ENVMGT 751 : River Management


2024 Summer School (1240) (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: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
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 3, 4 and 6)
  2. Analyse how socio-cultural relations and governance arrangements work alongside biophysical considerations to shape river health (Capability 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7)
  3. Discuss implications for sustainable approaches to management of river systems (Capability 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8)
  4. Analyse the issues surrounding production and use of knowledge to support decision making in river management (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of matauranga Maori and the Treaty of Waitangi when managing river in a Aotearoa/New Zealand context (Capability 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  6. Contextualise approaches to river science and management in Aotearoa New Zealand in relation to practices elsewhere in the world (Capability 1, 3 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Report 50% Individual Coursework
Presentation 40% Group Coursework
Test 10% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Test on recorded lecture materials and readings (10% of total)

Group presentation & individual write up on approaches to river management in Aotearoa New Zealand (40% of total)

Individual project on a prescribed river management topic in Aotearoa New Zealand (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 a New Zealand context (Bay of Plenty case study).
4. Analyse approaches to proactive and precautionary catchment planning.

Special Requirements

This course is organised around 3 x 3 day sessions, the middle of which is a residential field trip to the Bay of Plenty.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 150 hours working on this course.

This will build directly on the 3 x 3 day in-class commitments. Some recorded lecture materials will be made available at the beginning of the course. Significant time will be allocated for reading and assignment work. This includes both self-directed learning and collaborative group-based work. There is no final examination.

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 middle of the three sessions will comprise a residential field trip to the Bay of Plenty.

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

All UoA procedures will be observed to ensure safe conduct on the three day field experience. This will be primarily observational work.

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.

Breadth of exercises has been further decreased, with additional focus on field-based exercises.

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, 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 31/10/2023 10:51 a.m.