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Ōtautahi-Christchurch, an Ocean of Opportunity

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Event description

Home to Aotearoa New Zealand’s third largest port in Whakaraupō / Lyttelton harbour, Ōtautahi-Christchurch is the country’s second largest City, the home to the University of Canterbury, a major Antarctic Gateway to the Southern Ocean, and a fine example of community resilience following many disasters.

As it is continuously being rebuilt and reinvented, we believe our City has an untold and unique opportunity to re-engage in its coastal and ocean space, bringing different sectors together, delivering on the idea that everything is connected, from the Southern Alps to the Canterbury Plains, from the Port Hills to the bays of Banks Peninsula. From the garden City to the blue City.

On Thursday March 11th, the Blue Cradle Foundation invites the public to a free event at Tūranga (central public library) to present this opportunity and to raise the stakes for Ōtautahi-Christchurch, showcasing its “Ocean of Opportunity”.

Acknowledging the recent announcement that Christchurch will host the SailGP races in Lyttleton in early 2022 and taking into account the slow but steady growth of the blue economy sector across the South Island, we firmly believe Ōtautahi-Christchurch can play a major role in addressing ocean health impact solutions through innovative partnerships, scientific research, sustainable, circular economic development and community-led conservation.

This event will celebrate and recognize the fact that we are in a unique
“blue” City of exploration, adventure, of peace, science and technological innovation. In this context, the Blue Cradle Foundation will announce the intention to host the 6th International Marine Protected Area Congress (IMPAC6), in 2026, and invite anyone to join an Organizing Committee.

8 distinguished speakers will present their work and aspirations in relation to the ocean, introduced by our Mayor, Hon. Lianne Dalziel.

Each will present a different perspective, coming from academia, policy, Iwi, science, conservation, from the start-up ecosystem and ecotourism.


Opening karakia

  • Hon. Mayor Lianne Dalziel
  • James Nikitine, Founding Director, Blue Cradle Foundation

Event facilitated by Steven Moe, Partner, Parry Field Lawyers, Seeds Podcasts

Confirmed speakers:

  • Prof Karen Scott, University of Canterbury, International environment and Law of the Sea researcher
  • Dr. Olga Pantos, ESR, Senior marine biologist, lead on AIM2 microplastics project 
  • Kerepeti Paraone, Te Hapū o Ngati Wheke, Rāpaki, Director Kororatahi Creative
  • Anita Spencer, Senior Ranger, Department of Conservation
  • Kim Kelleher, Head of Environment and Sustainability, Lyttelton Port Company
  • Jack Holloway, co-founder, Kelp'n
  • Todd Schmidt, General Manager, International Antarctic Centre
  • Kypros Kotzikas, Managing Director, United Fisheries

Two panels moderated by Steven Moe & Peter Wells will be arranged
and a discussion of the different ocean opportunities ahead:

1) Marine ecosystems & regeneration

2) Innovation & the blue economy

These will be followed by Q&A sessions and a social wine event with an opportunity to network. A small information and koha stand will be available.

The Blue Cradle Foundation is a NZ registered Charitable Trust (CC57834).

Please reserve your tickets soon, places limited.



Speaker Presentations
1st Panel: Marine Ecosystems & Regeneration
2nd Panel: Innovation & The Blue Economy


This event is held under the international framework of addressing the United
Nations 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, and in the context
of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

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