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Dame Anne Salmond on NZ

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, June 28th, 2013 - 96 comments
Categories: activism, disaster, sustainability - Tags: ,

Distinguished Professor, noted historian and author, and New Zealander of the Year Dame Anne Salmond had a powerful piece in The Herald yesterday. Here are some extracts, but you should go and read the full article.

Dame Anne Salmond: Help steer us away from disaster

Over the past thirty years, there has been an erosion of democratic rights and freedoms in New Zealand. At the same time our collective life has been re-imagined as a market, driven by the pursuit of short-term profit. These two trends have placed us in danger.

Last week, Sir Richard Branson launched an alliance of world leaders called the B Team, whose founding CEO is a proud Kiwi, Derek Handley. The risks that confront humanity at present have been compared with “the Titanic heading for the iceberg, except the captains of planet earth actually know the iceberg is there; cracking, melting, disappearing. It’s going to take a very powerful force for good to steer us out of troubled waters”.

At the launch, Sir Richard and his colleagues urged business leaders across the planet to safeguard the future by moving beyond short-term thinking, a focus on limitless growth and profit at all costs, and to “find their moral backbone”. …

These leaders are echoing a chorus of warnings from the scientific community, who report that humanity is on a pathway to disaster. The world’s oceans are warming and becoming acidic, threatening many marine life forms and the food chains that depend on them, including our own.

The plants and animals that lived in these islands for millennia before human arrival are dying, with New Zealand having one of the highest proportions of species at risk of extinction in the world, threatening the viability of many ecosystems.

Although fresh water is fundamental to life, waterways across New Zealand are being degraded, depleted and polluted. Our small society is increasingly unequal and uncaring, with children dying of third world diseases in the midst of prosperity, while almost daily, democratic freedoms are threatened. We are in the process of turning off our own life support systems.

And in the face of these challenges, what are our captains doing? With the iceberg in full sight, they are pushing the throttle to full steam ahead, racing our small country to the point of collision as fast as possible.

In the process, many of the things that have made me very proud to be a New Zealander are being eroded.

It has been difficult, for instance, to watch New Zealand earn international opprobrium for refusing to ratify the Kyoto protocol, and a ‘Colossal Fossil Award’ – first equal among 194 countries for the worst performance on climate change.

Add to that the cancellation of State of the Environment reporting; proposed amendments to the Resource Management Act to weaken protection for the ecosystems that sustain us; and a rush towards fossil fuel exploitation, and we are on a trajectory that is contrary to where New Zealand should be heading.

There have also been attacks on scientists who report on the state of our streams and rivers; moves to legalise and strengthen surveillance over New Zealand citizens, and a punitive ban on peaceful environmental protests at sea rushed through Parliament, in breach of the Bill of Rights and international conventions. These assaults on democratic freedoms are disturbing.

As a scientist who attends many conferences in which the relevant science is discussed, I see our environmental strategies as irrational. As a mother and grandmother, I consider them a betrayal of future generations.

… we need to find innovative ways of doing business; new kinds of science; new sorts of communities; and better ways of caring for members of our society. A small, inventive, intimate country like ours should be helping to build a bright future – the kind of New Zealand of which we can all be proud. The time is now. The choice is ours.

96 comments on “Dame Anne Salmond on NZ ”

  1. karol 1

    Excellent article.

    I think Branson’s aim is admirable. But I think asking the “businesses leaders” to change their ways is a lost cause. We have got into this mess through them taking too much of the lead on economic and political matters. Time to put the genie back in the bottle, and enable others – local communities, the business people who are innovative and socially and economically responsible, the young who are struggling to get into education and/or satisfactory employment…… but not the current “business leaders

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1


      Business “leaders” had better get their shit together, but they’ve had their chance so far as showing any leadership goes.

      • Tim 1.1.1

        ….. and ESPECIALLY NuZull bizniss ‘leaders’. We seem to accord them that status (paying them all the benefits and salaries in accordance with the associated INTERnational ideology – EVEN when they’re actually as useless as tits on a bull).
        I think of many – some associated with the (beer) brewing ‘industry’, but …. transport, construction, broadcasting even. (I mean, FF fckn S! if you couldn’t run – and sustain – a successful brewery, started with ‘old money’ – even given a ‘Class of 87’ warning, and given our culcha), then sharp biznuss acumen is certainly NOT something that a CEO should shove on his CV ). Where’s that guy now btw? I suspect driven by guilt, ensconced somewhere on the other side of the world, trying to make amends to the chillun.

