Royal Society Asks How can New Zealand lifestyles become sustainable?

The Royal Society of New Zealand hosted a conference on geoengineering in Wellington on the 8th of March, 2011.  This is the Society’s latest media release regarding, in part, how many people, and to what standard of living, can New Zealand support sustainably. With only a fraction of the normal rainfall, far fewer?

Friday, 15 March 2013, 9:37 am Press Release: The Royal Society of New Zealand

Research has shown that New Zealanders would need at least two Earth planets to sustain our current lifestyles compared with a ‘fair Earth share’ of one. Some estimates put this number as high as five Earths.

Two papers released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand explore how many people, and to what standard of living, can New Zealand support sustainably. The papers argue that sustainability is not a simple trade off between the economy and the environment.

The papers explore a number of areas where the issue of sustainability is a factor and that might constrain our ability to create ever-more well-being: climate change, food production, water quality, native biodiversity, transport and fisheries.

The Society’s Chief Executive, Dr Di McCarthy, says the papers offer a framework for looking at how New Zealand generates well-being for New Zealanders and our trading partners, and presents strategies for how to operate within the constraints in our resources. The framework allows New Zealanders to consider the risks to well-being faced due to our dependence upon these finite resources.

“The use of our land, water and other resources, and our levels of well being and prosperity are not simple tradeoffs between the economy and the environment. Instead, the relationships are complex and interwoven.”

When managing a river, for example, there is not a simple trade off between the economy and the environment through taking the water out for irrigation and leaving it in for recreational users.

Different user groups will value the water differently. Raft companies may wish to see a year-round consistent flow to continue their tourism operations; recreational kayakers may value peak flows for challenging paddles; anglers may wish to see minimum flows maintained to ensure fish survival; iwi and environmental groups may want annual flushing to remove algae to ensure river health; farmers may want flow available in spring and summer for irrigating pastures. Sustainable management of the river will take into account the viewpoints of all user groups.

Dr Suzie Greenhalgh, Portfolio Leader of Governance and Policy for Landcare Research, and speaker at the launch of the paper at the Royal Society of New Zealand said: “Our responses to constraints in our natural resources must recognise that there are many connections between the economy and the environment.

“Each connection has its own characteristics, leading to its own tool-kit of responses to ensure continued or even increasing benefits. Setting environmental limits and trading within those limits is only one approach. Other approaches include optimising for co-production of benefits, managing resources with the aim of maximising total value produced, and optimising management for many different values.”

“For freshwater, increases in pastoral agriculture have resulted in a seven-fold increase in the use of nitrogenous fertiliser over the past twenty years, and the volume of water allocated for irrigation has reached or exceeded current limits in many areas. Both of these are affecting our freshwater lakes, rivers and streams.”

New Zealand currently produces enough calories for 20 million people and enough protein for 45 million people. The overall well-being that New Zealand can generate using the finite resources available to us depends upon how we manage and use those resources. For example, shifting dairying off leaching-prone land and onto more suitable land can reduce overall nitrogen pollution without reducing overall output and farm profitability. A study to model land use north of Lake Taupo found that nitrate leaching could be reduced by 8% and soil erosion by 14% with no change to farm income and food, wool and wood production by moving dairying off leaching-prone land.

Despite options for better performance, our progress towards better use of those resources is, in many cases, slow. While New Zealand’s economy has grown by 68% over the past twenty years, our greenhouse gas emissions have only increased by 20%, so some progress is being made in decoupling economic growth from emissions. However, this progress is not rapid enough yet to halt the growth of our overall greenhouse gas emissions, despite our extensive potential supplies of renewable energy.


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6 Responses to Royal Society Asks How can New Zealand lifestyles become sustainable?

  1. It’s pretty obvious what the agenda is when these people talk about “sustainability” in NZ, yet look at how thinly our population is spread AND all the while the govt has been flooding our nation with immigrants from 3rd-world countries who breed like rabbits! Solo mothers with large families (whose multiple fathers live on the dole) can get housing corp houses and claim welfare while hard-working (mainly white “nuclear” families, let’s be honest) are punished with high MULTIPLE taxes and told to consider not reproducing. It is these mainly white people who are targeted with BS such as climate change mantras and made to feel guilty about all the problems that are supposedly befalling us. Start looking around people, and I mean further than your own shores! Look at what’s happening in Europe now with the very rapid rise of nationalism in all these countries, as people get up on their feet, throw the rhetoric and all the conspiracy talk in the garbage and start to take action against the ones behind all this! Stop fart-arseing around Kiwis and REALLY open your eyes!

