21st Annual Conference - Hokitika 20-22 November 2013
The Coast: Rough Around the Edges
Climate change, marine conservation, and marine biosecurity risks are just three of the topics that were discussed at the 21st annual New Zealand Coastal Society Conference.
Keynote speaker Professor Paul Komar, Oregon State University, set the tone for the conference with a discussion on the Earth’s changing climate and coastal hazards. While much of Dr Komar’s work has been undertaken in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, he has also been involved in studies in the Hawke’s Bay.
NZCS Chair Dr Deirdre Hart says the conference was a time for researchers and practitioners to discuss pressing issues like climate change, water quality, and coastal conservation.
“As an island nation, we are particularly vulnerable to issues like rising sea levels and extreme weather events. The conference offers an opportunity for coastal experts across many disciplines to come together to discuss issues and look for solutions.”
Conference organiser Don Neale agrees and says Hokitika provided the perfect venue for this year’s conference.
“Like many other coastal communities in New Zealand, Hokitika has a long and interesting history with its coastal environment. It has always been challenging to balance the needs and wants of coastal communities with the realities of a dynamic coastal environment, and that is being compounded by the effects of climate change. Through fieldtrips and conference sessions we are taking a closer look at some of the issues facing coastal communities today.”
On the final day of the conference, Coastal Champion Bill Southward discussed how community members can get involved in advocating for environmental management change. A second generation resident of the coastal settlement Little Rakaia Huts, Mr Southward’s observations and advocacy work have contributed to our scientific understanding of Canterbury’s braided river systems and have been instrumental in informing Canterbury’s water policy. In recognition of his contributions, earlier this year he received the New Zealand Coastal Society’s inaugural National Coastal Champion Award.
Locally, the developing Hokitika Seawall was a much talked about feature as shown by TV3 http://www.3news.co.nz/Opinions-divided-on-Hokitika-sea-wall/tabid/1160/
At the conclusion of the conference, resigning NZCS chair Deirdre Hart thanked the organising committee for their dedication and tireless efforts in making the conference such a success and definitely one to remember. Newly appointed Chair Rick Liefting thanked those who attended the conference, and invited all to attend the 2014 conference which is to be held in the little seaside town of Raglan. For further information on the 2014 conference, keep an eye out on our website over the next few months or email the NZCS Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presentations from this years conference are available to view in the members area of the website.
NZCS conference: ‘The Coast: Rough around the Edges’, 19 to 22 November 2013, Hokitika. Conference sponsors include the Department of Conservation, NIWA, Ross Dowling Marquet Griffin Barristers and Solicitors, the West Coast Regional Council, Eliot Sinclair, MWH, MetOcean Solutions Ltd, and Westland Milk Products.
Conference organising committee: Don Neale (Chair), Deirdre Hart, Derek Goring, Graeme Jenner , Hans van der Wal, Helen Rouse, Hugh Leersnyder, John Lumsden, Justin Cope, Rebecca Beaumont.
Conference administrator: Jo Kearns, Step Up Solutions.