Community engagement on future petroleum exploration in New Zealand : a proposed methodology

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Becker, J.S.; Baker, V.; Hollis, C.J.; Roncaglia, L.; Coyle, F.J. 2017 Community engagement on future petroleum exploration in New Zealand : a proposed methodology. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2017/03 47 p.; doi: 10.21420/G21S3G

Abstract: This literature review sought to identify effective approaches to engaging with communities on the topic of petroleum exploration (i.e. exploration for oil and gas). Community engagement is often utilised to help build constructive dialogue to explore controversial policy areas, such as that related to petroleum exploration. The aims of community engagement typically include supporting open and honest debate, building enhanced public understanding of complex socio-technical topics, alerting policy and industry to public concerns so these can be better addressed, acknowledging different perspectives, identifying possible solutions, and involving the public in decision-making. In practice, the success of engagement approaches can vary. In reviewing the literature key success factors we identified for effective engagement included: developing a comprehensive engagement strategy and plan; understanding the context (e.g. location, stakeholders, individual and social influences, political pressures); developing relationships; using a diversity of appropriate and timely engagement methods that ensure a two-way discussion; empowering the community to be involved in effective decision-making; evaluating effort and monitoring outcomes. Two-way discussion in small and large scale deliberative formats has been seen to be effective in terms of engaging stakeholders, and is a methodology we will use in future initiatives. (auth)