Hamish Rennie


Department of Environmental Management

Faculty of Environment Society and Design

Lincoln University

New Zealand

Education & career

 An unusual combination of a BScHons (Otago) specialising in coastal geomorphology, MA (Newfoundland) in fisheries geography and a PhD (Waikato) in the geography and planning of marine aquaculture in New Zealand have provided a broad base for more than 25 years of research and practice in integrated coastal management and marine spatial planning. Before becoming an academic I spent 12 years in central NZ Government science and policy roles in the Ministry of Works and Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health and finally the Department of Conservation (DoC).  The DoC work included the policy interface between planning legislation and fisheries management, developing the first NZ Coastal Policy Statement and subsequently Managing the International Unit, among other things representing NZ at Convention on Biological Diversity meetings.  In 1995, I joined the University of Waikato (where I developed and taught the first Tourism in Marine Environments course in NZ) and in 2007 moved to Lincoln University.  Concurrent with my academic role, I practice as either an independent planning Hearings Commissioner or expert planning witness (almost exclusively in coastal and marine issues). Professionally, I am a full member of the NZ Planning Institute and am certified as a Resource Management Act hearings commissioner (Ministry for the Environment) and Practicing Resource Manager (NZ Association for Resource Management). My research focus has been on commons management and planning and, since the Christchurch earthquakes, on resilience. I am a member of the editorial boards of MAST-Maritime Studies, Coastal Management Journal, Planning Quarterly and the Lincoln Planning Review and am a Fellow of the NZ Geographical Society. 

Current teaching activities

Teaching third year and post graduate environmental planning and policy and post-graduate Resource Management and Planning Law, all as part of our professionally accredited undergraduate and post graduate planning degrees. Have recently developed online versions of the postgraduate Environmental Policy and Planning and Advanced Resource Management and Planning Law courses so these are now available anywhere in the world with good internet connection.  They have heavy NZ focus as part of our accredited professional planning programme.

Research activities

Since May 2020, I have been a researcher in Research Project 4.2 Options for policy and legislative change to enable Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) across scales in the NZ Governments Sustainae Seas National Science Challenge.  I lead the team assessing the implications of recent changes in the NZ regulatory seascape as well as significantly contributing to a comparative study of international approaches to EBM in law and policy.

Until July 2019, part of a major NZ Government funded National Science Challenge - Resilience to Nature's Challenges with research projects on planning in Kaikoura and Hawkes Bay.

Also involved in Waikato University-based Government funded research that developed guidelines for local governemtn to enable the scientific identification  of regionally significant surf breaks for planning purposes.

Remaining research relates to adapting to climate change and governance of commons, with a particular focus on a Lake Ellesmere (an Intermittently Closed and Open Lagoonal Lake (ICOLL)) and developing countries. Also supervising research in aquaculture planning/management and marine tourism/recreation.  I have a prticular interst in issues of empowerment through policy/planning systems.


Options for policy and legislative change to enable Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) across scales in NZ -Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge

Selected publications (up to 5)

Urlich, S., White, F. R. & H.G. Rennie (2022). Characterising the regulatory seascape in Aotearoa New Zealand: bridging local, regional and national scales for marine ecosystem-based management. Ocean & Coastal Management 224: 106193

Macpherson, E., Urlich, S.C., Rennie H.G., Paul A., Fisher, K., Braid, L., Banwell, J., Torres Ventura, J., Jorgensen, E. (2021). ‘Hooks’ and ‘Anchors’ for relational ecosystem-based marine management Marine Policy 130: 104561

Makgill R.A. and Rennie H.G. (2012) A Model for Integrated Coastal Management Legislation: A Principled Analysis of New Zealand’s Resource Management Act 1991. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 27: 135–165

Rennie, H.G.  (2010) Marine (Aquaculture) Space Allocation: Assessing Transitional Challenges to Local Economies in New Zealand. Local Economy 25 (3): 190-207

Rennie H. G., White R., Brabyn L. (2009) Developing a Conceptual Model of Marine Farming in New Zealand. Marine Policy 33(1): 106– 117

Group membership

No files.


No results found.