Session, Poster and workshop themes

The New Zealand Coastal Society (NZCS) vision is: the sustainable management of New Zealand's coastal and marine environment based on sound science, engineering and policy practice, comprehensive monitoring, involved communities and effective national networks. To achieve this vision, NZCS takes a lead role in encouraging sound management of our coastal and marine environments by facilitating robust regional and national discussions, forums and learning opportunities.


The conference themes below encourage cross disciplinary contributions from the broad range of practitioners interested in and influencing New Zealand's coastal environment. We encourage you to think of how your proposed conference contribution can fit within one of these themes.

1. Communities and Our Coasts

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 community and iwi capacity is, and can be, built with respect to the New Zealand coastal zone and its associated management regimes.

2. Managing Resource Conflicts, Sharing Natural Spaces and Resources

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 utilisation and development of resources, and the competition for coastal space. What are the science, engineering and planning inputs that inform decision makers in this area?

3. Coastal Science

This theme examines the state and evolution of scientific knowledge of the New Zealand coast. Papers are sought that provide overviews of different aspects of coastal science and research in New Zealand, that explore gaps in our knowledge, and that support the management and planning of coastal resource use. Topics could include:

  • oceanographic processes;
  • coastal geomorphology and morphodynamics;
  • estuarine processes;
  • coastal ecology; and
  • marine geology and resources.

4. Coastal Hazards

This theme focuses on the management of, and adaptation to, coastal hazards and the underpinning science, planning and engineering. Coastal storms, erosion, flooding, tsunami and sea level rise as well as technological hazards (e.g. oil spills) are among the possible subtopics considered for this theme. Other possible areas of interest include coastal monitoring and hazard research techniques.

5. Coastal Conservation

Over 80% of New Zealand's biodiversity is in the sea, with coastal wetlands, river mouth and dune systems featuring large amongst the remaining 20%. Some coastal and marine habitats and ecosystems are highly valued and have a history of nature conservation. Conservation land, for example, covers roughly 30% of New Zealand's land area, including a string of nationally and internationally significant coastal wetlands along the South Island West Coast. However, in other places we have only just started to acknowledge the ecological importance of coastal and marine habitats and the need to develop protection measures. For example a mere 0.3% of our enormous marine area is protected in reserves. This theme could include presentations sharing examples of specific coastal conservation projects or your experiences with environmental protection frameworks and legislation in New Zealand or elsewhere (e.g. marine reserves, marine mammal sanctuaries, taiapure, mataitai, or the work of coastal community groups and trusts).


Four workshops will be held during the conference.

1. Resilient coastal communities – how do you balance long-term planning and short-term hazard management?

Events around the New Zealand coast, including recently in Hokitika, demonstrate the tensions that can arise when a hazard (erosion or flooding) event drives the need for urgent decisions to be made to protect assets, which may be in conflict with longer-term community aspirations for their coast. This 2 hour workshop (aligned to the conference themes of Managing resource conflicts and Coastal hazards) will explore some of these tensions that coastal communities and the councils have to contend with, and try and offer solutions to the challenges posed. Four speakers will set the scene, followed by questions and facilitated discussion.

2. The Science, Techniques and Requirements behind Coastal Permit Monitoring and Reporting.

As the science involved in assessments of effects for coastal permit applications becomes more complex, so do the monitoring requirements being imposed as conditions for such permits, particularly in the context of advanced adaptive management regimes. In this workshop we will explore how advances in scientific and technical methods and techniques can and should best be employed to fulfil the legal obligations of coastal permit holders to do advanced monitoring.

3. Community participation

“Our coasts are best managed through decisions that are developed with our coastal communities.” Do you agree with this statement? And if so, what could and should we be doing to enhance community involvement in coastal management issues? This 1 hour workshop (aligned with the conference theme of Communities and our coast) will allow for three speakers to deliver some key messages, followed by questions and discussion.

4. Port Development: Environmental Issues

In this workshop, we will explore environmental issues related to port development (dredging, reclamation, etc) and investigate how coastal scientists can assist in solving the various problems that arise in the course of this development. The first half will comprise addresses by two representatives from Port Companies, and the second will be an open forum providing an opportunity to question the speakers and discuss the issues.