Discover the risks facing marine biodiversity and important measures to protect it in this ocean resilience webinar
Image: Vincent Zintzen | ©


Changing Tides | Tai Tōrua is a webinar series to support ocean resilience. The series has been created by World Wildlife Foundation NZ and DOC.

This series brings together experts from New Zealand / Aotearoa and around the world. They discuss issues facing the seas, such as the impacts of climate change and pressures on the environment.

The series is hosted by Elisabeth Easther, who writes for global publications on travel, the arts and nature. She’s also a playwright, actress and broadcaster.

This project was made possible by support from the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project and DOC’s Biodiversity 2018 Programme.

Watch the webinars:

  1. New Zealand: Our oceans | Aotearoa: Te Moana
  2. Our changing seas
  3. Weathering the storm panel discussion
  4. Marine protection in New Zealand / Aotearoa
  5. Guardianship of the seas | Kaitiakitanga o te Moana
  6. Designing Marine Protected Areas to benefit people and nature
  7. Going global: Marine protection around the world
  8. People's choice

1. New Zealand: Our oceans | Aotearoa: Te Moana

Learn how Māori view marine species from the tiniest creatures to the blue whale. You’ll also hear of risks facing our biodiversity and about important measures to look after our ocean systems.

After the presentation, hear answers to the questions from our live Zoom audience on how we reconcile the importance of ocean conservation with getting a feed for the whānau (family and community).


  • Joe Harawira Ngāi te Rangi, Ngāti Awa, Maniapoto, Tuhourangi: Joe Harawira is Pouwhakahaere, Te Papa Atawhai (Cultural Tikanga Advisor at DOC). He's travelled the world representing his people through sharing indigenous insights. 
  • Dr Tom Trnski: Tom is the Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland War Memorial Museum / Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Over 30 years, Tom has led marine surveys across the Pacific and projects engaging indigenous communities.
  • Di Tracey, Fisheries Scientist: Di Tracey is a scientist at National Institute of Water and Atmospheric (NIWA) / Taihoro Nukurangi. She's been researching deep-sea marine life in New Zealand waters for decades and aged some of the most ancient deep-sea corals in our region.

2. Our changing seas

Learn about some of the serious impacts climate change has had, and may continue to have, on our marine environment. We discuss global temperature and CO2 levels changes and what these have meant for our marine species.

We also hear how coastal communities in the Horowhenua have combined Māori culture, art, and design with science to plan for future climate impacts.


  • Professor Huhana Smith: Artist and co-principal investigator on research combining mātauranga Māori with science. This is to actively address climate change concerns for coastal Māori lands.
  • Dr Richard Levy: Principal Scientist at GNS Science leading  environment and climate research and focuses on the evolution of earth’s climate system over the past 40 million years. He also leads the Antarctic Ice Dynamics Project.
  • Dr Carolyn Lundquist: Principal Scientist in Marine Ecology at NIWA and Associate Professor at the University of Auckland. Research interests include climate change on the seafood sector and tools for our ocean ecosystems.

3. Weathering the storm panel discussion

Find out more about what climate change might mean for iwi and the fisheries sector. We also discuss the possible impacts on marine-related businesses.

We examine species relationships to place, and how temperature change can affect them. We also explore the Māori concept of ‘kaitiakitanga’, which relates to how we should protection of the natural environment.


  • Leana Barriball: Kaitohu Tuakana, Mātauranga Māori for the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment
  • Dr Libby Liggins: Senior Lecturer/Research Academic, Marine Ecology, Massey University
  • Jeroen Jongejans: Owner, Dive! Tutukaka
  • Karl Warr: Owner, Better Fishing
  • Kirsty Woods: Tai Moana/Senior Analyst, Te Ohu Kai Moana
  • James Frankham: Publisher and Director of New Zealand Geographic,

4. Marine Protection in New Zealand / Aotearoa

Learn about some of the serious impacts climate change has had, and may continue to have, on our marine environment. We discuss global temperature and CO2 levels changes and what these have meant for our marine species.

We also hear how coastal communities in the Horowhenua have combined Māori culture, art, and design with science to plan for future climate impacts.


  • Associate Professor Nick Shears: Marine Science, Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland
  • Samara Nicholas: Poutokomanawa/Co-director (Marine Lead) and Founding Trustee, Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust
  • Brendan Flack: Tangata Tiaki , Kāti Huirapa & Chair of the Committee for the East Otago Taiāpure

5. Guardianship of the seas | Kaitiakitanga o te Moana

Indigenous leaders share their views on ocean conservation and explore how cultural diversity relates to biodiversity.

