic and at risk contaminated sites within the region.
One such landfill is the Tokomaru Bay landfill which is situated within the bed of the very active Mangahauini River. The position of the landfill has modified the morphology of the river downstream resulting in lateral erosion. Severe storms since Cyclone Cook in 2017 has resulted in repeated erosion of the upstream revetment which protects the landfill and the cost of ongoing protection works has been unsustainable.
The transfer station on the legacy landfill is also vulnerable and storms in 2021, 2022 and then Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle in 2023 resulted in waste stored at the transfer station being washed to Tokomaru Bay Beach.
Funding has now been obtained to relocate the transfer station and remove the legacy landfill underneath.

Presenter: Dr Murray Cave 

Dr Murry Cave is the Principal Scientist with the Gisborne District Council having joined the council in late 2016. Prior roles included management roles in the Ministry of Energy and then Ministry of Commerce as well as a consultant with Ernst and Young where he worked in the energy and international consulting group. Dr Cave is an experienced Expert Witness having appeared in consent hearings related to Gisborne consent compliance issues relating to Gisborne Forestry and farming prosecutions. He has also been an expert witness before the Environment Court relating to Kuratau River Erosion, Buller Water Conservation Orders, & the Pike River Coal Mine Resource consents. He was an Expert Witness to the Pike River Royal Commission for the Dept of Conservation and others.

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Riparian Economic Zone

In this webinar Carla will discuss the costs and benefits of different riparian area management scenarios across various rural land uses. This will include both market and non-market values. Following this Rachel will discuss the practical considerations of riparian management on farming systems.

Carla Muller is a principal consultant at Perrin Ag. She has a background in environmental and agricultural economics and has undertaken freshwater policy development and analysis across the country. Most often this focuses on economic analysis of rural mitigation options, including riparian area management.

Rachel Mitchell is a specialist environmental consultant at Perrin Ag where she specialises in supporting landowners and managers to improve environmental outcomes in the context of their businesses and policy requirements. She is one of the only farm advisors in the country to be a CNMA and accredited by MPI as a specialist forestry advisor, focussed on native restoration.

 

Legal obligations and river legislation

In this series learn about local government law relevant to flood control and drainage maintenance activities

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Understanding local government law relevant to flood control and drainage maintenance activities  

Part 1 

The first session provides historic context and introduce the relevant legislation that regulates flood control works and drainage maintenance activities.  

Attendees will leave with a practical understanding of the key parts of the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941, the Land Drainage Act 1908, the Public Works Act 1981 and the Local Government Act 2002, and the overlap in responsibilities between district and regional councils 

Presenters: Imogen Edwards and Mike Doesburg, Environment and Planning

Imogen Edwards 
Associate | Environment and Planning 

Imogen is experienced in all aspects of resource management and environmental law, as well as local government law. She has significant experience with regional and district plan reviews, freshwater planning processes, streamlined planning processes, private plan change requests, and urban development and land use planning. Imogen acts predominantly for local authorities and has spent time on secondment at a regional council. 

Mike Doesburg 
Partner | Environment and Planning 

Mike is a local government and environmental law specialist and regularly advises local authorities, companies and private clients on water issues. He has experience advising on complex flood control and drainage issues, including the implementation and upgrading of flood control schemes and bylaw processes to protect such schemes. Mike regularly appears before hearings panels, the Environment Court and High Court on resource consent and plan change appeals under the Resource Management Act 1991 and has a particular interest in water, coastal and land development issues. Mike is recognised as a next generation partner by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 legal directory and currently serves as Treasurer of the Auckland Branch Committee of the Resource Management Law Association. 

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Understanding local government law relevant to flood control and drainage maintenance activities  

(Local Government Functionality Part 2) 

Building on the material covered in the first session, the second session will address the various regulatory organisations and instruments in the flood control and drainage space, including drainage boards and relevant bylaws (and their place in the future of flood control and drainage issues). The session will cover common pitfalls when navigating this complex area of law and policy. 

Presenters: Imogen Edwards and Mike Doesburg, Environment and Planning

Imogen Edwards 
Associate | Environment and Planning 

Imogen is experienced in all aspects of resource management and environmental law, as well as local government law. She has significant experience with regional and district plan reviews, freshwater planning processes, streamlined planning processes, private plan change requests, and urban development and land use planning. Imogen acts predominantly for local authorities and has spent time on secondment at a regional council. 

Mike Doesburg 
Partner | Environment and Planning 

Mike is a local government and environmental law specialist and regularly advises local authorities, companies and private clients on water issues. He has experience advising on complex flood control and drainage issues, including the implementation and upgrading of flood control schemes and bylaw processes to protect such schemes. Mike regularly appears before hearings panels, the Environment Court and High Court on resource consent and plan change appeals under the Resource Management Act 1991 and has a particular interest in water, coastal and land development issues. Mike is recognised as a next generation partner by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 legal directory and currently serves as Treasurer of the Auckland Branch Committee of the Resource Management Law Association.

