The ICM Motueka Research Programme was a 9 year programme which commenced in July 2000 and concluded in September 2010, and whose goal was to conduct multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder research to provide information and knowledge that will improve the management of land, freshwater, and near-coastal environments in catchments with multiple, interacting, and potentially conflicting land uses.  The Motueka River has been used for this project.

While the goal of ICM is to integrate research and management to address multiple issues, there were 5 key themes and areas of research associated with the project.  These included land, freshwater, coastal and marine, human dimensions and Integration and modelling.  IDEAS has been applied under the Integration and modelling theme.

The purpose of IDEAS is to provide an Integrated Dynamic Environmental Assessment System within which modelling tools provide answers to real catchment questions about cumulative causes and effects of a mosaic of catchment developments. IDEAS is a strategic planning tool for testing “futures scenarios” involving a triple bottom-line approach, a collaborative learning development process, and assessment of cumulative effects in land and water management.

Research Approach

IDEAS needs to feed information into the dialogue between stakeholders so that a shared vision of the catchment can be generated. Stakeholders will need to know the present status of the catchment, in terms of environmental, economic, and social performance, and will also need to know how this changes with various catchment management scenarios.

A challenge in the development of tools for ICM is ensuring they are fully utilised beyond the development phase by stakeholders. To meet this challenge IDEAS has both a social and technical stream of work associated with development. The technical stream is concerned with the linking of models to come up with a technical package. The social stream uses a participatory approach to ensure stakeholder knowledge is incorporated into the technical stream, to set parameter thresholds and design scenarios, and to ensure users understand the inherent assumptions within the models used. The technical and social aspects together are called IDEAS.



A variety of catchment scenarios have been evaluated for socio-economic and environmental outcomes. These include (1) pre-human (2) present land use (3) present land use with best management practice (4) very intensive agriculture (5) very intensive agriculture with best management practice, and (6) continued present growth until 2020. While the socio-economic measures of scenario (4) may be satisfactory, the environmental measures indicate problems with high nitrogen concentration in river water and lack of water for irrigation. Indeed, the indicator of low flow (low flow minus maximum allowable water take) implies that in times of drought the river could actually dry up. IDEAS does not provide a framework for conflict resolution, but through its integration it identifies focused points of disagreement, on which further research and more detailed models, outside of the integrative framework, are often required. In future, climate change will be incorporated into catchment planning deliberation by modifying explicit climate variables in the bio-physical models.


Introductory Text for this case study.

Associated Models


Dymond JR, Davie TJA, Fenemor AD, Ekanayake JC, Knight BR, Cole, AO, de Oca Munguia OM, Allen WJ, Young RG, Basher LR, Dresser M, and Batstone CJ 2010. Integrating environmental and socio-economic indicators of a linked catchment-coastal system using Variable Environmental Intensity. Environmental Management 46(3): 484-493 (URL: )