Conserving biodiversity through collaborative management : an investigation of interactions between ecosystems and societal systems and the Whangamarino wetland : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University

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The notion of collaborative management is analysed as a method to achieve biological diversity conservation. This is explored primarily in the context of New Zealand's social, cultural and economic values and norms, and the influences of these human constructs on sensitive ecological systems, using the Whangamarino Wetland and its sub-catchment as a case study. Collaborative management can be defined as a situation in which some or all of the relevant stakeholders in a protected area are involved in a substantial way in governance, management and monitoring activities. In the New Zealand context, collaborative management would need to involve an equal partnership between the Crown and tangata whenua at a governance level. At a management and monitoring level, all the relevant stakeholders (primarily including the local community, recreational and resource users, and mana whenua) would be involved in a process which specifies and guarantees their respective functions, rights and responsibilities with regard to the relevant ecosystem. From the Naturalistic Inquiry research process employed, six propositional statements were developed from the data: I. Multidisciplinary, integrated and interagency partnerships will enhance biodiversity conservation management decisions as well as promote more efficient, effective and relevant monitoring programmes. 2. Tangata whenua have a legitimate and equal status role, to the Crown in the governance, management and monitoring of the Whangamarino Wetland. 3. Local communities and resource users are ready and willing to participate in a collaborative management approach to resource management issues within the Whangamarino sub-catchment. 4. Crown agencies understand what collaborative management entails but there are political, personal, institutional and capital barriers to implementation. 5. Skilled leadership, policy flexibility and a common vision amongst all parties involved will improve the quality of biodiversity conservation outcomes. 6. Incorporating local and indigenous knowledge, ideas and experience will produce better biodiversity conservation outcomes and monitoring processes, and build public trust and support for natural resource institutions.
Appendix III - Summary of data card themes - is available to be read in the print copy held in the library
Wetland conservation, Wetland management, Wetland ecology, Whangamarino Wetland NZ, New Zealand, Waikato District