Overcoming the pest plant threat

Len Gillman

Biodiversity under threat from exotic plants Biodiversity is defined as the genetic diversity within species, the diversity among species and among ecosystems. Ecosystem diversity means much more than just a count of species; it reflects the importance of the unique nature of species assemblages in different parts of the world.

Design for well-being

Gayle Souter-Brown

The issue It is widely accepted that prevention is more cost efficient than treatment of disease, crime, and climate change. Recent increased urbanisation and urban densification, coupled with corporate agriculture and horticulture, have changed the environment. Concurrently, digital lifestyles have disconnected people from nature. Stress levels are rising. The housing

Who owns the wai?

Keri Mills

Our political parties emphatically disagree on who owns freshwater in New Zealand. The National Party maintain no one owns the water. The Labour and New Zealand First parties say everyone owns it. The Māori, Green and Opportunities parties all emphasise that there are outstanding Māori rights in freshwater that need

The challenges ahead for the new government

Ian Shirley

As the 2017 general election graphically illustrated New Zealand society has reached a turning point in its economic, social and political development. Throughout the election campaign the voting population seemed uncertain which way to go and this uncertainty was reflected in a series of opinion polls and in a range

Environmental problems? What problems?

Ton Bührs

Environmental problems started to generate widespread concern from the 1960s. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published in 1962, is often credited with kicking off the modern environmental movement. The book described the effects of the use of human-made chemicals, notably DDT, on wildlife. Ingested by birds, the chemicals caused a thinning

The Waste Levy, a waste of time?

Sustainable Business Network & Andy Kenworthy

The $10-per-tonne Waste Levy was created eight years ago to fund waste management innovation and cut landfill. Some say it must increase to be effective. Others claim good progress in the sector amid economic turbulence.   So who’s right? The Waste Minimisation Act was a Green Party Private Members’ Bill led by MP

Minimising waste

Jeff Seadon

Whenever a waste issue arises a common response is, “The government should legislate…”. While legislation is useful to either start a process or fill gaps, it is not the panacea for all problems. Think of how many people always drive below the speed limit on the road. New Zealand has

A Run on the Bank

Dave Hansford

In September 2008, the sprawling global bank, Lehman Brothers, collapsed. As it toppled, it struck dominoes all about, triggering a fission that rippled along Wall St then mushroomed over the world’s financial system. Around the globe, Governments announced rescue spending in the tens of billions. Here in New Zealand, the

Squandering New Zealand’s water

Dame Anne Salmond

Across New Zealand, people from many different backgrounds have a deep and passionate connection with their waterways. From children who grow up swimming and playing in and beside streams, rivers and lakes, to those who fish for whitebait, eels or trout; from iwi with powerful connections with ancestral waterways, to

Hooked: Race for South Pacific tuna

Michael Field

Amidst the romance of creating one of the world’s largest marine protected area – New Zealand’s 620,000 square kilometre Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary – there is an overlooked unpleasant fact. Te Ohu Kaimoana chairman Jamie Tuuta pointed to it on a chart showing the sanctuary surrounded on three sides by heavy

Laudato Si’: On Care Of Our Common Home

Neil Darragh

A recent international voice that feeds into current debate in New Zealand about the environment, energy sources, climate change and water quality as well as economic inequality is the June 2015 encyclical of Pope Francis, entitled Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. This document addresses the current ecological