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Wednesday, December 4 • 11:30am - 1:00pm
BREAKOUT SESSION THREE: Auckland

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Chair: Kalym Lipsey

Lissy Fehnker: Human-nature relationships across Auckland: Exploring perceptions and connections to ‘nature’

This PhD research is exploring people’s perceptions of ‘nature’, their connectedness to ‘nature’, the practical implications of this. I would like to present on my research to date, highlighting methods used, background of the research and an example of results. I am interested in presenting so that I can gather feedback from cohorts outside of environmental management, particularly as my research straddles social sciences and sciences. Previous research has argued that human’s disconnection from the natural world contributes to environmental decline. Since human activity can be attributed to being a primary driver of environmental change, it is crucial when developing conservation and environmental management policies that we take into consideration factors that influence human activity and human motivations. Integrating a knowledge of people’s perceptions of nature and the reasoning behind certain actions into environmental management can assist in developing more holistic approaches which are strategic and tailored to accommodate the varying ways in how people relate, value and connect to nature. This study responds to a gap in knowledge in New Zealand and also internationally. This research will be the first major study which will investigate human-nature relationships in New Zealand. Internationally, it has been argued that more studies need to investigate how nature is perceived as often it is left undefined. Also, findings from research on human-nature relationships tend to stay in the field of psychology which eliminates any action from an environmental management perspective. However research understanding people’s connections to nature and the practice implications has been rated as high priority for conservation planning. This research will fill these important gaps and contribute to the development of theories that seek to understand why people do what they do, and how people view themselves in relation to the natural world around them. This research has involved 1,002 participants across Auckland and was conducted using online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Key results are that the most common perception of ‘nature’ is it is separate from humans. Perceptions of what ‘connections to nature’ mean is that it is something cognitive – relating to beliefs, knowledge or attitudes.


Angela Maynard & Bruce Curtis: Squeezed Aucklanders Reflect: A Qualitative Analysis of Discussions on Class


The presentation will discuss the commentary on class made by participants in our recent study of the ‘squeezed middle’ (Curtis, Maynard & Kanade, 2019). That study confirms the notion of a squeezed middle for the participants based in Auckland. Particular attention will be paid to how age, gender and occupation have shaped the discourse, and the extent to which a class narrative informs a critique of neo-liberalism.


Jessica Terruhn: Diversity and Equality in Urban Housing Renewal

Auckland is currently seeing an unprecedented number of urban development projects that form part of addressing the city’s housing crisis. This presentation critically discusses the discursive role notions of equality and diversity play in the visions of such urban development projects with a focus on the Auckland neighbourhood of Northcote. The Northcote Development is exemplary of current large-scale developments in Auckland insofar as it takes place in a socio-economically deprived neighbourhood with a large area of land owned by Housing New Zealand. In the course of redevelopment, this land undergoes intensification as well as partial privatisation by offering a mix of affordable and market homes alongside public housing. Based on a qualitative content analysis of planning documents, website content and community publications pertaining to the Northcote Development, this presentation argues that diversity is explicitly mobilised to justify state-led gentrification. This is particularly evident in discourses that frame a likely influx of higher-income earners in terms of greater socio-economic diversity that benefits all neighbourhood residents. In order to attract affluent homebuyers, undesirable ‘low-value’ diversity is eliminated whilst desirable diversity, especially as part of food culture, becomes an asset. All the while, notions of equality are conspicuously absent from visions for the neighbourhood. The discussion situates the findings in critical scholarship on the urban diversity dividend to argue that such discourses of socio-economic diversity ultimately benefit developers and gentrifiers while risking the direct and indirect displacement of low-income residents.


Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

Presenters
JT

Jessica Terruhn

Senior Researcher, Massey University
avatar for Kalym Lipsey

Kalym Lipsey

Massey University