ENVMGT 751 : River Management


2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores biophysical, socio-economic, cultural and institutional dimensions of river management, contextualising the situation in Aotearoa New Zealand in global terms. A proactive and precautionary approach engages generatively with river futures, scoping sustainable solutions to contemporary environmental problems. Policy, planning and on-the-ground applications are outlined.

Course Overview

This course generates a working knowledge of approaches to River Management in Aotearoa New Zealand, framing contemporary practices in their historical context and relating them to approaches elsewhere in the world. Topics considered in the course include debates around emergent and uncertain futures (e.g. climate and land use changes, conservation and rehabilitation options, assessment of river health, approaches to participatory practices and governance, etc) in cross-scalar approaches to river management (Local (site- or reach-specific), Catchment, Regional, National, and Global scales).

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate key frameworks used to describe, explain and predict river systems (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  2. Analyse how socio-cultural relations and governance arrangements work alongside biophysical considerations to shape river health (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  3. Discuss implications for sustainable approaches to management of river systems (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Analyse the issues surrounding production and use of knowledge to support decision making in river management (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of matauranga Maori and the Treaty of Waitangi when managing river in a Aotearoa/New Zealand context
  6. Contextualise approaches to river science and management in Aotearoa New Zealand in relation to practices elsewhere in the world (Capability 1, 2, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Report 60% Individual Coursework
Presentation 40% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Individual/Presentations and Individual Reports are structured for three topics:
Submission on RMA restructuring (20 % of total)
River health monitoring plan (30 % of total)
International river management practices (50 % of total)
There is no Final Examination for this course


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for, and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection), and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.
This course is supported by our Programme Coordinator, Kaiāwhina/Māori student adviser, and Pacific student adviser. They are able to organise group study and facilitate direct assistance regarding material taught in this course. 

Key Topics

Key themes/components in the course will include:
1. Overarching analysis of socio-cultural, economic, political/governance, and scientific dimensions of river management.
2. Relate experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand to other parts of the world.
3. Develop an understanding of river management issues in an urban context (Auckland case study).
4. Analyse approaches to proactive and precautionary catchment planning.

Special Requirements

An opportunity for voluntary, self-guided field experiences in the Auckland region will be made available in this course.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 22 hours of lectures, 12 hours of tutorials, a voluntary field trip experience to a local stream in the Auckland region (up to 12 hours), up to 120 hours of reading and assignment work (time depends on availability to complete the voluntary field experience). The time allocated for reading and assignment work includes both self-directed learning and collaborative group-based work.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities (lectures and tutorial sessions).

Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities will not be available as recordings.

The course will include live events.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Special advice for Offshore students

This course is available online to students resident offshore. The assessment and learning delivery mechanisms may differ from that presented in this Digital Course Outline. Please contact the Course Coordinator for further details.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All materials will be made available through Canvas.

While high quality lecture recordings will be available, recordings of tutorial sessions are unlikely to be readily accessible.

Health & Safety

No special requirements for this course, but the voluntary field trip will include bicycle and walking options and use of public transport in the Auckland region.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

No changes to course content, but the individual project component part of the course has been dropped and greater weight is now given to the International river management exercise (which worked very well in 2022).

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 13/02/2023 08:28 a.m.