Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Society, Culture & Policy

Stormwater treatment in a housing development

Effective policy, whether public or organisational, is an important component of resource management and planning as it provides the framework for sound decision-making. This Portfolio complements Landcare Research’s biophysical science by focusing on the social, cultural and economic processes and information needed to improve policy performance.

Development of effective policy entails designing, undertaking and evaluating engagement processes and strategies; understanding preferences, values and governance processes for natural asset management; assessing information to underpin choices and decisions; designing policy instruments and their implementation; and tracking policy performance to enable adaptive management.

Our research spans urban, rural and conservation landscapes and catchments, the full-range of ecosystem services and natural resources, and a wide array of stakeholders – central and local government, industry, NGOs, community and Māori organisations. The Portfolio draws on research in a number of other Portfolios.

Areas of particular interest to Māori includes our work on environmental management and governance models for Tūhoe; and the incorporation of Māori cultural values in urban development, policy, planning and reporting with a number of iwi and city councils.

Key research collaborators include Aqualinc, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research and NIWA (Land & Water Forum issues, framework for interoperable freshwater models, nutrient trading and water quality); the World Resources Institute (policy instruments to address multiple ecosystems services); the Cawthron Institute, NIWA and AgResearch (water governance).

Research priority areas:

  • Governance complex systems
  • Ecosystem services in decision-making
  • Policy to protect biodiversity
  • Responding to climate change