Conference 2021

Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Annual Conference 2021


The Conference 2021 (10 – 12 March 2021)

Whanganui hosted the 2021 conference.

Coastal Restoration Trust NZ conference 2021, which was held in Whanganui broke several records. The highest number of people attending at both the conference AND the workshop, and the highest number of sponsors.

 A full capacity conference saw over a hundred registrations for the CRTNZ conference, which was held in mid-March, keen locals were joined by out of towners who came from throughout the country.  A couple of examples were Lyle Mason, who farms a coastal property south of Invercargill, and from the other end of the country Betsy Young, who plants Pingao with local tamariki on Ninety Mile beach.

The annual conference attracts people from all aspects of coastal restoration work, local community Coast Care group members, regional and district council staff, botanists, DOC and University staff were all represented last week. The feedback from participants was very positive; 80% of respondents found it excellent or very worthwhile and a further 19%  liked it or found it worthwhile.

A highlight of the indoor sessions held at the Grand Hotel was a zoom meeting with Professor James Renwick, Commissioner of the Climate Change Commission.  Our dunes are the vital link between land and sea, ensuring they are healthy and strong is vital as we enter this period of climate change.

CRTNZ trustees reported that the Trust is involved in some exciting projects.  The newest one is creating videos showing practical skills on how to improve coastal ecosystems. These will be placed on the website and maybe also on YouTube, so that education can continue beyond their conferences and workshops. The Tūhaitara Coastal Sequence project in north Canterbury was delayed by Covid but is now making progress. 

The Trust is always looking for ways to continue building partnerships between communities, authorities and the private sector to encourage best practice coastal management – so please contact them if you would like to be involved in Coastal Restoration Trust projects, or if there are opportunities for the Trust to support your projects.

CRTNZ is very grateful to Horizons Regional Council as our main sponsor and host, and the other sponsors Whanganui District Council, Coastlands Plant Nursery, Daltons, Progress Castlecliff, Department of Conservation, Totara Glen Nurseries, Whanganui River Markets, Downer, Manawatū District Council’s Kawa Kawa Road Nursery, Rangitīkei District Council and Horowhenua District Council. They made it possible to keep this conference affordable for all.

The details of the conference program are provided below.

Workshop Tuesday 9 March 2021

The free pre-conference workshop was held in Duncan Pavilion as an introduction to coastal restoration. Sessions was run by former CRT trustee Jim Dahm who has many years of applied experience in working with and restoring natural ecosystems. A short field trip guided by Graham Pearson in the afternoon was included.

Day 1 DAY 1 Wednesday 10 March 2021

Speakers: Alastair Clement (Massey University) / Colin Ogle (Botanist) / Rudi Schnitzler (Entomologist) / Lizzie Daly (Horizons) / Professor James Renwick (Commissioner of the
Climate Change Commission)

Field trip to North Mole, Whanganui river mouth. Where members of Te Puwaha spoke of their plans to rejuvenate the port and rebuild North mole. Conference participants toured the Castlecliff dunes.

Day 2 Thursday 11 March 2021

Regional project updates.

Bus travel to Waverley and Waipipi – Dune lakes and terraces, clifftop plant communities, sand mining history.

Colin Ogle (Botanist) Keith Beautrais (Science Educator)
Stewart Reid (Waipipi Windfarm)

Day 3 Friday 12 March 2021

Field trip to Whanganui River Estuary and Koitiata.

Ecologist Peter Frost spoke about the Whanganui river estuary. Conference concluded afternoon visit to Koitiata. Following introductory talks participants enjoyed a lovely self-directed tour of Koitiata beach and wetlands.

Video: Whanganui Conference 2021

The Coastal Restoration Trust Chair Greg Bennett


Dr Alastair Clement
Colin Olge
Franz-Rudolf (Rudi) Schnitzler

Photos and Video supplied by Simon Hoyle, Southlight.