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Open AccessArticle

Combining Choice Analysis with Stakeholder Consultation to Assess Management Options for New Zealand’s Hurunui River

Department of Economics, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3105, New Zealand
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Academic Editor: Markus Disse
Water 2015, 7(4), 1649-1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7041649
Received: 26 January 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Choice experiments can be designed using information gathered in stakeholder consultation processes. Information from these two sources can be used to consider both consultation outcomes and population preferences in environmental decision making. This approach is demonstrated using a case study of New Zealand’s Hurunui River which has been hotly contested between those who seek to divert water and increase agricultural production and those who would like to see the river undeveloped and the natural resources in the river and catchment improved. Data from the choice experiment is used to describe and quantify the preferences of Canterbury Region residents for existing conditions (good quality in the main river and poor quality in the tributaries) and potential future land use scenarios for the catchment. Six scenarios ranging from forestry to intensive irrigation could result in deterioration or improvement. Quantitative information from the choice experiment was provided to policy makers as they considered the outcomes of the consultation process. Community stakeholders agreed on a development strategy for the Hurunui catchment that would improve water quality in the tributaries and maintain quality in the main river. Results from the choice experiment support this approach. Willingness to pay for improvements in the main river was limited but residents would require substantial compensation before they would accept a decline in water quality in the main river or in the tributaries. View Full-Text
Keywords: choice experiment; water quality; New Zealand; environmental decision making; community consultation choice experiment; water quality; New Zealand; environmental decision making; community consultation
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Marsh, D.; Phillips, Y. Combining Choice Analysis with Stakeholder Consultation to Assess Management Options for New Zealand’s Hurunui River. Water 2015, 7, 1649-1669.

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