Abstract for: Causal mapping of the New Zealand natural resources sector: a preliminary analysis

In September 2013, the seven agencies that comprise the New Zealand Natural Resources Sector agreed a process to analyse and develop strategic advice from a sector, rather than agency, perspective. A group model building workshop (using qualitative system dynamics) was held in November 2013, with the following aim: Map the wider environmental system that the natural resources sector operates within and better understand the linkages between land, water and marine systems. To achieve the proposed aim, the workshop was split into three groups that each looked at each sub-system (land, freshwater and marine) to make the approach achievable in a day. The groups met subsequently to refine their work. The systems maps that emerged from this process, together with a climate system map, were subsequently combined to form an integrated systems map covering the wider environmental system in New Zealand. This map was subsequently analysed for feedback connections and leverage points within the system. This paper discusses the methodology, the group model building scripts used, the process on the day, subsequent meetings and analysis, systems maps produced and offers some reflections on the process.