Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 83646

Prof Murray Patterson


School of People, Environment and Planning

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 4 12
Team Member 0 1

Current Projects

Project Title: Oranga Taiao, Oranga Tangata - Knowledge and Toolsets to Support Co-Management of Estuaries

Date Range: 2015 - 2019

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Project Title: NSC - Deep South: Adaptation strategies to address climate change impacts on coastal maori communities

New Zealand has a very significant level of development in coastal areas, which are now being affected by sea level rise with erosion of beaches and collapse of some coastal infrastructure during storms already evident in several parts of the country, as well as flooding due to rise in groundwater over land less than 10 m above the current sea level. Such events are clearly becoming major issues for coastal management. Critical adaptation strategies are required to help communities, planners and policy makers deal with such critical coastal management issues. The aim of this research is to develop a framework for building resilience in coastal Maori farming communities by identifying culturally-informed climate change adaptation strategies and testing their economic, environmental and cultural implications through a series of designed, whole-of-farm scenarios. Two case studies will be conducted in the Horowhenua-Kapiti region on the flood plain between Paekakariki and Levin. The project will build Maori capacity to proactively and productively adapt to climate change, leading to new processes of effective social engagement for dealing with this issue. The project is organised around wananga that bring together iwi and hapu, stakeholders and the research team, as a way of co-producing new knowledge and capability to identify, respond and adapt to potential climate change impacts. We will develop three adaptation scenarios for each case study, informed by our research into climate science, geomorphology, Matauranga Maori, design and ecological economics. Using 'design' principles, we will integrate Matauranga Maori with the latest knowledge developments in climate science to provide critical links between science, planning and decision making, to synthesise complex environmental, cultural and economic information in ways that the local community can easily grasp.
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Date Range: 2015 - 2017

Funding Body: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: Integrated Valuation of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services

Our aim is to develop a robust framework to characterise, quantify, map and place an economic value on coastal-marine ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are benefits derived from ecological processes that occur in the natural and human-modified world that typically are not considered in economic decision-making ¿ e.g., nutrient recycling, climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and food provision. The intention of our research is to `make visible¿ these coastal-marine ecosystem services by placing an economic value on them as well as socio-cultural valuations. We will use Tasman Bay as a test-bed for our research, but our intention is to apply it in future years to elsewhere in New Zealand. We intend to shift thinking about coastal-marine management away from a fragmented concentration on single issues, single processes and single resources, to a more holistic appreciation of the whole-of-system ecosystem services values and processes. A key focus on the research will be to synthesise existing ecological knowledge in Tasman Bay and re-cast it in terms of an `ecosystem services¿ framework. This ecosystem services information will then be displayed in terms of maps and geographic information systems, and will be measured in physical terms (e.g., tonnes of carbon sequestered), economic value terms and in terms of other measurements of value to encapsulate social and cultural values. The final phase of this initial two-year project will be to test out the usefulness of this `ecosystem services concept¿ in resolving a selected resource management problem in Tasman Bay. The research team is a partnership between the Cawthron Institute (Nelson), Massey University and iwi researchers, working in close collaboration with end users and leading overseas research institutions in the areas of coastal-marine science, ecosystem services and cross-cultural environmental research.
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Date Range: 2012 - 2015

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Project Title: Enhancing Coastal Ecosystems for Iwi - Manaaki Taha Moana

Manaaki Taha Moana (MTM) is a research programme to restore and enhance coastal ecosystems and their services of importance to iwi, through a better knowledge of these ecosystems and the degradation processes that affect them. We are utilising Western Science and M?tauranga Maori knowledge, as well as participatory modelling tools and processes, to assist iwi/hapu to evaluate and define preferred options for enhancing/restoring coastal ecosystems. This evaluation of options will be assisted by the development of innovative IT and decision support tools (for example: digital libraries, simulation modelling, interactive mapping, 3D depiction, real-time monitoring) by Waka Digital. Action plans are being produced for improving coastal ecosystems in each rohe. The research team aims to work closely with iwi/hapu in the case study regions to develop tools and approaches to facilitate the uptake of this knowledge and its practical implementation. Mechanisms will also be put in place to facilitate uptake amongst other iwi throughout NZ.
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Date Range: 2009 - 2015

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Project Title: Iwi Ecoservices

Aims to work closely with iwi and hapu and approaches to update knowledge about ecosystems and degradation processes that affect them.
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Date Range: 2005 - 2009

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Project Title: Sustainable Pathways

The Sustainable Pathways project will produce a `genuine progress indicator¿ (GPI), in comparison with the current model of financial gross domestic product (GDP). The project will amend New Zealand¿s measurement of economic growth, adjusting the estimated growth rate to include social and environmental costs such as soil erosion and traffic congestion.
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Date Range: 2003 - 2009

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 2 7

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Mahina-a-Rangi Baker - PhD
    A.framework for iwi to conduct collaborative freshwater modelling
  • Aroha Spinks - PhD
    Restoring the Mauri of Dune Coastal Lake Ecosystems - The case study of Lake Waiorongomai, Otaki, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2015 - Nicola Jane Smith - PhD
    Sustainability and the Global Biogeochemical Cycles: Integrated modelling of coupled economic and environmental systems
  • 2012 - Estelle Jeanne Dominati - PhD
    Quantifying and Valuing the Ecosystem Services of Pastoral Soils under a Dairy Use
  • 2012 - Scott Ronald Bremer - PhD
    Exploring a 'post-normal' science-policy interface for integrated coastal management
  • 2006 - Mr Garry Warren McDonald - PhD
    Integrating Economics and Ecology: A Systems Approach to Sustainability in the Auckland Region
  • 2005 - Mrs Emy Perdanahari Muliadiredja - PhD
    Indonesian Energy Policy Pathways: From Past Trends to Future Alternatives
  • 2004 - Ms Charlotte Helen Sunde - PhD
    The Water or the Wave? Toward a Cross-Cultural Ecology of Understanding for Environmental Practice.
  • 2003 - Mr Nigel Alan Jollands - PhD
    An Ecological Economics of Eco-efficiency - theory, interpretations and applications.

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