        Nu Zull Buzniss leaders seem to be a lot like Nu Zull drivers (and fleas on ‘P’).
        (Driving is a competition! One MUST NOT let anyone get ahead of them! One must plant boot in order to get to the next red light. Merging like a zip is one of those ‘politically correct’ propositions). We MUST focus on G-r-o-w-t-h (sustained – rather than sustainABLE)

        I’m not sure you’ll get what I mean, but seems to me we’ve signed up to the biggest load of kaka – to the extent that even what was once a viable political party (currently in opposition) has been hijacked, and incapable of seeing the obvious alternative.

        So … let it roll, if that’s what it takes (after all – the harder they rise, the harder they fall).
        The scene queens (the Robertson’s – and their little dik sukker Pledge-soaked surface wipes (wipe it up, wipe it up with XLO!), the (I’m so tuff) Mallards, the maternally instincted, Hataitai-living driven) factional Natzi ‘opposers’ – Just let ’em sign their own death warrants.

        It’d be nice if they could put their frikken egos aside for a moment, and realise that the GENUINE Labour movement went a little deeper, and had principle and policy – but so far – it seems not.
        I think we might just have to let them get on with it, and those of us that are of a genuine left-wing view (and EXISTENCE), accept that when they fuck up as badly as they are, then it’ll be start again from scratch time.

        There’s only one thing worse than a rapist. It’s a person that falsely accuses someone of rape.
        I see parallels in that statement with those currently PURPORTING to represent the ideals of the Labour Party.
        Fuck ’em! (And Fuck their mothers too! if that was something that would concern them after they got out of the way of their own egos).

        Before further rave …
        .. next

    • Pete 1.2

      I think business leaders have a part to play, though. I rather admire Bill Gates for his work through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Warren Buffett has pledged the vast bulk of his fortune to charity. George Lucas put the proceeds of his sale of Star Wars to Disney into an educational foundation.

      Of course, even individual business leaders like these aren’t going to have the same impact on public wellbeing as government. They also have competing interests with the public at large on major areas like labour standards and intellectual property. But they have considerable power and resources at their disposal and if they can nurture a move towards compassionate public policy, then I’m going to be far more pleased than if they remain inactive and entirely self interested.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.1

        Oh agreed. I think Karol’s point is more to do with “neo-liberal” social structure, especially in regard to where power lies.

        Another market failure, in other words.

      • Populuxe1 1.2.2

        I don’t think you can say that the Gates Foundation (for example) is better or worse at solving these problems than government. They have different tools at their disposal and different constraints on them. Governments can’t do anything without pandering to the prejudices of the electorate or outside their own borders. Arguably the Gates Foundation has achieved considerably more than most governments to address big picture issues in Africa, for example.

    • Rogue Trooper 1.3

      Yes karol

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      But I think asking the “businesses leaders” to change their ways is a lost cause.


      We can’t rely upon the “leaders” anymore – they’re too caught up in the status quo.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    The comments section is encouraging: far fewer “likes” for the anti than pro remarks.

    Someone ought to be able to translate that sentiment into votes.

    • tc 2.1

      Agree and it’s where mana and greens will make inroads.

    • andyS 2.2

      Mr Anonymous, would you like to fill in the details of Richard Branson’s criminal conviction for tax evasion? I’d hate to do it myself in case I get accused of lying.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.1

        Mr. Scrase, you are obviously as clueless on this issue as you are of Climatology. Read my response to Karol’s comment above, and then ask yourself whether I give a tiny fart for Richard Branson.

        We need better wingnuts.

        • andyS

          One Anonymous Knucklehead, I am so glad that you are posting my full name on this blog again,

          Please feel free to do this repeatedly, and to send me death threats too.

          I find this amuses me

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            We’ve been over this, Andy. I want people to associate your name with dishonesty on climate issues: I can hardly achieve that goal without using it, now can I?

            Why don’t you treat it as an opportunity to lift your game?

