SAC # 41: “We don’t worry about their trout, why should they worry about our eels?”: The changing politics of ‘eco-populism’ and freshwater stewardship in NZ



4 October 2007, 4- 5:30pm


Seminar Room, Centre for Innovation, 87 St. David St.


John Ingram, Riverton Farmer


The term ?eco-populism? describes two critical threads in global environmental politics over (at least) the past three decades: the resistance to capital penetration and the exercise of local authority over natural resources. While at first blush the dynamics of eco-populism appear to differ wildly in different contexts, geographers have begun to take seriously the politics of eco-populism in the ?first world.? Of interest are familiar themes from the political ecology of the global south: subjectivities of governance; weighing the claims to legitimacy of the ?local? against the contradictory nature of local micro-politics; assessing the significance of resistance to the commodification of natural resources; and understanding the convergence of ecological and social marginalization. This seminar offers some early thoughts on the changing meanings of eco-populism in environmental stewardship in New Zealand, drawing on the recent history of the Mataura River in Southland. I will offer for discussion with the group my observations on changes in governance, subjectivities, and cultural legitimacy among the stewards of the Mataura ?and what we might learn from the intersection of these dynamics about eco-populism in New Zealand.

(Contrary to any suggestions in the title, this is paper will not specifically revolve around conflicts between Fish and Game or MFish and Maori?)

About the Speaker

Julia Haggerty received her PhD in History from the University of Colorado in 2004. She studied the intersection of wildlife management and agricultural sustainability issues in the U.S. Rocky Mountain West before joining CSAFE & the UoO Sustainable Agriculture research cluster in 2005.

This seminar is Seminar 3 in the