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Adapt and thrive: Building a climate-resilient Aotearoa New Zealand

All New Zealanders can adapt to the locked-in effects of climate change. The sooner we act, the more effective that action will be.

The Ministry for the Environment is inviting your feedback on this plan. It has been put together so we can minimise the damage from a changing climate. We want to hear about how climate change is affecting you, potential impacts you are concerned about, actions you are taking and what other actions are needed.

Webinars and workshops on this are available and feedback needs to be submitted by 3 June 2022.

Go to the MfE website for more information.

Would you be interested in being a field-based STEM facilitator?

Field Based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a programme all about getting tamariki out into the environment to appreciate their world, through field based science.

Tony Jones has been a science teacher, Head of Department (Science) and Deputy Principal. He has set up this business to support schools to apply for professional development funding through the Ministry of Education. He also organises facilitators to work with teachers to plan trips out of the classroom - exploring their environment.

We are looking for facilitators from around the country who are interested in working with schools; using their knowledge of the coast in their area. This is mainly working with teachers, but may involve accompanying teachers and pupils on field trips The facilitator does not have to be a teacher but they do need to be safe to work with young people. They do not have to be scientists - just knowledgeable about something specific in the outdoors. They do not have responsibility for students. They work with teachers and act as an expert in the field.

This work is not a job, but rather a flexible contract as needed by schools that have applied for the funding. Field Based STEM pays very well, per hour of contact time, including travel. The contract is very flexible with the facilitator and the teacher working out the hours to suit both. It would suit someone who is retired, or working part time, or even working in the area of coastal sustainability.

Initially we are looking for someone to support Orewa College in Auckland. Orewa College has several hours of funding and would like to spend some of it exploring Orewa Beach and surrounding coastal areas; assessing the coastal processes at work and best practice field work for this.

We are also getting more and more queries about support using a Mātauranga Māori perspective as part of this field based work, so this would be an added skill, but not essential. See our website for the kind of work we do.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact me.
Heather Knewstubb -

Ōhope dunes damaged by foot traffic and other causes.

Ōhope sand dunes have been damaged and a large chunk of the vegetated area has turned into just sand. Coast Care Regional Coordinator Rusty Coutts talks to Jesse Mulligan about the problem. Aerial photographs taken 10 years apart show how more and more of the dunes are turning to sand, with vegetation having been trampled by people and eaten by rabbits. Storms and waves are also having an effect. Rusty encourages people to stay on the tracks provided and help with coast care work, especially planting during the winter season. Listen here:

Modelling Disruption - helping communities understand the impacts of disruptive events

Tuesday 29 March 2022, 11am-12pm.

A Resilience to Nature’s Challenges webinar organised by National Science Challenges on how the MERIT tool helps communities understand the social and economic impacts of disruptive events, and assess mitigation options.

The global pandemic has served to highlight the impact disruption can have on our social and economic systems. With the inevitability of climate change, as well as future natural hazard events, it is increasingly essential that our systems are prepared for and able to cope with disruption.

In this webinar Michele Daly (GNS Science), Nicola McDonald and Garry McDonald (M.E. Research) and Charlotte Brown (Resilient Organisations) will outline the suite of tools developed by the cross-organisational MERIT (Modelling the Economics of Resilient Infrastructure) team.

Their tools assist communities to trace the potential impacts of disruptive events on social and economic systems, and they can also inform community discussions on the appropriate levels of investment in mitigation options.

A key feature of the MERIT approach is also the recognition that businesses and communities have some capacity to adapt in the face of adversity and this needs to be taken into consideration.

The presenters will outline the process the MERIT team undertook to simulate the economic consequences of a Wellington Fault earthquake event. This work formed part of the Wellington Lifelines Programme Business Case and included examination of how economic consequences changed with investments in more-resilient critical infrastructure.

For more information and/or to register go HERE.

The Rakiura Dune Restoration Programme (1999-2021)

Like many of you I was looking forward to Mike Hilton’s talk at the Southland conference in 2020. Unfortunately he had to cancel in order to sort out remote learning at Otago University in response to reports of Covid in NZ. DOC staff also got pulled, but some of those attending managed to go on the weekend field trip to Mason’s Bay on Rakiura. Many others have visited these dunes.

If you wanted any details about the work out there, Mike Hilton and Teresa Konlechner used their lockdowns constructively and produced a book “The Rakiura Dune Restoration Programme (1999 -2021)”. In their words, they did it to celebrate the 21 years work by DOC rangers in Southland. I see it equally as a celebration of a dedicated staff member who’s put a couple of decades into the site and the subject, of the students who were involved, and of their desire to impart this knowledge to DOC staff and managers. Teresa’s headed for a decade or more of her own involvement there.

This is a really good synthesis of the work done there by Mike and his students, building our understanding of specifically marram grass. It’s a bit like a detective story, how the bits and pieces of knowledge gleaned from different studies have been used to build an understanding of how the dunes and marram function, and what needs to be done to manage the marram. It provides a good overview of the situation and the future, and anybody facing a marram issue will gain a lot from the book. It’s amazing what can be achieved when management is backed by good science.

Many of the references in here will be in our reference database, the rest will be added shortly.

The book can be downloaded here.

Graeme La Cock