            • andyS

              Why should I respond to a leftist thug with a handle like yours? Take a hike mate

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                😆 That’s the spirit. At least you’ve moved past the denial stage 😆

                • andyS

                  Denying what? That you are a leftist thug?

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Exposing your persistent unethical dishonesty ≠ thuggery, Andy, but your anger tells me it’s working.

                    Examine the source of your distress: are my accusations of dishonesty easily refuted? If not, perhaps that’s shame you’re experiencing, no?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Poor wickle Andy Wandy, not being able to lie on the Interwebz without nasty Knucklehead calling him out.

                      Oh the humanity.

                    • weka

                      “Exposing your persistent unethical dishonesty ≠ thuggery”

                      Maybe, but outing his name does, and it’s bullying. Please stop doing this.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      He outed his own name, in fact, but please, if you have an effective strategy against climate denial other than naming and shaming, let’s hear it.

                    • weka

                      “He outed his own name, in fact,”

                      As I said, I’m sure you have justification for what you are doing. Doesn’t make it right.

                      In online cultures, sometimes people want to leave their past behind. I can’t see any reason for you to be bringing up his past comment other than to use it to attack his personal safety for your own agenda. That’s bullshit.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Sometimes people want to leave their past behind.

                      Sure, sometimes they adopt multiple handles to try and make it look as though they are legion, for example.

                      This persons past is relevant to this discussion: there is a pattern to his behaviour, noted here and elsewhere.

                      Outing tr*lls, it is widely acknowledged, is a good way to have them confront the harm they do. But in this case, we know who he is because he told us himself.

                      As you say, it ain’t pretty, and for that I apologise, but threatening his personal safety? One, this is drawing a long bow, and two, even if it did so, which I dispute, does it do so more than his own behaviour threatens ours?

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      now, that’s calling a spade-handle a forkin’ handle to rake with; gotta select the appropriate length handle for the job; easier on the back.

                    • andyS

                      I tell you what OAK, why don’t you give me a phone call? After all, you have all my personal details, which I am sure you would be delighted to share with all and sundry on this blog

                      I await your call, then we can discuss these issues in a more close up and friendly manner without cluttering up this comment thread with your personal vendetta against me.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Against your dishonest behaviour, Andy, and how would a private conversation between us advance my goal of spreading your reputation for dishonesty far and wide?

                    • andyS

                      Against your dishonest behaviour, Andy, and how would a private conversation between us advance my goal of spreading your reputation for dishonesty far and wide?

                      Feel free OAK, to spread my reputation “far and wide”


                  • andyS

                    Actually, I didn’t “out” my name, someone called RWJC of similar did. You then referred to this person as Richard Christie, so you have outed two people without their permission


                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Pay attention: I got Richard Christie’s name from a Google search of your name, not here.

                    • Richard Christie

                      I have no objection to my identity (also RJLC) being exposed in regard to this topic.
                      Andy Scrase used multiple handles on both Renowden’s and Perrott’s blogs. This came undone two or three years ago when it appeared that he inadvertently mucked up a comment that appeared under his own name in error. He has to my knowledge never directly denied the behaviour when challenged.
                      To his credit, imo, since the incident, it appears he no longer uses sock puppets in the same fashion.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Thanks Richard. Interesting that calling his behaviour made him change it.

                    • andyS

                      28 June 2013 at 2:20 pm

                      Thanks Richard. Interesting that calling his behaviour made him change it.

                      So. “One Anonymous Knucklehead”, would you mind letting us know what other names you go by in these parts? Since I don’t seem to have encountered you, although you do seem very similar in MO to a certain Brandoch Daha, etc

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      I’ve had several changes in handle, all variations on the “One Anonymous Bloke” theme. They all use the same email address and I don’t try and pass them off as distinct.

          • Rosetinted

            Don’t personalise everything andyS. It’s not all about you, it’s just that we get pissed off with egoistic little stirrers who don’t give a s..t for the matters we are trying to discuss.

            • andyS

              Don’t personalise everything andyS. It’s not all about you, it’s just that we get pissed off with egoistic little stirrers who don’t give a s..t for the matters we are trying to discuss.

