Research Priority: People and Water

The purpose of this research priority theme is to build a better understanding of the relationship between people and water, in order to underpin alternative, sustainable freshwater management approaches that meet iwi, community and economic aspirations for the resource. The project lead for this theme is Dr. Ed Challies, Senior Lecturer, Waterways Center for Freshwater Management.

Regatta on the Avon Otakaro River, Christchurch. Photo: Molly Spinks

Researchers affiliated with this theme are listed below.


Fields of Research

Assoc. Prof. Mick Abbott Increasing biodiversity through social, cultural and economic value.
Dr Ed Challies

Collaborative governance of water, access and rights to water, participation effective environmental policies and plans.(UC, WCFM)

Dr Kelly Dombroski Community economies, commoning. Participatory research, evaluation and monitoring, social science research methods. (UC, Geography)
Dr Deirdre Hart Coastal and fluvial, coastal oceanography and engineering (UC, Geography)
Prof. Ken Hughey Integrated water resources management, with a focus on Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, river values prioritisation, bird habitat use in braided riverbeds. (LU, Department of Environmental Management).
Dr Elizabeth Macpherson

Water law, comparative law, indigenous rights, natural resources law, environmental law, human rights law.

Prof Geoff Kerr Environmental Economics (LU, Dept Environmental Management)
Prof. Hirini Matunga

Māori and indigenous approaches to planning, resource management, and cultural heritage management. Treaty of Waitangi and Māori (LU, Dept Environmental Management)

Dr. Shannon Page

HOD, Environmental Management(LU)

Assoc. Prof. Hamish Rennie

Environmental policy and planning, Governance and institutional dimensions of commons with an emphasis on lake and freshwater commons. (LU, Dept Environmental Management)

Dr. Lin Roberts Sustainability, using a cross disciplinary approach to understand the changes required for a sustainable future (LU).
Dr Chris Rosin Human-environment relations in the context of primary sector production and rural livelihoods, with particular focus on best practice auditing, agri-environmental governance, climate change, and provenance. (LU)
Prof. Simon Swaffield Agricultural landscapes, landscape planning assessment and management, regional planning.(LU, School of Landscape Architecture)
Assoc. Prof Thomas Wilson

Disaster risk and resilience, natural hazard risk assessment (UC, Geological Sciences)

Please contact Katie Nimmo, WCFM Research Project Manager if you are academic staff and are interested in conducting research into freshwater management but not currently affiliated to the Centre, or if you are already affiliated with the WCFM, but wish to be listed against different, or multiple research priority themes.