Development and application of vision statements in river rehabilitation: The experience of Project Twin Streams, New Zealand

Claire E. Gregory*, Gary J. Brierley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Vision statements are promoted within river rehabilitation literature as a tool to guide a shared perspective of an improved environmental future. This study analyses the visioning process applied in Project Twin Streams, a community-local government partnership river rehabilitation project in Waitakere City, New Zealand. The process of developing the vision statement through to its implementation was traced. This process was critiqued through discourse analysis of planning documents and transcripts from 14 semi-structured interviews undertaken with key informants (managers and strategic planners involved in the project). Lines of questioning were informed by various discourses around sustainability and environmental management, with key attention paid to the core elements incorporated into the vision, who decides the vision, and notions of adaptivity. Community empowerment and restoration of biophysical processes are key attributes comprising the vision, providing a strong sustainability focus. While the vision was developed by a select few 'visionaries', the vision encapsulates the desire for broadened participation as community capacity is developed. The vision was also developed in anticipation that specific goals would change through time as biophysical, social and institutional systems change, and as the knowledge base broadens and deepens, creating a 'living' vision. This experience is not intended as a 'blueprint' for other river rehabilitation initiatives, rather it sheds critical insight as to how vision statements translate goals and ambition into action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-478
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive management
  • Discourse analysis
  • Project Twin Streams
  • River rehabilitation
  • Sustainability
  • Vision


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