    • Thanks for your comment. People must look at the big picture, I agree. Charlotte Iserbyt, who worked with the Reagan Administration, made the point that children were being indoctrinated/taught a culture of death. For example, during an interview on Veritas radio in 2012 she said that children were being asked to decide who should live or die for a lesson regarding there being a life boat that was not large enough to fit all. Should it be the pregnant woman, the doctor, the lawyer, etc? Does this have something to do with a plan to dramatically shrink the food supply with deliberately induced droughts/floods worldwide?
      Interview here:

  2. Thanks Claire for all the work you put into collecting the information together on your blog. It is good for fellow New Zealanders to see this all in one place.

    Thor Be With You is right. The time for talk is over. These geo-engineering guys are talking about bringing in something that’s blatantly already here! Should be pretty obvious they don’t and never have cared for you or your opinion. For years so-called “alternative media” and truth gurus though have bombarded us with scary tales of “end games” and the such. While this has been helpful to a certain level we could all sit here shivering in our boots listening to these mouthpieces spew forth this stuff ad infinitum OR you could tuck all that you have learned under your belt and TAKE ACTION NOW! People need to stop being pussies and realise that if action isn’t taken ASAP then their future IS sealed. The Powers THAT ASSUME To Be definitely are gunning for a type of end game hence everything moving so rapidly and the now in-your-face arrogance but this is also partly because they see the rise of resistance. The current attempted gun grab in the USA is a prime give-away of the fear they have of the mass population banding together against them.

    The rise of The Golden Dawn in Greece and other good nationalists in Sweden, Hungary, Germany and other countries who have seen their industries taken offshore, their jobs taken away and their countries flooded with 3rd-world immigrants also just like here in NZ should be your inspiration. There is now also growing sentiment even in the USA and new movements like National Protectionism are starting to appear. This is growing organically & needs to snowball across the globe! Time to stop simply jibber-jabbering on blogs about what these self-appointed overlords are doing to us and start to actually do something that will STOP THEM! The future belongs to you! As the poster above might well say, may the power of Odin be with you all!

    May I suggest you take a really good look at the following links in order to fully understand why the enemies of all mankind currently assuming leadership roles must be removed once and for all and how we might go about this in the most effective way so that all our peoples in all our sovereign nations can once again begin to thrive and achieve greatness individually and as nation states –

    Golden Dawn –

    National Protectionism (USA) –

    • It is interesting that you are saying ‘thanks for your work’ and then tell me, in so many words, that you don’t want me to do it. Informing people of chemtrails/geoengineering and that the droughts in New Zealand in the last 4 years were man-made, is taking action as far as I am concerned.
      At the Northland Field Days we found that only about 7-10% of people knew about chemtrails/geoengineering. People are not going to take action of any kind, be it informing their neighbors the drought is man-made, if they think everything is as it should be, are they. I will continue to do my job and you continue to do yours.
      What is your real name? Mine is Clare Swinney.

  3. Hi Claire,

    Sorry if you thought I was criticising you personally, that was not intention of mine! You are doing a good job for sure. What I meant is that many people have heard all the same stuff for many many years now (I am late 40s and have been seeing same information for a long time). Many people who put out this information tell of problems but offer NO solutions to fix them. The main one I have seen doing this for a long time now is Alex Jones. While he has done much to give new informations to people, a large number of those people naturally say “What now?”. The current movements I mention above are saying “Here is how!”. That is all. I hope you didn’t think I was targetting you personally as I wasn’t, although reading back my mention of “blogs” may have looked that way. Sorry also, my second language is English so maybe my phrasing is not the best 🙂

    My “real” name is Valerie by the way but obviously Scythia is reference to history 🙂 In particular, Scythian woman warriors who fought alongside their men! Scythian’s were “the Eastern European-Indo-Iranian proto people who migrated into north India in 2 century BC”. It is interesting history to me and I have traced some of my ancestry as being linked here 🙂


    • One can only hope the many people who have heard of this for many years are informing and educating others.

      In regard to Alex Jones, I think if you listen hard you will hear him give people a lot of advice solution-wise, like get into City council and try and turn things around, ensure you get guns, ensure you get a good food supply, a water filter, inform your neighbors, inform everyone you can, eat organic, healthy food, avoid vaccines/fluoride, buy gold, educate your local sherriff, etc.

      Thank-you for your input Valerie.

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