Its happening. More and more of the world is waking up to the fact that New Zealand’s tourism and export industries are lying through their teeth when it comes to New Zealand’s “Clean Green” brand. Any New Zealanders who don’t know this are lying to themselves.
The latest example of international attention to this, ICYMI, comes from Al Jazeera. Last night it screened the first of a two part documentary titled “New Zealand: Polluted Paradise”.
Here’s what the Al Jazeera had to say about it:
New Zealand’s pristine and abundant rivers and lakes have long been central to its proud reputation as a land of breath-taking natural beauty – and fundamental to a clean, green, outdoorsy brand that’s used to attract millions of foreign visitors every year.
But are its waterways really as sparkling and bountiful as the tourist ads suggest?
It seems not.
Although the issue hasn’t attracted huge global attention, for some years now campaign groups such as Greenpeace have been ringing alarm bells about the deteriorating quality – and curiously diminishing volume – of New Zealand’s fresh water, problems they say are both directly attributable to the country’s most profitable industry and in danger of being exacerbated by government-backed projects in support of that industry.
People & Power asked filmmaker Naashon Zalk to find out more. His two-part investigation, which we are screening over consecutive episodes, raises troubling questions about what can happen when a nation’s desire for economic growth, however understandable and justifiable it may be, takes undue precedence over the environment.
Meanwhile, the National government is currently suppressing the latest scientific analysis of climate change it has received. According to Bill English New Zealanders don’t care about it. Perhaps that’s why our emissions target is something like 150% more than was released in 1990! Just wait until news organisations like Al Jazeera learn about that, not to mention”Fonterra’s Fires”. Described as the worst international environmental disaster of last year, some 1.7 billion (yes, billion) tonnes of carbon were released into the atmosphere in order to harvest palm kernel
Its not just New Zealand Fonterra, National, and its ilk are killing.