ECO Conference 2018: Communities Protecting Nature

ECO CONFERENCE 2018:  Pukemokimoki Marae, Napier

Communities Protecting Nature: Practice, Policy and Law

COME to our Spring ECO Conference: Communities Protecting Nature: Practice, Policy and Law, from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September.  Starts 11.30am Friday with a Powhiri.  Then 8.45am Saturday and 8.30am Sunday to finish by 4pm.

NEW: See updated programme below as at 31 August and attached as a PDF.  This includes information on Field Trips.  The programme and speakers can be seen below.

You can register for the conference here.   Information here includes options for accommodation, field trips - seeECO Conference below for more details.  Meals are included in the conference prices which is for the full conference from $75 to $110 for unwages/students and $130 to $195 for waged.  The lower rates are for ECO members and Friends of ECO.  More details on the registration page

The rates for late registrations will now not kick in till after Monday 3 September.  If you intend to attend but can't register before then please let us know and we can lock in the lower rate.  This is for catering purposes.

Our conference sessions include discussion on enhanced ecosystem- and place-based fisheries and marine management and how the public can be better included.

We’ll also discuss how we can ramp up work and improve networks to protect the environment from risks from weeds, pathogens, predators and marine invasive species.  

Community action and policy development work to protect native species and ecosystems, climate change law and action, and regional, local and national community efforts on better land use, improved water management and kaitiakitanga of ecosystems, are all part of the programme. 


Hapu and iwi, community groups, land-based producers and many others are on the programme. and amongst the Confirmed Speakers are:

  • Hon David Parker, Minister for the Environment

  • Hon Stuart Nash, Minister of Fisheries who will be talking with us about better management of New Zealand fisheries.

  • Dr Mike Joy, Senior Researcher, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington

  • James Palmer, Chief Executive, Hawkes Bay Regional Council

  • Dr Christine Cheyne, Associate Professor, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University

  • Te Atarangi Sayers, Nga Hapu o Motiti

  • Jenny Mauger, Te Kaiao: Natural Resource Solutions

  • Cindy Baxter, Coal Action Network Aotearoa

  • Dr Wren Green, Environmental Consultant and Biodiversity specialist

  • Peter Weir, President NZ Forest Owners Association (Environmental Manager, Ernslaw One Ltd)

  • Oliver Wade, Marine Scientist, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

  • Scott Macindoe, LegaSea


Come along.  We’ll also discuss how we change norms of land use, our goals as a society, and the things we need to do and change. Delicious vegetarian meals are included in the registration price, which are kept low, with discounts for ECO Friends and members of ECO member groups. 

All welcome including Members of ECO groups, Friends of ECO and anyone interested are all welcome to attend.  The venue for the conference is the Pukemokimoki Marae in Napier.

Thanks to  DOC, Biosecurity NZ and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council for their tremendous support.

Follow the Conference on our Facebook site or on Instagram

If you can offer a ride to Napier in your vehicle from Auckland or Wellington, or another centre, please let us know.  Also let us know if you need a ride - what time, and from where.  We will endeavour to match up ride offerers with requesters.

The AGM for member groups will be on Sunday 9 September - an agenda has been circulated to ECO members for the AGM running from 8.30am to 11am.   Also consider if you would like to put your name forward for election to our Executive.  We will discuss our roles and resources as well as Executive elections, our finances and policies, and all the other usual things we do at an AGM.

Our thanks to Hawke's Bay Regional Council, the Department of Conservation and Biosecurity New Zealand for their generous support for our conference. 

Department of Conservation

Thanks to support from:

  • Greta and Abi from Hapi Clean Kai Co-Operative have generously offered to lead the catering and are providing their skills and time for a koha

  • Chantal Organics

  • Bostock Organics

  • Bay Espresso

  • Cornucopia

  • EIT Horticultural Students

  • Kitchen volunteers

Updated Programme


The Current draft of the Programme (as at 31 August) and speakers is set out below.  This will be regularly updated as we get close to the conference.  See also the pdf version.

ECO Conference Programme as at 31 Aug 2018 - Friday & Saturday


Field Trips: 

The Sunday morning departing 8.30 returning by 11 .00 slot will allow for two nearby fieldtrips.  They are:

1.  Ahuriri EstuaryECO Conference Programme as at 31 Aug 2018 - Sunday & Field Trips

The remnant of the extensive pre-1931 earthquake lagoon close to urban and industrial areas.

