river research

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I'm an anthropology student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. I will be in New Zealand next year from January through May, and I am currently developing a senior thesis research project that will, in part, roughly address the following question: What happens when Maori treaty rights (land reserves, etc) conflict with the wants and needs of people who care about the environment (for preservation and/or recreational purposes)? Being a boater, I thought it would be interesting to look at this question as it pertains to river access issues, and friends of mine who have boated in NZ recommended.

So, can you tell me: are there any rivers or areas where Maori treaty rights cause tension between boaters and treaty holders? Also, do you know of particular people/ groups/ companies/ books/ magazines that would be helpful on this topic?

I would also be interested in knowing about dam issues, endangered rivers, all that environmental stuff. The broad topic of this research is environmentalism in New Zealand. What it will all lead to eventually is me doing fieldwork next year from March-May (I will be at U. Auckland from January through March) to develop a case study, the exact location of study yet to be determined. I just happen to be lucky enough to get to combine my academic interests with my love of boating.

You can contact me at molly.s.malone@dartmouth.edu
Many thanks for input!