Factoring community welfare estimates into freshwater allocation decision making in New Zealand : a common good case study : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Management at Massey University, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The study recognises the centrality of the ‘common good’ by working to improve the intergenerational well-being of all people in society. The research adopts the Tukituki River catchment in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand as a case study to demonstrate how community welfare estimates can be factored into freshwater allocation planning and decision-making. The Tukituki catchment faces water pollution and allocation challenges that are typical of agricultural landscapes with summer water scarcity. A survey measured both current and future perceptions of the catchment, focussing on comparing perceptions of anglers and gamebird hunters with other recreational users. A second survey estimated the marginal welfare benefits generated by improved water quality and the welfare associated with trust in freshwater advocates and policy-oriented organisations. Most users felt the catchment was in a poor state and wanted a future with improved water quality. There was little or no difference between the perceptions of anglers and other recreational users. Gamebird hunter’s perceptions were different from other recreational users at the p<.05 level. Recreational users were willing to pay a mean $6.67 a month for ten years to improve water quality to a level representative of the successful delivery of current policy goals by 2030. Bayesian trust scores were used to model social capital in the form of a novel social trust economy, which proved to be an effective descriptor of the known political economy. Keywords: Freshwater, Welfare, Perceptions, Trust, Common good, Latent Class Analysis, Best-worst scaling, Non-market valuation, Contingent valuation.
Water quality management, Watershed management, Water resources development, New Zealand, Tukituki River Watershed, Public opinion