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GEOG397 Environmental Management

Responses of societies to environmental problems, with emphasis on environmental management policy and practice in New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.

This paper provides an understanding of environmental management law, policy and process in New Zealand. It is an ideal introduction to environmental management for those majoring in subjects in the Sciences and Humanities who may wish to work in government departments, consultancies or local authorities.

Paper title Environmental Management
Paper code GEOG397
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,038.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,492.80

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54 GEOG points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
The content of the paper assumes that students have passed first-year geography papers and an undergraduate environmental management paper or equivalent. The paper is also popular with science students wishing to prepare for a career in environmental management with local authorities, consultancies or central government.
Teaching staff
Professor Claire Freeman and Associate Professor Michael Hilton
Teaching Arrangements
This paper is taught through lectures, laboratories, field trips and individual research projects.
Textbooks are not required for this paper.Readings on key topics are provided.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Paper Structure
Part A:
  • Introduction: environmental management in New Zealand
  • Approaches to environmental management
  • The evolution of environmental management in NZ
Part B:
  • Resource Management Act 1991 policy and practice
  • Policy statements and plans - integrated management
  • Regional coastal plans - policies, methods, rules
  • The consent-granting process
  • Assessment of environmental effects
  • State of environment reporting - pressure, state and response
  • Local authority monitoring and reporting
  • Environmental standards for environmental management
  • RMA hazard management
  • Coastal hazard policies and rules
  • Ocean Beach case study
  • Marine reserves and marine protected areas
  • Marine conservation in southeast Asia
Part C:
  • Conservation management
  • Urban ecology
  • State-led conservation management
  • Conservation strategies and policy
  • Principles and practice of ecosystem restoration
  • NGOs and environmental management
  • Case study - Fish and Game (and freshwater) management
  • The Commons, property rights and environmental management
  • Realising Article II? Taiapure and mataitai reserves
  • Accords and agreements - principles and practice
  • Financial incentives for environmental management
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper you should have developed a critical understanding of environmental management practice in New Zealand, including:
  • The roles, functions and decision-making processes of the principal environmental agencies in New Zealand, including local and central government
  • The provisions of key environmental statutes, particularly the RMA 1991
  • Planning methods employed by local authorities in policy statements and plans
  • Processes and issues related to the consent-granting process established by the RMA 1991
  • Methods of conservation management, species recovery and ecosystem restoration in New Zealand
  • State of environment reporting, the process of monitoring stresses on the environment, the impact of these stresses and the effectiveness of management responses

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Monday 09:00-10:50 30, 32-33, 36-37, 39, 41
P2 Monday 11:00-12:50 30, 32-33, 36-37, 39, 41
P3 Tuesday 09:00-10:50 30, 32-33, 36-37, 39, 41
P4 Thursday 09:00-10:50 30, 32-33, 36-37, 39, 41
P5 Friday 09:00-10:50 30, 32-33, 36-37, 39, 41
P6 Friday 11:00-12:50 30, 32-33, 36-37, 39, 41