A fundamental rethinking is currently under way internationally as to how to deal with so called ‘wicked’ problems which seem of such a scale and complexity as to defy solution. An emerging New Governance paradigm, which ‘de-centres’ the state, and incorporates collaboration, empowered participation and deliberation, claims to provide more responsive, effective and legitimate solutions than the interventionist regulatory state, the free market or the New Public Management. There can be no better illustration of a ‘wicked’ problem to which the New Governance is being applied than Natural Resource Management (NRM) – where the challenges are enormous and the economic and environmental consequences of failing to address them, profound. But will new goverance ‘work’, and if so how? Will it be possible to develop principles and practical tools capable of replication and successful application across a variety of other fields. And what are the broader implications of this approach for regulation, governance and public policy? Existing regulatory and governance theory has yet to come to terms with these, or similar experiments in other fields. This project explores the architecture of the new collaborative environmental governance, and seeks to understand its nature and outcomes.