Paul Schneider

Doctor of Philosophy, (Resource and Enviromental Planning)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Local reality and the climate change adaptation dilemma: Beyond technical fixes and 'business as usual'.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Climate change adaptation is embryonic at best and needs to take place in the face of already diverse and contested interests. These competing interests present coastal communities with a dilemma; namely, well-intentioned approaches dressed in the rhetoric of adaptation are compounding existing problems by fostering unsustainable and maladaptative development. While “business as usual” dominates, the need to overcome conventional approaches through new governance modalities has never been more urgent. Mr Schneider’s research focused on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula in an ethnographic case study that underscored the need to understand the messy local factors and power networks encasing adaptation barriers. Drawing upon and combining insights from political ecology and environmental planning, and building on a framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation, his work disclosed an urgent need for adaptation to dismantle currently gridlocked structures. His findings show that adaptation must first and foremost be addressed at the community level.

Professor Bruce Glavovic
Associate Professor Trisia Farrelly