              You are referring to “One Anonymous” by any chance? I don’t see anything other than abuse coming from that direction

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Criticism, Andy. Criticism of your persistent dishonesty when discussing matters climate.

                • andyS

                  How about the persistent dishonesty of Richard Branson, a convicted tax evader who is running jollies into space c/o Virgin Galactic, in a spaceship designed by well known climate change sceptic Burt Rutan?

                  Does that puncture your sanctimonious little bubble?

                  I doubt it

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    What about it? Knock yourself out, I set no more store in his ethics than I do in yours.

        • weka

          OAK, stop being an arse. When you insist on forcing the real name issue as a way of beating on your opponent in a conversation, you simply legitimise anyone who wants to do this. At the other end of the extreme are people like Slater, but there is a lot of middle ground, and you are shifting that towards Slater’s end of the spectrum. I appreciate that ts has specific rules around not giving details of other commenters, because it creates a more safe online environment. You are currently making that less safe.

          I know you think you are ‘right’, and am sure you have lots of clever arguments about why what you are doing isn’t technically breaking the standard’s rules, but you’re still being an arsehole with little regard for the wider good. It’s nasty bullshit and is part of the macho shithead culture that sometimes prevails here and makes the place much less than it could be. It also makes us much closer to WO and KB than you will want to admit (or maybe you just don’t care).

          • Veutoviper

            Well said, weka.

          • andyS

            weka +1 thanks

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            Weka, if you have an alternative strategy to tackle climate denial, why hasn’t it worked for the last thirty years while we’ve been edging closer to irreversible catastrophe?

            • weka

              Ok, so let me get this right. You think that undermining an individual’s safety in a nasty way, and bullying them, is somehow combating AGW? I know some here engage in that tactic, but it fails IMO because it makes people feel shit for the wrong reason, and it makes talking about AGW (or politics or whatever) less safe.

              By all means attack his points of view, politics etc. But when you start attacking him as a person, you are basically saying that anyone can do that to anyone, including to me. Maybe you don’t experience much vulnerability in your life, but I do, and when I see people on the left saying it’s ok to bully it makes me very nervous because why should I then not be bullied for my politics/beliefs?

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Undermining his safety?

                You will no doubt be able to point to the multitude of death threats and attacks on climate deniers to support this assertion.

                I note that I have attacked his dishonesty, not his person.

                Was calling tobacco barons and their shills out undermining their safety too?

                • weka

                  So you think that safety can only be undermined by threats of death? Seriously?

                  “I note that I have attacked his dishonesty, not his person.”

                  You’ve done both. If you can’t see how you have been attacking his person, that’s part of the problem.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Um, seriously, the death threats and attacks go entirely in the other direction, which is why I brought them up. This isn’t a game of tiddlywinks.

                    Do you have a strategy to combat persistent deliberate dishonesty – Merchants of Doubt and all that? Are you aware that the strategy of “outing” tr*lls is proven effective?

            • Populuxe1

              I believe weka was addressing your arsehole behaviour. Stop deflecting, own it, and grow up.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                I am owning it you idiot, but please, if you know a better way to combat persistent dishonesty in this context, let’s hear it.

                • weka

                  Actually this is pretty interesting. So you agree that you are bullying someone, but you think it is justified because of the political stakes?

                  Is it the dishonesty you object to, or the dishonesty about CC?

                  If I figure out who you are in real life, is it ok for me to out you when I think you are being an arse? Or when I disagree with your politics/views?

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    It’s the dishonesty about CC – although general political dishonesty is corrosive I don’t think it represents the clear and present threat that CC dishonesty does.

                    If your question is supposed to apply to this situation, it should read – “If you tell me who you are in real life, is it ok for me to use your full name in subsequent discussion?”

                    In other circumstances, I’ve already discussed the “outing” of tr*lls as an effective strategy, so I suppose it depends on your definition of “being an arse”.

                • Populuxe1

                  That would imply there is something inherently dishonest in the anonymity of this site, which is ludicrous. There is nothing to combat. Chinese Room problem and all that.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    I don’t follow your reasoning there Pops.

                    • Populuxe1

                      That you should respond to him/her/it as an unknown quanity. It’s what you presumably expect of your nome de plume as well. I’m a bit surprised you haven’t had your arse kicked by the moderators.