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Mike addresses the regulatory framework relevant to river management, including the Resource Management Act 1991, the various higher order policy instruments including the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, and the management of activities in and around rivers through regional and district plans. 

The session will be a whistle-stop tour through the relevant documents, but will leave attendees with an understanding of key issues for river management 

Presenter: Mike Doesburg 
Partner | Environment and Planning 

Mike is a local government and environmental law specialist and regularly advises local authorities, companies and private clients on water issues. He has experience advising on complex flood control and drainage issues, including the implementation and upgrading of flood control schemes and bylaw processes to protect such schemes. Mike regularly appears before hearings panels, the Environment Court and High Court on resource consent and plan change appeals under the Resource Management Act 1991 and has a particular interest in water, coastal and land development issues. Mike is recognised as a next generation partner by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 legal directory and currently serves as Treasurer of the Auckland Branch Committee of the Resource Management Law Association.

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The Natural and Built Environments Bill and Spatial Planning Bill were introduced on 15 November 2022, just at the end of our three-part series on river legislation.  The Bills will ultimately repeal and replace the Resource Management Act 1991, a key part of New Zealand’s river law.  As a bonus fourth webinar, Mike and Imogen will present an overview of the most interesting and relevant parts of the new Bills relating to river management. 

The session will focus on the changes the Bills bring and what that means for practitioners with an interest in rivers. 

Presenter: Mike Doesburg 
Partner | Environment and Planning 

Mike is a local government and environmental law specialist and regularly advises local authorities, companies and private clients on water issues. He has experience advising on complex flood control and drainage issues, including the implementation and upgrading of flood control schemes and bylaw processes to protect such schemes. Mike regularly appears before hearings panels, the Environment Court and High Court on resource consent and plan change appeals under the Resource Management Act 1991 and has a particular interest in water, coastal and land development issues. Mike is recognised as a next generation partner by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 legal directory and currently serves as Treasurer of the Auckland Branch Committee of the Resource Management Law Association.

River ecology

In this series learn about river ecology and how it relates to river management

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In this webinar we’ll follow a river from the mountains to the sea: What do you find in a small stream close to a spring? What changes when the river grows with tributaries joining? What’s special about the wide, braided river before it meets the sea? Meet the in-stream community: plants, invertebrates and fish, and why they can tell us about what’s happening in their environment. And finally: how do our activities on land change the aquatic environment? 

Presenter: Julian Sykes, Senior Environmental Advisor, Environment Canterbury

Julian is a freshwater ecologist and GIS analyst who worked at NIWA and predecessors for 35 years, and currently works for Environment Canterbury as a Senior Environmental Advisor for the Rivers Team. His relevant areas of expertise are. New Zealand freshwater fish biology, distribution, and critical habitats Ecological impact assessments of human activities on waterways. Fish passage requirements and considerations. River environment classifications and associated waterway morphology. 

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New Zealand’s rivers provide crucial breeding habitat for a number of threatened bird species, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. In this webinar we will introduce you to some of the unique bird species that call our rivers home and discuss both the positive and negative impacts that river management activities can have on these species. We will present examples of initiatives being undertaken around the country to maintain or improve river bird habitats in the context of flood mitigation or gravel extraction activities, and will discuss additional work that could be carried out in the future to further improve on these efforts. 

Presenter: Nikki McArthur, Independent Ecologist
Nikki McArthur is an independent ecologist specialising in the conservation management of New Zealand birds and their habitats. Nikki has spent over a decade monitoring shorebird populations throughout the country, and has spent a number of years working with regional councils and the gravel extraction industry to improve the management of shorebirds breeding on rivers in the Hawke’s Bay, Wellington and Canterbury regions. 

 

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How can you tell if a stream is healthy? Often, the first question that comes to mind is: Is the water clean? But chemical water quality is only one part in complex aquatic ecosystems where everything is interdependent: Plants and animals, habitat, chemical, physical and biological processes and connectivity to land and groundwater are all important components of stream ecosystems and determine if they are healthy and support a resilient and healthy community of plants and animals. How is ecological health measured and what are our obligations under the NPSFM?    

Presenter: Michael Pingram, Waikato Regional Council 

Michael is a freshwater ecologist enthusiastic about stream health and large river restoration. Since 2014, Michael has been working for the Waikato Regional Council as freshwater scientist, analysing and reporting on freshwater ecology, carrying out investigations, and providing science advice to inform policy development. In particular, overseeing the region-wide ecological monitoring of streams, with an emphasis on the aquatic macroinvertebrate and habitat components. In collaboration with other research organisations, he has broad research interests including the development of ecosystem health indicators for large non-wadeable waterways, and ecological responses of invertebrates and fish in multi-stressor environments. He is now Team Leader the Water Quality and Ecology Science team, a passionate team of scientists tasked with covering the Councils’ science needs related to the water quality and ecosystem health of rivers and lakes.

