Hamish is not a surfer, but as a geographer and professional planner he has been involved in research and planning issues around surfing since the mid-1990s. At that time he joined Waikato University’s Artificial Reefs Research Programme and led students in the social and planning impact assessments of the University’s successful application to build New Zealand’s first artificial surfing reef (at Mount Maunganui). The experience and related research on coastal planning led to work with the NZ Surfbreak Protection Society resulting in the legal protection of major surfing breaks in New Zealand in 2010. He has supervised a number of students on surfing topics (e.g., surfing spirituality), examined PhD and masters theses and incorporates material from professional practice into courses, notably in teaching on tourism in the marine environment. He occasionally works as a planning commissioner for local governments in NZ or as an expert planning witness in a range of processes. He is a member of the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Applied Geography, a Fellow of the NZ Geographical Society, a full member of the NZ Planning Institute, and is a Certified Practising Resource Manager by the NZ Association for Resource Management., He is also a member of the successful national collaboration delivering the government’s Resilience to Nature’s Challenges component of the National Science Challenges. He is on the editorial boards of MAST-Maritime Studies, Coastal Management and Planning Quarterly and is editor-in-chief of the Lincoln Planning Review.
Before becoming an academic in 1995, Hamish worked for 12 years in various NZ Government Departments and represented the Government at international convention meetings on Biodiversity. He has particular interests in coastal policy, planning and tourism, and in governance/management of common property resources.