                • andyS

                  I would really like one example of “persistent dishonesty” OAK

                  The fact is, the only reason you attack me is because I don’t subscribe to your death cult, and like most cults your only form of retribution is personal attack.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Have you forgotten this? Just another response to your nonsense about REE?

                    “Rare-earth prices are set to extend their decline from records this year as buyers including Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and General Electric Co. (GE) scale back using the materials in their cars and windmills.”

                    What, did you think I was going to find it difficult to give you an example?

                    It’s easy to see Andy’s lies: just go to the search tool and use “@author: AndyS”, and see the whole pattern for yourself.

                    Note, Andy, that I’m not attacking you, I’m criticising your unethical behaviour, in the hope that you can lift your game.

                    You could be the first Randist loon to come up with a genuine Objectivist policy response, if you weren’t so busy being dishonest about it.

  3. Bill 3

    A quick look at the ‘Team B’ website reveals a fairly transparant agenda designed to save business primacy in a world no longer conducive to business. That’s all it is – business with a bit of window dressing. What I’d love to pose to Branson and his cohorts is a simple question. Since the market rewards profit and all those activities/behaviours that make profit achievable; and since the market penalises all of those activities/behaviours that threaten that ‘achievement’- then, how the fuck does all the window dressing survive the business environment (the market) let alone prosper?

    These people are either very stupid, very disengenious or both.

    If resources are to be extracted, manufactured and distributed with both people and the environment given due prominance, then what is needed is democracy; – not a cabal of leaders seeking to preserve the primacy of profit and a market economy.

    edit. Plan B = soft shoe shuffle corporatism.

    • Rogue Trooper 3.1

      all that Virgin plane-fuel.

    • Rosetinted 3.2

      This sounds interesting. Bruce Jesson memorial lecture series.
      Professor Robert Wade London School of Economics – Inequality and the West –Capitalism at a Tipping Point
      Political economist Robert Wade talks about rising inequalities in the Western world, placing New Zealand in the context of international debates.
      He is a contributor to Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis. Professor Wade was awarded, with José Antonio Ocampo, the 2008 Leontief Prize by the Global Development and Environment Institute, ‘in recognition of his outstanding contribution to economic theory that addressed contemporary realities and supported just and sustainable societies’.

      Public lectures:
      Monday, 8 July, 6pm, Old Government House Lecture Theatre University of Auckland. Chaired by Professor Margaret Wilson.
      Join us afterwards to celebrate the launch of Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, edited by Max Rashbrooke. Old Government House Member’s Lounge (Max is a previous winner of a Bruce Jesson Journalism Prize).

      Thursday 11 July, 5.30pm Archway 3 Lecture Theatre University of Otago, Dunedin
      Friday 12 July, 4pm A3 Lecture Theatre University of Canterbury, Christchurch
      Tuesday 16 July, 6pm Soundings Theatre Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
      For more information please contact Megan Simpson, megan@bwb.co.nz

      2013 Journalism Prize Competition
      The Bruce Jesson Foundation journalism prize competition is now open for entries, offering funding for high-quality critical journalism. The 2013 competition opens as recent winner Max Rashbrooke unveils a new book supported by his Jesson award: Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis – and what we can do about it (Bridget Williams Books, 2013).
      The Bruce Jesson Foundation was established in 1999 to commemorate one of New Zealand’s greatest political journalists, the late Bruce Jesson, by promoting “vigorous political, social and economic investigation, debate, analysis and reporting in New Zealand”. The Foundation holds an Annual Lecture and awards two journalism prizes, presented at the lecture in October:
      The Senior Journalism Prize is self-nominated and invites applications for an award of up to NZ$4,000 to assist a project aiming to produce the kind of critical and analytical journalism exemplified by Jesson’s work.
      The Emerging Journalism Prize has a fixed emolument of $1,000 and recognises “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students.” It is nominated by the heads of New Zealand journalism schools or journalism programme leaders for published work by student journalists.
      Entries for the 2013 Bruce Jesson Journalism Prizes are now invited both from self-nominating senior journalists and the Heads of New Zealand journalism schools. Entries will be assessed by members of the Foundation’s Journalism Sub-committee: Geoff Kemp (convenor), Camille Guy, Joe Atkinson, Simon Collins, and Jon Stephenson.
      Details are available on the Foundation website. Applications and nominations (including copies of nominated work) can be submitted online, or mailed to Dr Geoff Kemp, c/- Political Studies Department, University of Auckland, PB 92019, Auckland (g.kemp@auckland.ac.nz). The DEADLINE for receipt of entries is 5pm, Monday, September 30, 2013.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      A quick look at the ‘Team B’ website reveals a fairly transparant agenda designed to save business primacy in a world no longer conducive to business.