Ahuriri Estuary and its associated biodiversity are subject to many threats and these include poor water quality, invasive organisms and pressure from increased active recreation. These are a challenge for all concerned to manage.  A new restoration and management plan is in its final planning stages.

This is a 10-minute drive North from Pukemokimoki venue.

An hour and a half flat walk around the southern part of the estuary with commentary.

Guided by John Cheyne. Based in Hawke’s Bay since 1987, John has spent the last 5 decades working throughout NZ on conservation of wildlife and their habitat for a number of agencies including the Wildlife Service, DoC, Fish and Game, regional and district councils.

See also:

2. Waitangi Park: Ecological Enhancement and Celestial Compass

A 15minute drive South at Clive. This is where the three main Hawke’s Bay rivers meet the sea: Tukituki, Ngaruroro, Tutaekuri and Karamu Stream- Clive Rive. An area rich in history which has undergone ecological enhancement since 2000.

The newly constructed Star Compass, Atea a Rangi, incorporates the whakapapa and knowledge of celestial navigation and astronomy into the pou design.

Guided by tangata whenua ,members of the Atea Trust and kaitiaki of Operation Patiki of Kohupatiki marae.

Both Fieldtrips aim to be back by 10.50 to allow quick morning tea before 11am Session.

Monday - Post Conference Half/Full Day trip to:

ECO conference

Guthrie Smith Aboretum and Lake Tutira restoration.

This is 45 minute drive North of Napier. 

More details

When registering and you are indicated in field trips please indicate which one.  All field trips will depend on numbers and the Monday field trip will depend on numbers and vehicles.

Registrations link.

Late fees will now not apply till after Monday 3 September.  

All are welcome at our Conference. 

A detailed programme will be available soon.


See below for more information on accommodation, travel etc

Practical information

The Marae is situated at 191 Riverbend Road, Napier. You can read more about the Marae here.

How to locate the Marae?  It is a large venue at 191 Riverbend Road, Onekawa, Napier, not far from the central city and can be found here on Google maps.

An infrequent bus passes near the marae on Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday. Do contact us if you have travel needs from or to the central city if you are staying at central accommodation.

Full registration  includes delicious vegetarian lunches and dinners and morning and afternoon breaks, tea and coffee etc.   We endeavour to meet all dietary requirements.  Let us know about any requirements you may have, or offers of donated fresh food or other offers.

There will be plenty of time for networking with others, and we have organised displays and stalls by local groups to showcase their work.

NOTE that in the event of a tangi at the marae, we will need to move the venue to a nearby marae.  We will advise all registrants in the event that there is a change in marae venue.


If you need a lift from a North Island centre, or can offer one if you have space in your vehicle, please let us know and we will endeavour to match up those offering and needing rides.  Let us know where you are leaving from and what time.

Flight and bus arrival times into Napier on Friday are given on this downloadable PDF.  Only Air New Zealand has direct Wellington-Napier flights. 

If coming from Christchurch there are two direct flights per day but you also have the option of flying via Wellington.


You can sleep on the marae at no extra cost.  Mattresses are provided but all bedding including pillows will need to be provided by you, and you will need to make your own breakfast which you can do in the wharenui kitchen.   You can also camp on the marae grounds with your own tent or van, and you will need to bring all your sleeping gear with you.

Billets: a limited number of billets is available around the Bay with friendly locals willing to help our conference.  We can co-ordinate billets offers with those requiring one, so please contact us at the Office if you would like a billet, with your requirements (number of people, etc) and we will do our best to match you up with a kindly local.

Accommodation options near the marae are listed here:

Campgrounds for tent camping:

Kennedy Park Resort$48.00 - 20 mins walk from conference venue
Clifton Motor Camp $12.50
Hawke’s Bay Holiday Park$20.00
Napier Beach Holiday Park$16-26
Eskdale Holiday Park $15 adult/ $8 child


Backpackers (per person prices)

YHA Napier$30-70  
Blue Water Lodge $20-42
Aqua Lodge $24-38 walking distance to Marae
Stables Lodge $24-37 
Napier Art House$25-30 
Criterion Art Deco $25-49  central city
Archie’s Bunker $24-74  central city
Kennedy Park also has backpackers - see above 
Toad Hall$28-$90 Bluff Hill 



Pebble Beach
Gardner Court
Quality Inn
Edgewater Motor Lodge 
Motel de la Mer
 Kennedy Park has motels and tourist flats too - see above
NB: All prices listed are per person, per night. Motel prices are highly variable, depending on demand. Many backpackers offer cheaper deals for group bookings. 


Next page: ECO AGM 2018