1999 Conference Papers
"Siting waste disposal facilities in New Zealand: coping with
- James Baines, Nick Taylor, Wayne McClintock and Jane Douglas-Lane
Paper presented at the WasteMINZ 1999, Queenstown 3-5 November, 1999.
This publicly-funded research project asks two central questions. Firstly, is there, from a social perspective, a systematic pattern to landfill siting in New Zealand? Secondly, if so, how would this pattern be characterised from the perspective of the host communities involved? The research covers 35 siting decisions (27 landfills and 8 transfer stations) over the past two decades. Patterns and trends were assessed in terms of separation distances from dwellings and from urban boundaries, site visibility and the type of land uses existing in the neighbourhood of the site. Statistical comparisons between waste source communities and facilities' host communities were possible in 30 cases. While comparison of host and source communities yields no indications of systematic bias against socio-economically disadvantaged communities, a comparison of the selected host communities with the alternative candidate host communities (i.e. alternative sites) indicates clearly that during the process of site selection, more powerful candidate communities have been consistently more effective in avoiding final selection. The implications of these findings for the planning and decision-making process are discussed. On-going research is outlined.
"The application of social science to problems of social and
environmental sustainability in the rural sector."
- Nick Taylor
Presentation to the Seminar - Forging Links - Social and Environmental Sustainability and Social Science Research, The Royal Society of New Zealand. Wellington, 5 August 1999.
This paper addresses the application of social science to a number of cases in the rural context and reviews how this application has contributed to the pursuit of social and environmental sustainability. The cases are the social and institutional monitoring of the Rabbit and Land Management Programme; research into family farming including off-farm employment, alternative enterprises on farms and the process of farm succession; work on rural and eco-tourism and strategies for community based approaches to development; community formation and change in communities where the economy is based strongly on one or more natural resource sectors; and research on the siting of waste management facilities in rural areas. Longer-term, the longitudinal and fundamental analysis of social change and sustainablitiy has shifted from operational research projects to work under the auspices of the Foundation for Research Science and Technology. An assets-based model is proposed as a guide for integrated policy making and research by the economic, social and environmental agencies of government for rural areas.
"Resource community formation and change in New Zealand"
- Nick Taylor, Gerard Fitzgerald & Wayne McClintock
Paper presented at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, Brisbane, Australia, July 7-10, 1999.
Intermittent social research provides international perspectives on resource communities, along with social assessments of resource developments and in some cases wind-downs and closures. Research into resource community formation and change in New Zealand has developed from work in the 1980s on hydro electricity construction towns, forestry, mining and farming communities. Key external influences of multinational capital, the state and technology were seen to affect the organisation and nature of work and the exploitation of the natural resource base, with impacts on regional economies and local society. The present research programme analyses the effects of economic restructuring in New Zealand, using a comparative case-study approach. The research found substantial social and economic change in the study communities over the last 20 years. Populations generally have fallen, with losses of key community people. Changes in technology and the organisation of work, including subcontracting and shift work, have greatly increased labour productivity while reducing employment overall. Substantial industry restructuring has also added to job loss, coinciding with restructuring and centralisation in social services and other sectors. Low cost housing has attracted newcomers, often characterised by low social-economic status, higher proportions of Maori people, more social and cultural diversity, and reduced community cohesion. Communities are also less clearly defined spatially by small localities. The research has moved beyond a simple boom-bust model to an understanding of resource cycles and the interconnections between sectors at local and sub regional levels. It shows few rural communities in New Zealand are dependent on a single resource sector. The work provides a stronger conceptual and empirical basis for social assessment and resource planning in New Zealand, especially in communities that depend directly on the primary production or processing of natural resources.
"Siting waste disposal facilities in New Zealand - how fair have we
- James Baines, Nick Taylor, Wayne McClintock & Jane Douglas-Lane
Paper presented at the 19th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment, 15-19 June 1999 Glasgow, Scotland.
"From past to future: Siting waste facilities in New Zealand"
- James Baines, Nick Taylor, Wayne McClintock and Jane Douglas
Paper prepared for Antipodium: Agents from the Underworld, Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand Conference 1999, Auckland.
This publicly-funded research project asks two central questions. Firstly, is there, from a social perspective, a systematic pattern to the siting of waste water facilities in New Zealand? Secondly, if so, how would this pattern be characterised from the perspective of the host communities involved? The research covers 27 siting decisions in 17 Local Authority areas over the past twenty-five years. The sample of siting decisions covers a range of community size (metropolitan to very small), a range of disposal environments (ocean, harbour/estuary, river, wetland, land) and the transition from the Town and Country Planning Act to the Resource Management Act. Demographic analysis of waste source communities and facilities' host communities examine source-host comparisons on the basis of education, ethnicity, occupation and employment status, life stage, dwelling tenure and household income. A comparison of the selected host communities with the alternative candidate host communities (i.e. alternative sites) is also made. These analyses investigate whether or not there are any indications of systematic bias against socio-economically disadvantaged communities. The implications of these findings for the planning and decision-making process are discussed. On-going research is outlined.