      That was the impression that I got.

      These people are either very stupid, very disengenious or both.


      We cannot maintain BAU as it is unsustainable.

  4. vto 4

    Dame Anne Salmond is fantastic. Wise, informed, visionary and bold.

    She calls it as it is.

    What would the traitor Key say to her speech? Probably something empty-headed and shallow and short like “… akshully, we just don’t agree.” and then he would provide absolutely no reasons or justification, and neither would he answer any of the specific issues raised in any detail.

    This is one of the places our political system falls down – the decision-makers do not have to justify or answer in any meaningful way whatsoever.

    So what options does that leave ? If one side will not engage in respectful dialogue? If that side just ignores others and stomps all over people? … well, it aint to work out is it. It has been seen countless times throughout history.. The engagement becomes physical.

    • insider 4.1

      Based on the above you’d think NZ was a democratic paradise 30 years ago if things have got so bad. No dawn raids, springbok tour, the PM using the police and sis as personal political attack tools , no currency restrictions, import licenses, first past the post elections with absolute power, no massive wealth transfers to large landholders via subsidies, no wage and price freezes we’re practically a police state in comparison.

    • BLiP 4.2

      Well, the last time John Key was confronted face to face with some science he described the observed, measured, peer-reviewed and published data as “just one person’s opinion”. As with any inconvenient truth, the National Ltd™ endogenous stimulus-response is to attack the messenger.

  5. Ted 5

    Business leaders will not change unless their company’s shareholders demand it.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      In some companies I’m sure that’s true, but equally there are business leaders (hence the term) who can carry people with them.

      Let’s not be churlish: Branson et al are at least saying the right things, and they seem to be speaking directly to their peer group rather than lecturing us.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        According to their PlanB website, these jokers aim to instill ‘goodness’ in the DNA of future business people.

        So okay, lets say I’m a business person who is eager to take environmental costs into account with regards my business. And lets say I’m eager to take people and their welfare into account too.

        So I assign a $ value to environmental costs. How those $s come to be applied to any remedial environmental works isn’t obvious from ‘PlanB’ – but just lets say there is a mechanism. And I pay my workers a good wage and ensure they have enough of a wage to cover health costs and pension savings and so on. (Plan B doesn’t appear to have space for state provisioning of health etc, but lets say mechanisms are in place that, along with decent wage levels, allow access to health, education etc at least for workers)

        So. My product will cost $20 per unit after social and environmental costs are factored in. Meantime, ‘over there’ a producer pays as little as he can in wages and externalises environmantal costs. He’s making the same product as me. And he can sell it for $10 per unit and make more profit by selling at $10 than I can by selling at $20.

        I will go bust. He will prosper. That’s what ‘the market’ ensures. And that’s what ‘Plan B’ seeks to preserve.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          It’s hard to argue with that Bill, so I won’t. To be charitable, we could see these as baby steps, but the time for charity is over, eh.

        • blue leopard

          Your conclusion depends on a non-socially and environmentally aware public, who only care about cost.

          However if these business people starting up this group are applying their ‘business skills’ then these skills include having a good ‘nose’ for trends, also an idea with what works regarding marketing. i.e. The ‘Plan-B people’ might already have a good idea that businesses with sound social and environmental approaches are likely to have the edge when it comes to consumers choosing one product over a similar one (a similar one without social and environmental principles attached to them).

          • Bill

            Yeah – nah. All that ‘social/environmental awareness’ stuff in business simply doesn’t work. If it adds cost, then someone will offer the same end product for cheaper. And then the dynamics of ‘the market’ decide the rest.

