Climate Adaptation Ambassadors: Steering Research through to Policy and Action


In order to “adapt, manage risk and thrive in a changing climate,” which is the mission of the Deep South Challenge, we need to better understand climate change impacts and implications, and we also need to raise our collective expertise in navigating the science–policy–business landscape.

This workshop aims to support and develop a community of “climate ambassadors,” who can champion an informed and proactive climate adaptation agenda in research, policy, the public and private sectors and within local communities.

Participants will learn from real-world adaptation case studies, with a focus on local government, policy and business. You will have opportunities for cross-sector conversations, to share your own expertise and experience, and to learn from other practitioners in climate science, local government and business.

This workshop will also build on participants’ existing knowledge and needs. We’ll take time to identify practical pathways and policy levers, as well as opportunities for you to build new networks and action plans.

Who is the Event for?

This workshop will focus specifically on the connection between research and decision-making in local and regional government. If you’re a local government professional, a consultant to local government, or you’re interested in the way government can set its climate adaptation agenda, this workshop is for you. We also encourage researchers to participate, especially emerging voices in climate change impacts and implications. The workshop will help you build new connections and gain confidence in enabling knowledge transfer from research to policy and action.


Facilitator: Teanau Tuiono


Registration opens




Start the day 


Keynote speaker (Stephen Daysh) 


Morning Tea break


Breakout groups


Report back


Lightning talks with experts (Judy Lawrence, Andrew Tait, Iain Dawe, Wendy Saunders, Stephen Daysh)




Small group workshops (1 of 2)


Small group workshops (2 of 2)


Reporting back from workshops


Afternoon Tea break


Synthesis activity


Next steps, final remarks and close


Complete survey


Sponsored Drinks



Schedule is subject to change


Stephen is a director of the environmental consultancy Mitchell Daysh. He’s a Commissioner Chair under the Ministry for the Environment’s “Making Good Decisions” programme and has been a key participant in the Hawkes Bay “Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazard Strategy 2120”.

Judy is Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington and leads two projects in the Deep South Challenge. Judy is co-chair of the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group and was a co-author of the recently released Ministry for the Environment guidance for local government, Coastal Hazards and Climate Change.

Iain is a Senior Policy Advisor (Coasts and Hazards) at the Greater Wellington Regional Council. He investigates coastal hazard management, research, policy development, analysis, implementation and advice and in the course of his work is also a science communicator.

Andrew is a Principal Climate Scientist with NIWA. He works with internal and external climate modellers to assess climate data and related impacts. He also works closely with non-science partners to communicate climate science effectively.

Wendy is a GNS social scientist specialising in land use planning and natural hazards – including hazards that are exacerbated by climate change. A core part of Wendy’s work is engaging with communities, councils and others, to improve the way natural hazards are incorporated into planning. Wendy also leads the Deep South Challenge’s Engagement Programme.

Teanau works at the intersection of indigenous peoples’ issues and the environment. He has a diverse range of experience managing, facilitating and working on projects at the national, regional and international level, including at a number of UN processes. He was previously based at the Indigenous Knowledge and Small Islands section at UNESCO and currently produces educational resources for Māori Medium audiences.

Speakers are subject to change


This event is being organised by the Engagement Programme of the Deep South Challenge.

Financial constraint tickets available:

If you would like to attend this event but have financial constraints in doing so, please email Matt Scott ( for more information.


During the NZ Climate Ambassador event, academic research will be conducted by Dr Rhian Salmon, Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. Researchers will be taking notes as well as taking audio and video recordings of the presentations, focus groups, and question + answer sessions.

Please read the information sheet via the link below:

By registering for this event, you consent to the terms and conditions laid out in the information sheet.

Withdrawals and substitutions:

We understand that circumstances can change therefore substitutions can be sent at no additional cost.

If this is not an option then the following refunds or fees apply:

Days before start of course 

Refund (% of course fee) 

Before 19 April 2018


Between 20 to 26 April 2018


After 27 April 2018

No refund

Further details: 
If you would like more information about this seminar, or if you cannot pay by credit card online and require an invoice - please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: