Trusted-storytellers-as-freshwater-restoration-knowledge-brokers-individual-and-collective-voices-can-both-be-effective.pdf (1.98 MB)

Trusted storytellers as freshwater restoration knowledge brokers: individual and collective voices can both be effective

Download (1.98 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-21, 03:54 authored by Kati Doehring, Cathy Cole, Paula Casanovas, Roger Young, Nancy Longnecker
Aotearoa New Zealand's aquatic ecosystems are declining despite widespread awareness of mitigation needs. This study employs storytelling to address this issue, testing the role of the messenger in encouraging freshwater restoration in rural catchment communities. We quantified peer-to-peer knowledge exchange on three cognitive processes (retention and extraction of information, motivation to reproduce modelled restoration behaviour, and recall of acquired information), using ArcGIS 'StoryMaps'. We created two restoration stories; one told through the voice of a respected catchment group member known for leadership, and one through a collective catchment group voice. We surveyed freshwater community members (N = 82) before and after reading the stories, and one month later, and found that participants reading either catchment restoration story (1) accepted both the catchment collective and the respected individual member as a trusted source, and could therefore relate to either, and (2) thought the story was informative and contained new details, independent of the time span land holders have been actively restoring. While our study found no significant differences between individual or collective storytellers, it confirms the value of trusted messengers as restoration knowledge brokers in rural catchment communities, a critical step in value-led freshwater restoration at large scales.


Funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai) as part of project Register of Land Management Actions


Publication date



  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Journal title

Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online

Usage metrics


    Ref. manager