IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Structuring stakeholder participation in New Zealand's water resource governance


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lennox, James & Proctor, Wendy & Russell, Shona, 2011. "Structuring stakeholder participation in New Zealand's water resource governance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1381-1394, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:7:p:1381-1394

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    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. P A Memon & B J Gleeson, 1995. "Towards a New Planning Paradigm? Reflections on New Zealand's Resource Management Act," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 22(1), pages 109-124, February.
    3. Wendy Proctor & Martin Drechsler, 2006. "Deliberative Multicriteria Evaluation," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 24(2), pages 169-190, April.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:forpol:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Armatas, Christopher A. & Venn, Tyron J. & Watson, Alan E., 2014. "Applying Q-methodology to select and define attributes for non-market valuation: A case study from Northwest Wyoming, United States," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 447-456.
    3. J. Coleman & F. Sosa-Rodriguez & L. Mortsch & P. Deadman, 2016. "Assessing stakeholder impacts and adaptation to low water-levels: the Trent-Severn waterway," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 134(1), pages 115-129, January.
    4. Larson, Silva & Stoeckl, Natalie & Neil, Barbara & Welters, Riccardo, 2013. "Using resident perceptions of values associated with the Australian Tropical Rivers to identify policy and management priorities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 9-18.
    5. repec:eee:crpeac:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:21-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. J. M. A. Coleman & F. S. Sosa-Rodriguez & L. D. Mortsch & P. J. Deadman, 2016. "Assessing stakeholder impacts and adaptation to low water-levels: the Trent-Severn waterway," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 134(1), pages 115-129, January.
    7. Bell, Brian A. & Sinner, Jim & Phillips, Yvonne & Yap, Michael & Scarpa, Riccardo & Batstone, Chris & Marsh, Dan, 2012. "“Mixed signals: Stated preferences for future states of three New Zealand rivers”," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124234, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Martin Quinn & Theodore Lynn & Stephen Jollands & Binesh Nair, 2016. "Domestic Water Charges in Ireland - Issues and Challenges Conveyed through Social Media," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(10), pages 3577-3591, August.
    9. Lo, Alex Y., 2013. "Agreeing to pay under value disagreement: Reconceptualizing preference transformation in terms of pluralism with evidence from small-group deliberations on climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 84-94.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:7:p:1381-1394. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.