The panel explores including young people to lead innovation and how indigenous people are linked to ocean health.

This webinar has an extended run time for World Oceans Day 2020.


  • Jacqueline Blake: Ngāti Konohi, Chair of the Committee for Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve
  • Associate Professor Kura Paul-Burke: Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakahemo, Ngāti Mākino; Marine Researcher, University of Waikato
  • Te Atarangi Sayers: Ngāti Takahanga Te Hapu; Tūwharetoa; Maniapoto; Tainui; Koata; Rāhiri; Awa; Pikiao; Mākino; Rangitihi; Whakaue; Technical Advisor for the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust
  • Ludovic Burns Tuki: Rapa Nui; Executive Director of Te Mau o te Vaikava o Rapa Nui
  • Sheridan Waitai: Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngai Takoto, and Tainui; Ngati Kuri Trust Board Member
  • Verner Wilson III: member of the Curying Tribe in Dillingham; Alaska and Senior Oceans Campaigner of Friends of the Earth's Oceans and Vessels

6. Designing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to benefit people and nature

Dr Alison (Ali) Green shares her extensive experience of developing MPA design guidelines and how MPAs can protect biodiversity and benefit coastal communities. Ali also shares how her work has built resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Ali describes methods to include traditional culture and values, which she’s found to be key in developing MPA practices and systems. She demonstrates with her experiences of working with communities in Papua New Guinea, and offers suggestions on how these practices could work in Aotearoa.


Dr Alison Green

Currently working at the Red Sea Research Center in Saudi Arabia, Dr Alison Green has experience of marine protection initiatives from all around the world. She's worked with communities all over the work to achieve their conservation nd management aspirations.

7. Going global: Marine protection around the world

Learn about the work with Fijian communities in the Great Sea Reef Programme, and the 10-steps of developing a national marine plan. You’ll also hear about lessons learnt through the re-zoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The speakers also answer audience questions on how individuals can help with creation of marine conservation parks.


  • Dr Leanne Fernandes: Assistant Director, Marine Park Policy, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia
  • Alfred Relifo: Programme Manager, Fiji Great Sea Reef Programme
  • John Tanzer: Oceans Leader, WWF International

8. People's choice

This special edition webinar ‘The People’s Choice’ is about protecting our marine environment in New Zealand/Aotearoa. The topic of this live panel discussion was suggested and voted on by previous webinar participants.

This webinar brings us to the end of our Changing Tides | Tai Tōrua series and we're really proud of all the wonderful discussions it produced. Thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey towards ocean resilience in NZ/Aotearoa.


  • Moana Tamaariki-Pohe: Member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari Marine Spatial Plan, and former Deputy Chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum. Moana is also the Co-Founder and President of the Ōrakei Water Sports Club, an iwi-based and community focused waka organisation. She runs her own business, P3, which works across Aotearoa to empower indigenous women through its renowned programme HineBoss.
  • Dr Peter Longdill: Peter is General Manager: Sustainability at Sanford. Sanford is a company focussed on sustainably harvesting, farming and processing New Zealand seafood. He has over 20 years’ experience in marine environmental science and management within NZ and internationally. He has provided expert advice and consultation to the United Nations and several governments on sustainable aquaculture development.
  • Harry Burkhardt: Harry has served on the Board for Ngāti Kurī since 2008 and has extensive governance experience. He is currently leading his iwi through a thousand-year plan, called Te Ara Whānui – The Many Pathways. This is an intergenerational reflection and amplification of those attributes that define Ngāti Kurī, and its role in restoring our relationships and responsibility to Ranginui and Papatūānuku.
  • Prof John Montgomery: John is on the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari. His core science expertise is in fish sensory ecology, both freshwater and marine. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1989 and has held multiple Leadership and Governance positions – including Director at NIWA and Director of the Institude of Marine Science, University of Auckland.
  • Barry Torkington: Barry is an advisor to the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council and LegaSea, and has a background in commercial fishing and aquaculture. He was Chair for the NZ Fisheries Symposium in 2016 and served as a director of the local commercial operation, Leigh Fisheries Ltd, specialising in quality assurance and innovation. He has been closely involved in NZ’s fisheries management for over 30 years.

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