Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers brought to you by:

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Dr Marama Muru-Lanning

Director James Henare Research Centre / Associate Professor Anthropology

The University of Auckland / Waipapa Taumata Rau

Marama is dedicated to transdisciplinary research with Māori communities that prioritises equity. As an environmental anthropologist, she focuses on the cultural specificity of tangata whenua groups and their unique sense of place and belonging in Aotearoa. Her professional expertise includes: building research relationships with Māori communities, knowledge production and research ethics and methods. What distinguishes her internationally as a social scientist is her specialisation in four interrelated areas of research: 1. Water (Waimaori & Waitai); 2. Human-environment relationships; 3. Mātauranga Māori; 4. Transdisciplinary research methods.

She leads interdisciplinary research teams and has research collaborations with other University of Auckland groups which include projects in Robotics, Civil Engineering, Infrastructure, Data Sovereignty and Kaumātua Hauora.

Raewyn Peart

Raewyn Peart

Policy Director

Environmental Defence Society

Raewyn holds the degrees of Bachelor of Social Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Commerce. She has over 30 years professional experience in environmental law and policy and heads EDS’s highly-regarded environmental policy think tank. Raewyn has published widely on coastal and marine issues including major books on coastal development, dolphin protection, fisheries management and the environmental history of the Hauraki Gulf. She has recently overseen investigations into marine spatial planning, aquaculture, the resource management system, the conservation management system and oceans reform.

Raewyn was a member of the Ministerially-appointed Resource Management Review Panel which led a comprehensive review of the resource management system in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Ministerial Advisory Committee tasked with progressing the recommendations in the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf. She is currently a member of the Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan Advisory Group. In 2019 she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to environmental and conservation policy.


Mark Dickson

Associate Professor

School of Environment, University of Auckland

Mark is an Associate Professor at the School of Environment, University of Auckland. He studied at Massey and Wollongong and undertook postdocs at Bristol and NIWA. Much of his research career has focussed on trying to understand the drivers of coastal erosion, particularly on cliffed coasts, and he is interested in a broad range of coastal management challenges, including anticipating future coastal change under rising sea levels. Mark has published widely on various aspects of coastal geomorphology, engineering and management. He collaborates on a number of international projects but is currently focussed on New Zealand based research, including the coastal theme of Resilience to Nature’s Challenges Science Challenge and a Marsden project on marine terraces.

Effective planning for coastal adaptation to sea-level rise (SLR) requires anticipating the future rate of SLR and the likely morphological response of the coast, both of which are uncertain. The science of coastal flooding under SLR is relatively advanced, but the effects of SLR on future coastal change (erosion and accretion) are less well understood. This gap in our knowledge has relevance for decision making about the impacts of SLR on communities and the things they value.

This talk introduces how historic imagery from New Zealand’s Crown Archive and recent satellite imagery are being used to consistently map plan-form coastal changes around Aotearoa over the past 80 years. This is the first national coastal erosion stock take since the pioneering work of Gibb (1978) and is being conducted within the Coastal Programme of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge. The national coastal change database will be publicly available by the end of 2023 and will provide a much-needed baseline against which to evaluate future change. This talk will describe our approach, provide an overview of where we are up to, and introduce how stakeholders can access and utilise the data being produced, which is suitable for local, regional and national-scale analyses. The talk will conclude by highlighting several case studies from around the country that are shining new light on fascinating but complex patterns of coastal change around New Zealand. 


Kench Photo

Paul Kench

Professor of Tropical Coastal Change

National University of Singapore

Paul is currently Professor of Tropical Coastal Change at the National University of Singapore. As a coastal scientist he has worked extensively on coastal hazards and management problems in New Zealand and the tropics. A major theme of his work has focussed on understanding the evolution and dynamics of coral reefs islands in response to climatic variability and sea level change. He has worked extensively in atoll nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. His research has made a significant contribution to global discussions of the physical stability of small island nations resulting in his appointment as science expert by the Japanese delegation at the UN Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, Apia Samoa and an invitation to address the Kiribati side event at the UN General Assembly (2018), presenting his work on understanding the physical vulnerability of atoll islands to climate change. Graduating with his PhD from the University of New South Wales, Professor Kench has held academic positions at The University of Melbourne, Australia; the University of Waikato and University of Auckland, New Zealand, and; Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada.