Making new blue economy in Kaikōura: a participatory process approach
Lewis N, Le Heron R, Hikuroa D and Le Heron E
Since 2000, Kaikōura has developed a thriving mixed marine economy that has created incomes, jobs and subsistence opportunities from marine tourism to seafood, and multiple enterprises that support or derive income from them.
On November 19, 2016, the region suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that brought much of its economy to a standstill and threatened to permanently disrupt its blue economy development model. Kaikōura’s economies had to be remade.
This report outlines the research findings from the New blue economy in Kaikōura: a participatory processes approach project, which worked with Kaikōura’s communities and businesses to develop a practical, long-term ’value proposition’ for a sustainable blue economy.
The key findings can be summarised in terms of ten first-order propositions about how to imagine and practice a participatory, blue economy-led regional development. These are:
- Regional development is a question of assembling different entanglements of interests, agencies, value propositions, and diverse resources into geographical rent platform(s)
- There is significant creative value to be derived from focusing on what is being assembled, how and by and for whom
- Te Tiriti is a unique and extremely valuable regional development asset and source of participatory governance and blue economy momentum
- Regional development research and practice must recognise and embrace the diverse development work performed by a host of actors
- ‘Doing’ regional development with local groups produces a regional development that can be aligned with economic and national interests
- Co-development of value propositions can produce a resilient regional development platform that reappraises resources, analyses potentialities and pitfalls, and demonstrates impacts for on-going positive change
- The state remains important as a set of investment projects, institutions, and stabilising interventions that offer up specific opportunities to enhance regional resourcefulness
- Reconceptualising the practice and politics of regional development shifts attention from universal trickle-down policies to identifying and initiating opportunities to assemble collectively ‘owned’ projects
- There is significant potential in knowing and performing regional development in non-standard ways, and significant dangers in suppressing creativity through standard measures, models and templates
- There is much to gain by exploring projects of commoning in imagining and organising blue economy transitions