Developing a framework for people and technology to help with healthy river management in urban environments.
Why I am interested in healthy rivers
After travelling and working in Wellington I returned home to West Auckland and moved into a house not far from where I grew up. I took my kids swimming in the local river – a river that used to be known as a great fishing spot when my father was growing up, but that everyone avoided in my youth because by then it had become too polluted to swim in. I’d been told the Council has spent tens of millions cleaning up the river and assumed it had worked. Both my kids developed a rash from the water and I began to ask some questions. Over the past 5-6 years I’ve shifted the focus of my work towards the generation of robust information on the health of urban waterways and its effective communication to the public. I’m driven by a strong commitment to scientific accuracy, transparency and accountability. And I feel we can’t expect our rural cousins to make changes to the way they manage their land and waterways if us citydwellers aren’t prepared to lift our weight.
The NEXT Fellowship gives me the opportunity to look-up and be strategic, chart a path enhances the impact I am able to make, ‘fill-in’ gaps in my capability, and develop ideas and try things that have the potential to be transformational but that I can’t do through my day-to-day work.