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Over the past 100 years New Zealand’s lowland waterbodies have been modified by streambed lowering, channel straightening and field drainage. Drainage has now occurred to the extent that over 90% of NZ’s wetlands have been lost. While wetland drainage has now largely ceased, lowland waterbodies are subjected to ongoing channel maintenance through mechanical macrophyte clearing, weed spraying and streambank reconstruction. These actions are undertaken to ensure the productivity of surrounding farmland and to protect homes and infrastructure from high water levels. Progressively, many lowland wetland-stream complexes have been replaced by grid-patterned drain networks. Yet, these modified waterbodies are still freshwater habitats that can harbour surprising high, and often overlooked, instream values.    

In this webinar, I will explore how drain maintenance practices alter stream habitat and affect in-stream life—with a focus on freshwater fish. I will discuss a 10-year fish and habitat monitoring programme in Waituna Creek (Southland), which captured a major stream bank reconstruction initiative and a restoration project that included installing two-stage channels and instream habitat structures. I will also discuss an ambitious project in the Ararira-LII River (Canterbury plains), that aims to reimagine catchment drainage by consolidating and scaling-up various alternative ecosystem friendly drainage management methods to an entire lowland catchment.  

Presenter: Robin Homes, freshwater ecologist, Cawthron Institute  

Robin is involved in a range of projects with a focus on river and stream restoration, freshwater fisheries management and community approaches to river heath improvement. His research interests include land-use impacts on aquatic ecology and understanding native fish and salmonid life-histories and population dynamics. Recently, he has been involved in projects to enhance freshwater ecosystem values within agricultural landscapes, through actively restoring physical / structural stream habitat and promoting alternative land and stream management practices. He has a co-lead role in supporting the current MBIE-Endeavour Fish Futures programme.

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Communities and regional authorities around New Zealand actively manage river corridors to protect lives and property from flooding and erosion. There are a variety of methods to control and manage the impacts of flooding, with key actions including stop-banks, gravel extraction and managing vegetation within the active channel. In addition, various forms of bank protection are routinely employed to prevent erosion, such as rock walls, groins or managed willows. While these techniques can be effective at reducing flooding and erosion risk, they can have negative impacts on river health.  Impacts include altered hydrology, reduced habitat complexity and reduced connectivity with floodplain habitats (e.g., riparian areas and floodplain wetlands). Collectively, these effects can reduce fish and macroinvertebrate habitat quality with flow-on consequences for overall river health.  

In this webinar I discuss the potential ecological impacts of river engineering (for flood control) and pair these impacts with potential actions to minimise and/or mitigate instream ecological impacts. I will draw on the general river management literature and reflect on my recent experience in the Hawkes Bay region. Here I was involved in developing an ecological monitoring plan, with HBRC, to help manage the potential ecological effects of gravel management in the braided rivers of the Heretaunga plains.  

Presenter: Robin Homes, freshwater ecologist, Cawthron Institute 
Robin is involved in a range of projects with a focus on river and stream restoration, freshwater fisheries management and community approaches to river heath improvement. His research interests include land-use impacts on aquatic ecology and understanding native fish and salmonid life-histories and population dynamics. Recently, he has been involved in projects to enhance freshwater ecosystem values within agricultural landscapes, through actively restoring physical / structural stream habitat and promoting alternative land and stream management practices. He has a co-lead role in supporting the current MBIE-Endeavour Fish Futures programme.

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Estuaries are coastal waterbodies where freshwater meets the ocean. They host a diversity of flora and fauna, act as conduits for migratory species, and are transition zones where transformations of energy and matter occur. In addition to their ecological importance, estuaries are places of significance for the people of Aotearoa, delivering substantial economic and cultural value. This talk will review key ecological functions in estuaries and how they translate to goods and services that we value.  The influence of land-based contaminants delivered to estuaries via freshwater and the difficulties of managing these ecosystems will also be covered.    

Presenter: Drew Lohrer, Principal Scientist and Strategy Manager, Coasts & Estuaries Centre, NIWA 
Dr Drew Lohrer has been working as an estuarine and coastal seafloor ecologist at NIWA since 2002, and is now Principal Scientist and Strategy Manager of NIWA’s Coasts & Estuaries Centre. Drew’s research specialty is ecosystem functioning—how seafloor invertebrate communities influence important ecosystem processes such as primary production and organic matter breakdown—and how loadings of sediments and nutrients from land impact estuarine health and functioning.