Contested coasts – The production of space in conflicts about infrastructural developments at New Zealand’s coasts
Mara Kim Ort
Coasts are spaces of multiple uses and multiple meanings. The construction or extension of coastal infrastructures are therefore often contested, as these different uses, meanings and perceptions of the coastal areas get into conflict. In my PhD project, I take a closer look at three cases in New Zealand where infrastructural developments at the coast were taking place. These are namely the dredging of a shipping channel in Tauranga, land reclamation for Wellington Airport, and a wharf extension in the Port of Auckland. All these projects were opposed by different groups, for different reasons. My focus of analysis lies on the role the production of space (after Lefebvre) has in these conflicts. What spaces are produced, how, and why? Having my background in political ecology, I am also interested in questions of power.
Regarding methods, my work combines reviews of theoretical and empirical literature with empirical case studies. The case studies are investigated by using a set of qualitative research methods.