Our Seas

Slow-shutter photo of waves lapping onto the rocky shore

Developing ways to enhance engagement and participation across all sectors of society, resulting in more efficient and effective decision-making using ecosystem-based management (EBM)


This project is identifying the optimum ways to involve different interest groups in discussions and decision-making around the governance and management of marine environments.

Public trust is an important aspect of any commercial activity. We are investigating how different parties understand this concept of ‘social licence’, and explore how it can be achieved and maintained between communities.  

Our aim is to identify and/or improve our understanding of important institutional, social and cultural factors that need to be incorporated into ecosystem-based management, for it to be successfully used to manage New Zealand’s marine estate.

The Kaituna River re-diversion strategy is widely regarded as an exemplary case of multi-stakeholder and multi-iwi engagement in marine ecosystem governance. We are investigating the way the strategy was developed, to identify the principles and practices that could be applied in other marine resource contexts.

Managing the cumulative effects from natural events and human activities is one of the most urgent and complex problems facing our coastal and marine ecosystems. The many agencies responsible for managing these spaces are working together to address this challenge.

Latest news and updates

Job opportunity: Senior Communications Advisor (1.0 FTE)

We're looking for a great all-rounder who's interested in using their exceptional science communications and outreach skills to help tackle a critical environmental science challenge facing the nation.

Job opportunity: Challenge Manager (0.5 FTE)

Looking for an exciting opportunity to apply your scientific background and management abilities to a critical environmental science challenge facing the nation?

Social licence and NZ aquaculture

Our research has found that personal relationships go a long way towards aquaculture companies gaining/maintaining community acceptance and social licence to operate.