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How NZ could be a world leader in sustainability

New Zealand needs a massive shift of thinking, interacting, consuming and culture if we want to lead the world change towards a sustainable future, writes sustainability consultant Nick Morrison 

Why is New Zealand not leading the world in sustainable living and sustainable business practices? Why is New Zealand not leading the world in the transition to the circular economy? Why does New Zealand rank last in the OECD for the amount of waste we throw in landfills per person every year? Why are New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions increasing?

Why aren’t we 100% Pure? It makes no sense to me.

We are literally dirtying our own nest, biting the hand that feeds us, killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Why?

Our biggest export market is tourism. Tourists come from far and wide and spend millions to experience New Zealand’s beauty and “purity”. They come to see our unique wildlife, walk our great walks, swim at our beaches and fish in our rivers.

Yet 71 of our bird species are ‘threatened’, with a further 107 ‘at risk’, 21 of our freshwater fish species are ‘threatened’ with 19 species ‘at risk’, and the World Wildlife Fund estimates there are now only 55 Maui dolphins left. Just 55 left. What is going on New Zealand?

Further to the killing of our native species we are turning our waterways (both urban and rural) into drain pipes. Contaminating them and sucking them dry. Hardly the “pure” water I’d be paying big bucks to travel and experience.

So why aren’t we doing everything we possibly can to restore and protect our environment, to strengthen our clean green brand, and to guarantee that it stays for future generations?

At the moment, we are doing quite the opposite.

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