Integrated management : from concept to practice : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University

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Massey University
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New Zealand's key environmental management statutes are notable for requiring the integrated management of resources. This thesis explores the extent to which integrated management is actually occurring between two different agencies operating under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Conservation Act 1987. The level of integration between Tasman District Council and the Department of Conservation is analysed with reference to a case study of management issues along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. The primary issue here is that increased human activity along the Park coast has attendant social and environmental impacts; these should be addressed in an integrated manner by both agencies. The concept of integrated environmental management is defined and explained by means of a literature review. Following this, the potential for integrated management in the New Zealand context is assessed by reviewing the requirements of legislation and relevant commentary. Subsequent to developing this theoretical framework, research investigations centre on the Abel Tasman case study. First, interviews are conducted with those who prepared the Proposed Tasman Regional Policy Statement and Proposed Tasman Resource Management Plan; and the Nelson-Marlborough Conservation Management Strategy and Abel Tasman National Park Draft Management Plan, amongst other practitioners. Second, these plans are coded; and the findings of both research methods are then analysed. It is shown that the degree to which integrated management can be achieved is dependent on institutional factors. New Zealand's environmental management regime contains both opportunities and barriers to the implementation of integrated management, and this is reflected in the case study. The extent to which integration is achieved between Tasman District Council and the Department of Conservation is limited, due to inadequate funding, staffing and statutory deadlines. Statutory and informal processes followed by the two agencies in preparing plans lacked the comprehensive interaction and effective co-ordination that are the key operational ingredients to integrated management. The lack of capacity within agencies is attributed to a lack of political commitment to the processes of integration. The intentions embodied in the legislation are being compromised by pressure on agencies and staff to be cost-effective. Nevertheless, significant improvements to the regime were noted by practitioners.
Coastal zone management, New Zealand, Tasman District Council, Case studies, Abel Tasman National Park, Environmental policy, Environmental protection