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Technical Alliance

The Collaborative Stakeholder Group (CSG) and Te Rōpū Hautū (project steering group) worked with members of a Technical Alliance, an impartial advisory group of specialists. The members of the Technical Alliance analysed, summaried and presented environmental, social, cultural and economic information about the rivers and proposed rules.

Information from the Technical Alliance was used by decision makers on the proposed plan change.

Collectively the Technical Alliance has expertise in:

  • water quality
  • soil stability and land management
  • catchment and water quality modelling
  • aquatic ecosystems (invertebrates, fisheries)
  • riparian (land and water interface)
  • mātauranga Māori
  • farm systems
  • land management systems (across main land use types)
  • economic outcomes (including at property and catchment level)
  • social outcomes
  • health issues associated with water quality.


The Technical Alliance had a seven member Technical Leaders Group and a wider Technical Support Group. The group was developed following feedback from key stakeholders at a workshop in September 2013. Members of the Technical Leaders Group were announced on 13 May 2014. Read the media release.

The Technical Leaders Group members are:

Chair: Dr Bryce Cooper, General Manager - Strategy, NIWA

Dr Liz Wedderburn, Portfolio Leader Agriculture Policy and Maori Agribusiness Principal Scientist, AgResearch

Mr Antoine Coffin, Director, Te Onewa Consultants

Dr Graeme Doole, Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Waikato

Dr Mike Scarsbrook, Environment Policy Manager, DairyNZ

Dr John Quinn, Chief Scientist - Freshwater and Estuaries, NIWA

Dr Tony Petch, Director, Tony Petch Consulting Ltd

Selection process

The Technical Leaders Group was established using a Request for Proposal process, which sought a chair and six members:

  • with recognised expertise relevant to the project
  • able to work in a cross-disciplinary manner, integrate mātauranga Maori into the outcomes and identify and prioritise research required
  • who understand the role of the Technical Alliance in informing policy development.

The Technical Support Group was established using an Expression of Interest process, which sought to establish a panel of available specialists with relevant skills, knowledge and experience and the ability to communicate information clearly and deliver reports in a timely manner. The Technical Leaders Group will make recommendations to Te Rōpū Hautū (project steering group) on use of the Technical Support Group to best meet the information needs of the Collaborative Stakeholder Group and the project.

Selection processes ran from December 2013 to January 2014.

Read the Terms of Reference - Technical Alliance.