Social licence workshop
The Biological Heritage National Science Challenge is well aware that the concept of social licence to operate (SLO) is an important underlying consideration which influences our work and how it is taken up by our industry and community partners. Equally we appreciate that SLO emerges from an underlying two-way communication process between a myriad of stakeholder groups.
In order to understand this better we invited a range of key stakeholders, including industry sectors, government agencies, iwi, environmental and community-based organisations, who are involved in managing NZ’s biological heritage together with researchers from our Challenge to establish what SLO involves, where it came from, what different risks and opportunities it poses for NZ biological heritage stakeholders, and how leaders in the field are dealing with it.
The workshop was held in Wellington on the 16th of May 2016 and began with two very exciting guest speakers, James Baines and Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl.
Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl – University of Otago
Katharina is a Senior Research Analyst at the University of Otago whose research focuses on Māori language, Māori business innovation, and Māori ‘social licence’ in the extractives industry. She leads a research programme in the Science for Technological Innovation Challenge National Science Challenge examining the relational capacity between the science sector and Māori economic users.
James Baines – Taylor Baines & Associates
James has been a social impact assessment practitioner in New Zealand for more than 25 years. His practice has emphasised the importance of a participatory approach to assessment. When applying social assessment in the RMA context, he considers the ultimate mark of success reflects the philosophy that a good assessment process should seek not simply to identify and resolve issues between the proponent and other interests but to do so in a manner which engenders sufficient trust that consents can be granted without the need for a contested hearing. Social assessment practice has led naturally to an interest in the concept of a Social Licence to Operate. James has been involved over the past year in a literature review of the concept and several related case study investigations in the aquaculture sector in New Zealand.