Keynote Speakers


Dr Cliff Law

Principal Scientist-Marine Biogeochemistry


Cliff is a Principal Scientist at NIWA where he leads the Ocean - Climate Interaction Group and also a Professor at the University of Otago, teaching undergraduate courses on marine chemistry. His expertise is in marine biogeochemistry with research interests in marine trace gases, phytoplankton production and controls, and the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change. Cliff is recognised as a world expert in marine biogeochemistry, coordinating and contributing to several international and national research projects. For the past ten years he has researched the impacts of changing ocean chemistry that result from the increased uptake of carbon dioxide.

Coastal Acidification: Rate, Impacts & Management

The declining pH of coastal waters is driven by the increasing burden of COin the atmosphere, and also the supply of nutrients and organic matter in freshwater. This represents a threat to ecosystems and economic interests in the coastal zone around New Zealand, via its impacts on ecosystems and key species such as shellfish. The MBIE-funded Coastal Acidification: Rate, Impacts & Management (CARIM) is a national project which has regional foci in the Firth of Thames, Nelson Bays and Karitane, a rocky shore north of Dunedin, and associated impact studies on paua, Greenshell mussel, and Snapper larvae. This presentation will provide an update of findings from CARIM and related New Zealand research, and summarise the current trends, threats and potential options for addressing coastal acidification.


Dr Rebecca McLeod


Fiordland Marine Guardians

Dr Rebecca McLeod has been a Guardian since 2012. She was awarded a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Otago and has received high profile honours and awards that recognise her scientific accomplishments and strengths in communication. She is a keen scientific and recreational diver and boatie, and is passionate about New Zealanders getting into the great outdoors and being able to ‘fish for a feed’.

Dr McLeod has extensive knowledge of Fiordland, from the rainforests to its unique marine environment, having conducted ecological research in the area for many years. She is a science advisor with experience in the academic, commercial and public service sectors, most recently advising New Zealand's Antarctic Science Programme.

The Fiordland Marine Guardians were formally established under the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005, they had a very specific task of implementing the many management components required under this new legislation. Fourteen years later, what role do the Guardians play in looking after the expansive Fiordland Marine Area? Are the group, and others like them, still relevant and worth investing in? Rebecca will explain how the Guardians work with the community and government agencies to address issues and risks to the original vision for this special part of Aotearoa, with some examples of the matters that the Guardians are currently focused on.

Graeme Blick 2

Graeme Blick

Chief Geodesist

Land Information New Zealand

Graeme obtained his Bachelor of Surveying from Otago University in 1980.  He worked for GNS Science before spending time at the University NAVSTAR Consortium in Boulder Colorado utilising GPS to monitor crustal movements on several international projects.  In 1995 he moved to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), New Zealand’s National Survey and Mapping agency.  He is the Chief Geodesist and Group Manager of the Positioning and Resilience Group where he continues to work on and manage the development and implementation of the geodetic system in New Zealand and develop a new resilience programme of work for LINZ. 

Mapping NZ 2025 is LINZ’s 10-year programme to deliver the mapping, data and expertise needed to address some of the most significant challenges facing NZ—such as climate change, urban growth and water. Our vision is seamless land and sea mapping, from Aoraki/Mount Cook to the edge of the continental shelf.   

The programme includes initiatives, leadership and investment. It builds on core LINZ expertise in mapping and charting, and brings in new technologies and data partnerships with other organisations. 

Mapping NZ 2025 is built around six major components:

  1. Developing tools to enable seamless linking of land and sea datasets.
  2. Elevation and Imagery partnerships to better map the land and features on the land.
  3. Improving NZ’s bathymetric or depth information to benefit marine safety, our communities, environment, and the marine economy.
  4. Mapping the coastal zone to improve its management and our knowledge of the impacts of sea-level rise and tsunami inundation.
  5. Coordinating improved access to NZ’s Marine geospatial data  
  6. Working internally to better utilise Earth observation data to provide precise and complete images of what’s happening to NZ’s built and natural environments. 

Graeme's presentation will give an update LINZ’s progress and future plans on this ambitious programme of work.  It will focus on our coastal mapping project, including the tools to integrate land and sea datasets.