We are a specialist coastal adaptation consultancy based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. We have a passion for the coastal environment, sustainability, a keen interest in our changing climate and what that means for people and their everyday livelihoods. Established in 2016 by Tom FitzGerald, the Coastal Managament Collective was founded on the basis that collective decision-making ultimately provides better solutions.
Having worked for almost 20 years in and around this space in New Zealand, the UK and NSW, Tom brings a broad perspective and practical, on-the-ground approach to his work. Tom has a BSc (Hons) in coastal geography and natural resource management and has significant experience in RMA work, policy development and community engagement.
Tom is also undertaking a PhD at the University of Sydney. He is researching the nature of coastal risks, their governance, their framing and how that plays out in the development of coastal adaptation policy. This is a topic consistently identified as a key problem throughout Tom's experience in government.
The relentless advance of coastal hazards under a changing climate, coupled with society’s desire for a seaside lifestyle, creates an ever-growing, increasingly overt, locus of risk. Our management of coastal change has suffered through ad-hoc reactions to emergent crises. Crises brought about by a neglection or narrow understanding of the extent of coastal risks. But we have been ‘hamstrung’ by clinging on to the comforts of business as usual?
Tom is seeking to uncover the complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity of coastal risks. His thesis investigates the true nature of coastal risks in NSW. It explores the historical narrative and framing of risk, and seeks a broader understanding of how coastal risks affect, and are affected by, different actors in a community.