As a result of the ongoing challenges in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to make the upcoming Australasian Coasts & Ports 2021 Conference a fully virtual event.

The health and wellbeing of all conference participants has always been our utmost priority and given the current situation and advice from health authorities and New Zealand’s shift into ‘red’ alert, it is not possible to deliver a large-scale in-person event this year.

While it is disappointing to not be able to gather in person at Te Pae, Christchurch as originally planned, we are working extremely hard to deliver a unique conference experience for all participants. The conference will be hosted on a premium interactive platform that provides a live online and on-demand experience with rich interactive content.

The conference will take place online 11-13 April 2022, however the conference program may look slightly different to what was originally intended.  The virtual program will provide:

  • Access to over 150 presentations for the duration of the conference including:
    • Additional international keynote speakers
    • Expert Panel sessions with knowledgeable and engaging panellists
    • A special session on the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption and tsunami
  • The opportunity to participate in live Q&As with presenters
  • Networking opportunities with other delegates, speakers and industry
  • Virtual activities within the conference platform
  • Access to conference content for on demand viewing (up to 3 months post conference)

We look forward to welcoming you online.

Ngā manaakitanga.

Deirdre Hart and Tom Shand
Conference Co-chairs

Message from the Conference Organising Committee

E rau rangatira mā, tēnā koutou. The Local Organising Committee, under the auspices of the New Zealand Coastal Society, Engineers Australia’s National Committee on Coastal and Ocean Engineering, and PIANC Australia and New Zealand, invite you to attend Australasian Coasts & Ports 2021; an amalgamation of the 29th New Zealand Coastal Society Conference; the 25th Australasian Coastal & Ocean Engineering Conference; and the 18th Australasian Port and Harbour Conference.

The Australasian Coasts & Ports Conference series is the pre-eminent forum in the Australasian region for professionals to meet and discuss issues extending across all disciplines related to coasts and ports. Our Conference theme “Te oranga takutai – Adapt and Thrive” recognises the dynamic coastal environment that we live in and the need for coastal communities to be resilient and adaptable to thrive. Ōtautahi Christchurch and the wider Canterbury region are outstanding examples of this, with major seismic events having caused rapid and significant changes to the coastal environment and substantial damage to public and private assets and infrastructure. These events provide an ideal laboratory to examine the ongoing physical and built environment adjustments, and the possibilities for building stronger, more resilient and vibrant communities.

Australasian Coasts & Ports 2021 will bring together engineers, scientists and planners; academics, practitioners and those in the construction industry to focus on the present and future challenges of adapting coastal communities to thrive in dynamic coastal environments. Opportunities will be provided, in particular, to focus on challenges and solutions for port resilience, impacts and responses to catastrophic events, as well as to explore how local and indigenous values can be effectively represented in coastal management.

Australasian Coasts & Ports 2021 will feature engaging keynote speakers, incorporate numerous concurrent streams for technical presentations, trade exhibition, half-day field trips and the opportunity to network with colleagues in a vibrant social programme.

We look forward to welcoming you there.

Ngā manaakitanga.

Deirdre Hart and Tom Shand
Conference Co-chairs

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Organising Committee

Prof Deirdre Hart
Conference Co-Chair
University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Dr. Tom Shand
Conference Co-Chair
Tonkin + Taylor, New Zealand
The University of Auckland
John Benn
DOC, New Zealand
Greg Bennett
Coastal Restoration Trust of NZ,
NZ and Waimakariri District Council
Alistair Boyce
Lyttelton Port Company, New Zealand
Tom Burkitt
DHI Water and Environment, New Zealand


James Carley
Water Research Laboratory UNSW
, Australia
Justin Cope
Environment Canterbury, New Zealand
Jennifer Hart
Beca Ltd, New Zealand
Dr. Emily Lane
NIWA, New Zealand
Neil Lawson
PIANC ANZ and Neil Lawson and Associates
, Australia
John Lumsden
Consulting Engineer and NZCS Life Member
Dr Shane Orchard
University of Canterbury
, New Zealand
Jared Pettersson
Enviser Ltd, New Zealand
Dr. Seb Pitman
University of Canterbury
, New Zealand
A/Prof Hamish Rennie
Lincoln University, New Zealand
Marion Schoenfeld
Christchurch City Council, New Zealand
Dr. Martin Single
Shore Processes and Management Ltd, New Zealand
Derek Todd
Jacobs, New Zealand


Who Should Attend?

Australasian Coasts & Ports 2021 is an event that will be of interest to any person with a professional interest in the coastal, marine, ports and harbours and recreational boating facilities environments. The Conference will bring together engineers, planners, scientists and managers to focus on the technological, scientific, policy, planning and design issues related to our diverse and developing coasts. It will integrate ideas and knowledge among engineers, port and maritime operators, researchers and scientists, local/central government, maritime manufacturers, planners and policy makers and media.

