Brad's research focus is the participation of indigenous peoples in conservation management and environmental planning. This research focuses on the obstacles to establishing partnership approaches, and the appropriateness of comanagement, collaborative science and community-based management for resolving conservation conflicts.
He has been involved in several research projects which were commissioned to support the environmental claims of iwi (Maori tribes) before the Waitangi Tribunal. Those projects focus on the capacity of indigenous peoples to influence landscape change and halt environmental degradation through the planning process. They also emphasise the impacts of conservation on the communities which surround national parks, and the search for policies which attempt coexistence between conservation, development and Treaty rights.
He also has research interests in long-standing dilemmas in environmental management, conflicts about and approaches to promoting indigenous habitat protection and water quality control on private land, strategies to motivate the public to participate in environmental projects and community-based restoration projects throughout New Zealand.