Lake Taupo: a multi‐sector collaborative partnership towards sustainable development

Date01 May 2015
Published date01 May 2015
Academic Paper
Lake Taupo: a multi-sector collaborative
partnership towards sustainable
Juliet Roper
*, Eva Marie Collins
and Josef de Jong
Management Communication, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Strategy and Human Resource Management, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
This paper explores the motivations for and processes of a unique multi-stakeholder collaboration aimed at the long-
term sustainable development of a region. The region is that of Australasias largest lake, Lake Taupo, New Zealand.
Lake Taupo has geographic featuresthat have not only enabled the development of a strong economy basedon tourism,
forestryand agriculture but have also generated particular environmental problems. The ndingsof the case study pres-
ent highly innovativesolutions that are premisedon collaboration and on a businesscasefor sustainability. From exten-
sive interviewswith a wide range of stakeholders,the case conrms extant literaturethat looks at the roles of leadership,
stakeholder engag ement, and rst movers in bringing about change, but it also highlights further ndings that include
the surprisingly important role of fringe stakeholders, the difculties presented by uncertain regulation, and the need
to innovate in tailoringsolutions to t the peculiarities of a specicproblem. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley& Sons, Ltd.
A sustainable environment is today considered cru-
cial for a nationseconomic,socialandculturalwell-
being with business and governments increasingly
required to make informed and timely decisions
about environmental risk and to cooperate to achieve
objectives they couldnot achieve on their own (Kolk,
Dolen, & Vock, 2010). However, little research has
been recorded on suchcooperation in practice, which
remains rare. When it does occur, it is typically com-
plex and fraught with tension as each sector seeks to
maximize its own interests.
This paper examines the processes and outcomes
of an example of multi-sector stakeholder engage-
ment aimed at collaboration for sustainability in
the context of the largest environmental protection
project in New Zealand, incorporating economic,
social and environmental sustainability goals. The
case centres on Australasias largest lake, Lake
Taupo, situated at the centre of the New Zealands
North Island. In the late 1990s, Taupos Regional
Council, along with the community, realized that
intensive land use was threatening the pristine qual-
ity of the lakes water with science indicating that
because of the porous nature of soil within the
catchment, deer, dairy, sheep and beef farming have
resulted in increased nitrogen ows into the lake.
However, as nitrogen can take up to 50 years to ow
through and impact the biodiversity and clarity of
the water (Environment Waikato, 2003), causal links
between nitrogen and the declining well-being of
the lake were not immediately apparent.
The range of stakeholders with vested economic,
political, aesthetic or moral interests in the future of
the Lake is broad. The forestry and farming sectors
dominate, but the area also has a growing retirement
population and is heavily dependent on tourist
activity, as well as hydro electricity generation, all
of which represent interested stakeholders. The local
indigenous Maori tribe, or Iwi of the Lake Taupo
Catchment area, Ngati Tuwharetoa, who have lived
*Correspondence to: Juliet Roper, Management Communication,
University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Journal of Public Affairs
Volume 15 Number 2 pp 143152 (2015)
Published online 12 September 2014 in Wiley Online Library
( DOI: 10.1002/pa.1540
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT