Helen Rouse is a Resource Management Consultant at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA), with 15+ years’ experience in regional government and central government, research, and tertiary teaching in New Zealand and the UK. Helen has undertaken a variety of environmental research and consultancy projects for clients including central government, regional government and industry. This experience has given her an understanding of legislative and policy frameworks, and of operational decision making in a regional government environment.

Helen was leader of a NIWA-led Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change (CACC) project. NIWA and its partners received 4 years of funding from the New Zealand Ministry for Science & Innovation (formerly the Foundation for Science Research and Technology) to create the necessary information and tools to enable adaptation - by central and local government and communities - to the impacts of climate-induced change on the coastal environment. Key outcomes of our CACC project will be:

  • More informed, proactive communities and councils developing local adaptation strategies to climate change
  • The inclusion of these strategies in regional and community coastal planning documents
  • Evaluation and monitoring of the uptake and performance of adaptation strategies. 

The CACC project is now finished, and final outputs from the project can be found at:


 A key aspect of Helen’s role in NIWA is to incorporate technical information into a management (resource, hazard or general) context. Helen currently works as a project manager of multi-disciplinary teams on a variety of projects, for clients including hydropower industry, Ministry for the Environment, and regional and district councils. Her activity at this technical and management boundary, communicating between scientists and local government decision makers, is a key strength and active area of work.

Helen was a co-editor of an edited volume ‘The New Zealand Coast: Te Tai o Aotearoa’, published in 2003. Helen was also a co-organiser of the ‘Gravel-bed Rivers 2000’, 5th international workshop on gravel-bed rivers, at Christchurch and Franz Josef, September 2000.

Profile Information:
New Zealand
Highest Level of Education: 
Doctoral degree