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Structuring stakeholder participation in New Zealand's water resource governance

Listed author(s):
  • Lennox, James
  • Proctor, Wendy
  • Russell, Shona

International experience has shown that extensive, systematic and structured stakeholder engagement is important in modern water resource governance. Through two case studies in the Canterbury Region, we investigate the emergence of structured and deliberative participatory processes for decision-making in New Zealand. We particularly focus on the use of evaluative criteria and weightings in providing structure for stakeholder deliberations and clarity and transparency in decision-making processes. Some of the benefits of using criteria weightings to reflect individuals' priorities include their ability to bring out the various perspectives and preferences to start the deliberations and increase the understanding of other people's points of views and their knowledge to all of the stakeholders. We consider particular aspects of the New Zealand context, including the development of criteria specific to Maori interests. These case studies lead us to conclude that stakeholder participation in decision-making is beneficial and increasingly necessary to resolve the problems and tensions around the governance of Canterbury's water resources. They also demonstrate that there are numerous practical and systemic barriers that must be overcome if the potential is to be fully realised. We provide recommendations on how such participatory processes can be successfully implemented to produce meaningful and effective outcomes.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921-8009(11)00088-7
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 (May)
Pages: 1381-1394

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:7:p:1381-1394
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Pereira, Ângela Guimarães & Quintana, Serafin Corral, 2009. "3 pillars and 1 beam: Quality of river basin governance processes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 940-954, February.
  2. Marlene Buchy & Digby Race, 2001. "The Twists and Turns of Community Participation in Natural Resource Management in Australia: What is Missing?," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 293-308.
  3. Kodikara, P.N. & Perera, B.J.C. & Kularathna, M.D.U.P., 2010. "Stakeholder preference elicitation and modelling in multi-criteria decision analysis - A case study on urban water supply," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 206(1), pages 209-220, October.
  4. Wendy Proctor & Martin Drechsler, 2006. "Deliberative Multicriteria Evaluation," Environment and Planning C, SAGE Publishing, vol. 24(2), pages 169-190, April.
  5. P A Memon & B J Gleeson, 1995. "Towards a new planning paradigm? Reflections on New Zealand's Resource Management Act," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(1), pages 109-124, January.
  6. Buchy, M. & Hoverman, S., 2000. "Understanding public participation in forest planning: a review," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 15-25, May.
  7. P A Memon & B J Gleeson, 1995. "Towards a New Planning Paradigm? Reflections on New Zealand's Resource Management Act," Environment and Planning B, SAGE Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 109-124, February.
  8. Garmendia, Eneko & Stagl, Sigrid, 2010. "Public participation for sustainability and social learning: Concepts and lessons from three case studies in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1712-1722, June.
  9. Wendy Proctor & Martin Drechsler, 2006. "Deliberative multicriteria evaluation," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(2), pages 169-190, April.
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