Call for abstracts


The New Zealand Coastal Society invites you to attend the NZCS Annual Conference being held at St Margaret’s College, University of Otago, Dunedin over 16-18 November 2016. In Dunedin, through presentations and field excursions, we plan to take full advantage of the coastal highlights and heritage and of course the hospitality, to make the conference both a learning opportunity and a memorable event.

This year’s conference theme is:

“He waka eke noa - Linking science, engineering, management and community”

He waka eke noa, is a Maori proverb, which loosely translated means:  "A canoe in which we are all in with no exception"   or more simply, "We’re in this boat together". This theme reflects the wide range of disciplines and interests of society members and how issues are best addressed and managed when we communicate and combine our skill sets and resources.

We are looking for a diverse group of presentations and posters that delve into issues related to our understanding of the important relationships between the land and the sea — how what we do on land, influences our coastal and marine environment.

The thematic areas listed on the next page encourage cross-disciplinary contributions from the broad range of practitioners and community members interested in New Zealand’s coastal environment.

We would also like to actively encourage submissions related to Maori coastal affairs and traditional aspects of coastal land use and resource management.

The conference will feature oral presentations as well as a poster session. We encourage you to think of how your proposed conference contribution can fit within one of these themes.

The conference will include feature field trip options that will give conference attendees the opportunity to explore the local coastal environment as well as critical components of the coastal watershed while discussing and learning about issues relating to each.

More information regarding the conference, schedule, travel, field trips and sponsorships will be added in due course to this webpage.

We hope to see you in Dunedin!



2016 NZCS Conference Themes:

1.   Adaptation to climate change

The issue of climate change and associated sea level rise is one of great concern and importance to coastal communities. The conference welcomes contributions discussing current efforts aimed at addressing and adapting to changes that may be brought on as a result of the changing climate.

2.   Estuaries and harbours and their management

Building on the 2014 conference theme of “Rere ki uta, Rere ki tai’ – or – “Flowing from land to sea”, this year we again place emphasis on estuaries and harbours. These water bodies represent the all-important link between land and sea, yet they often suffer from benign neglect since they are not strictly in the realm of either ‘coastal’ or ‘freshwater’ scientists, regulators or policy makers.

3.   Balancing coastal development while protecting natural resources

The ecological importance of coastal and marine habitats and the need to develop protection measures is an emerging trend. While currently only 0.3% of our marine area is protected in reserves, it is the near shore areas that are coming under increasing pressures from the land and from people. As examples, this theme could include presentations on specific coastal conservation projects, catchment and harbour management, environmental protection frameworks and legislation in New Zealand or elsewhere, or the work of coastal community groups and trusts.

4.   Managing across coastal and policy boundaries

The use of natural resources combined with other land and marine use pressures can interfere with the carrying capacity of coastal zone ecological and social systems. This theme explores subjects such as the competition for coastal space and the role of marine spatial planning and catchment planning. What are the scientific, engineering and planning inputs that we need to help shape decisions for coastal uses?  What’s new through the Environment Court?

5.   Coastal hazards and risk

Cyclones, tsunamis, winter storms, king tides, earthquakes, landslides, and liquefaction. What if it all happened at once? Oh my…!

6.   Communities and our coast

Coastal communities are vulnerable to anthropogenic influences on the coastal environment as well as to variability in natural phenomena. This theme looks to examine and share how we can plan for a more resilient future and what communities need to enable them to be more aware of and adaptable to coastal issues. Possible subtopics include: urban development and coastal hazards (storms, erosion, flooding, tsunami and sea level rise) as well as direct anthropogenic hazards, such as oil spills, sediment management and water pollution.


In addition to the principal themes and subthemes, the conference organisers welcome submissions dealing with any aspect of coastal science and / or coastal studies

More information regarding the conference, schedule, travel, field trips and sponsorships can be found online at: