The Rotorua Nutrient Trading Study Group (NTSG), 2007-2008

Report for Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

This report was prepared by Glen Lauder, to summarise for Motu the development of the NTSG. It was followed by an independent review prepared by Guy Salmon.

Glen Lauder acted as the facilitator of the NTSG and has been involved in the development and running of the group since its inception. His review outlines the development of the group, the progression of discussions and the important steps in relationship and consensus building that have occurred in the NTSG so far.

The report is a "first person" account of the design and implementation of a dialogue groupknown as the "NTSG" in its work with Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. Motu researcher Suzi Kerr provides the economic research leadership for this project; Kit Rutherford from NIWA provides the science leadership. The NTSG is a cross-sectoral group of principally local people, with some agency players from a regional or national level, who have an active interest in the Lake Rotorua catchment.

The NTSG group is still operative and Motu maintains communication with the members. All of the members are in their own way well connected to their communities, and maintain high standing. The dairy farming representative, for example, is a business partner in both dairying and forestry interests with the local (who is also a national) representative for Federated Farmers. The iwi representatives have national as well as local profile. Senior regional council representatives joined us at key milestones, and briefings on the project have been provided to central agencies(MAF, MfE, Treasury and others), to the wider network in Wellington through Motu's seminar series, and to Local Government New Zealand and Hydrological conferences as workshops. Thework of the group is communicated by a series of short videos, and the Nutrient Trading Game has been played widely.