Key Dates

Speaker Registration Deadline

15 February 2022

Early Bird Registration Close

28 February 2022

Conference Special Topics & Themes

Special Topics

Special topics have been developed to support issues that are of particular relevance to the conference theme or location or are topical at the moment. Special topics will feature key note speakers and/or panel discussions. Special topics for Coasts & Ports 2021 are:

Indigenous Perspectives on Coastal and Port Environments

The Pacific Ocean, Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, is vast and its indigenous peoples have always been closely connected to the sea, both through long ocean going voyages and more locally through coastal settlements, livelihoods, and practices. The recognition of indigenous rights and the value of indigenous knowledge systems are integral features of coastal and port environmental management. This special topic invites papers on the theory and practice of planning and decision-making that recognises and accommodates indigenous and non-indigenous world views in addressing environmental management in port and coastal contexts.


Coastal Earthquake Resilience and Recovery

The Christchurch and Kaikōura Earthquakes caused significant impacts to the natural and built environments that include lasting changes to coastal communities and ecosystems at a considerable scale. While much of the initial effects were destructive, the earthquakes have also presented opportunities to rebuild better, taking into account changes in communities and accommodating future challenges. This special topic invites papers on the changes to natural systems, and the science, engineering, policy and community responses to these major events.


Emerging Technologies in Coastal Science and Engineering

Coastal science and engineering is dependent on our understanding of the natural systems and processes. Recent advances in technology have greatly increased the volume, frequency and quality of data that can be obtained. This special topic invites papers on emerging technologies including (but not limited to) mobile technologies, remote sensing (e.g. satellite/ UAV imagery), remote vehicle and machine learning applications.

Surf Science, Engineering and Management

The surf zone is one of the most dynamic, energetic and resource rich coastal zones, extending from the shoreline to the edge of the breakers. This topic invites papers concerned with any aspect of surf zone use, management, science and engineering, including (1) the morphodynamics of surf zone waves, currents and sediment transport; (2) applied science applications such as recreational amenity (e.g. surf break engineering and modelling) and beach safety; and (3) community engagement with and values relating to surf zones and their management.


Coastal Hazards Adaptation Planning in Practice

With sea levels projected to rise by up to 400mm within 30 years and up to a metre by 2100, many low lying coastal and inland communities across the country need to understand and plan for increased flooding, erosion and rising groundwater. The theory behind adaptation planning has been extensively outlined in national guidance and is a strong focus for the research community. However, the practical realities of applying this approach to communities remains an issue. The focus of this special topic will be turning theory to practice for adaptation planning. Discussion could range from establishing and building a mandate for adaptation work, keeping communities engaged and empowered throughout the process, minimising equity issues, and consideration of funding and implementation commitments.

Conference Themes

Our Conference theme Te Oranga Takutai - Adapt and Thrive” recognises the dynamic coastal environment that we live in and the need for coastal communities to be resilient and adaptable to thrive.

Ōtautahi Christchurch and the wider Canterbury region are outstanding examples of this, with major seismic events having caused rapid and significant changes to the coastal environment and substantial damage to public and private assets and infrastructure. These events provide an ideal laboratory to examine the ongoing physical and built environment adjustments, and the possibilities for building stronger, more resilient and vibrant communities.

Working with Nature

  • In coastal, port and maritime environments
  • In urban coastal settlements
  • In dune and beach environments
  • Soft and hybrid solutions
  • For climate change adaptation

Future Proofing Coastal and Port Environments

  • Coastal response to extreme events and to climate change
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Managed retreat planning, implementation and economics
  • Adaptation in the Pacific
  • Resilience planning & practice, disaster prevention & recovery
  • Coastal earthquake resilience and recovery
  • Probabilistic hazard assessment, including shoreline responses and projections
  • Hazard assessments on non-sandy beach coasts (gravel beaches, cliffs, hydrosystems)
  • Coastal multi-hazards

Blue Economy

  • Multi-use of space, multi-use platforms and management in the blue economy
  • Marine renewable energy
  • Environmental characterisation and assessments
  • Aquaculture
  • Marine biotechnology
  • Coastal and marine tourism
  • Economic, social, legal and political aspects

Coastal and Ecological Processes

  • Monitoring, instrumentation and information systems
  • Tides, storm surges, long waves and tsunamis
  • Shelf and shallow water wave dynamics
  • Nearshore currents and morphology, sediment processes,
  • Coastal meteorology, storms, tropical cyclones and extreme events
  • Coastal ecosystem processes (in estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, etc.)
  • Coastal hydrosystems (estuaries, lagoons, lakes, ICOLLS, river mouths)
  • Surfzone hazards and drowning prevention

Port and Maritime Engineering

  • Ports and marine facilities
  • Deep water terminals
  • Navigation
  • Internal waterways
  • Dredging and reclamation
  • Fate of dredged material and morphologic response to dredging
  • Dredging management, community and ecosystems
  • Sustainable port and maritime infrastructure: e.g. extension of life, repurposing and re-use solutions
  • Green port initiatives
  • Port automation: impacts on port planning and operations
  • Ferry facilities and operations

Coastal and Ocean Engineering

  • Wave-structure-soil interactions
  • Breakwaters and Erosion and flood mitigation coastal structures
  • Recreational facilities, waterfront development and marinas
  • Beach nourishment and other forms of ‘shoreline protection’
  • Ocean monitoring, resource, energy and exploration

Port and Coastal Planning, Policy and Management

  • Customary tenure and rights
  • Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act / customary rights
  • Integrated coastal zone management
  • Coastal, shoreline and port management
  • Risk management and adaptation
  • Sustainability, and stakeholder engagement
  • Greenfields development