SAC # 100

Implications of devolved natural resource management for citizen experts: Perspectives from the Mataura and the American West  ___________________________________________________________________


TIME | 24 November 2010, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | CSAFE Seminar Room, , Dunedin

SPEAKER | Julia Haggerty


Legally bound to encourage both equity and sustainability in resource management, decision-makers in Aotearoa New Zealand increasingly rely on social participation in resource management to achieve these objectives. The resulting hybrid forms of governance have created important new opportunities and burdens for elected officials and private and public-sector professionals as well as for citizen volunteers. Based on the recent stewardship history of Murihiku/Southland’s Mataura River, this paper describes new institutions that have emerged in the region to address freshwater stewardship and their historical context. Drawing on first-person narratives about river stewardship and experiences in governance gathered from Maori and Pakeha individuals, the analysis considers the ways in which the particulars of institutional and historical context shape “citizen” experiences of freshwater governance. Evidence presented in this analysis affirms scholarship that points out the potential for nurturing environmental subjectivities through the devolution of resource control to robust local institutions. Environmental and political dynamics have created opportunities for synergistic exchanges between Maori and European as well as expert and lay perspectives about freshwater ecosystems. However, this case study also emphasizes the transformative and often destructive powers of neoliberal political-economic ideologies, colonial histories and the biophysical qualities of river systems vis a vis the outcomes of environmental governance for both subjectivities and ecologies.

About the Speaker

Julia Haggerty was a post-doctoral fellow at CSAFE from 2005 through 2007. Her work focused on the intersecting histories of agricultural intensification and natural resource management in Southland in the post World War II period. Since leaving New Zealand, Haggerty has worked for Headwaters Economics, a non-profit, independent research group in Bozeman, Montana (USA). At Headwaters Economics, Haggerty conducts research on energy development (including fossil fuels and renewables) as well as agricultural economics. In this seminar, she hopes to develop some comparative observations on citizen involvement in resource management from her work in the United States. Haggerty holds a PhD in History from the University of Colorado-Boulder. 


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