            And most people simply don’t have the wherewithal to make ‘luxurious’ choices. I mean, you think the Warehouse and such like are packed out because people actually want to shop there and buy what’s on offer there? Or because it’s all people can afford?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Finding it very difficult to fault this analysis. The change needs to be made at a structural level – that is to say the structure of the global economy has to radically diverge from its current path.

              And frankly, that’s just bloody grim, because it ain’t going to happen until there’s no other choice.

              • …One Anonymous,

                Q. How does structural change occur when the most powerful/wealthy have such a stranglehold on those (government) who should be listening to the volumes of public concern expressed on many pressing issues?

                Suggested A.
                If the very powerful/wealthy shift their agenda from solely seeking profit to doing good the stranglehold is loosened

                …isn’t that what this group is proposing?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I think Bill makes the point quite well, that the “powerful wealthy” are subject to market forces if they want to stay powerful and wealthy. Hence the grim outlook.

                  • ‘Market forces’ are not impersonal mechanisms, no matter how much we are told they are. They are made up of people’s decisions, that are NOT always based on rational decision making.

                    >>If ‘people’ start shifting in their aims and intent, then ‘market forces’ will shift in the way they respond.<<

                    With further regard to 'market forces', it is my understanding that 'market forces' are being very much affected by a number of factors that make them even less clear cut than people continue to assume they are (and we continue to be told they are)

                    i.e speculation on commodities such as rice and grain is raising the prices of such, not due to 'supply and demand' simply due to a monopolistic effect of banks and wealthy persons buying up large quantities of them in order to make a profit.

                    'Market forces' are also being fraudulently manipulated such as the LIBOR and Forex activities recently uncovered. Such activities are also causing prices to be higher than they ‘naturally’ should be and this due to the intent of ‘business of usual’ practice of pursuing private profit over any other consideration.

                    Therefore, if the 'business as usual' mentality, (which I take to be one of seeking profit over every other consideration, including the negative environmental and social consequences that such a mentality creates), were addressed, then some of the costs we are ‘paying for’ would be lowered and many negative conditions we are now experiences could start to be lessened and more positive conditions could be created.

                    If those who are creating these issues and understand how they are creating them them start to pull their finger out and group together in order to reverse their behaviour, or even improve it (as opposed to completely discontinuing it, which would be preferable) I believe there could be substantial improvements and when such is experienced, it could have the effect of positive reinforcement i.e. when people realise the benefits of acting with more consciousness of the wider picture and enjoy real benefits from so doing, then it will become standard practice by increasing numbers of people.

                    And those continuing in the old ways will be seen for the mean, money-grubbing short-sighted wet blankets that they are.

              • rosy

                “Finding it very difficult to fault this analysis”

                True that. Especially because the message coming from such acquisitive companies as the Virgin Group, the Tata Group and Kering seems to reek of expecting other people to do the sustainability thing while they ‘lead’.

            • blue leopard

              @ Bill

              …if inequality, (stated as one of the concerns of this group), were addressed then your objection re people not affording would no longer apply.

              I consider that a group that acknowledges the many problems we are facing, (explicitly mentioning how people are still living in poverty, and that inequality and unemployment rates are problems) and states “much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of ‘business as usual'”, should be considered a hopeful prospect, and not discounted out of hand such as a lot of comments on this thread appear to be doing.

              Fair enough (actually rather reasonable) to be suspicious, however the prospects of improvement to the disastrous conditions we face currently (financial, environmental) , I believe, greatly increase if very very wealthy people get on board aswell. I supply a few reasons for this:

              1. because, people have a very strong tendancy of listening to very very wealthy people, [regardless of whether they are making good sense…so if the are making good sense, this should indicate a good turn of events]
              2. while very very wealthy people are busy with a good cause, they necessarily spend less on their usual destructive practices 🙂
              3. if the principles and concerns on the website are genuine and thus addressed in a focussed manner by people like Mr Branson [i.e. those who own a good percentage of a lot] then there will without doubt be improvements in these severely neglected areas.

              • Bill

                If inequality is to be addressed, then either the role of the state and its right to raise taxes and have a hand in distribution needs to be acknowledged or the systemic bias inherent to a market economy has to be acknowledged and a new economy developed in its stead.

                But neither of these things are acknowledged.

                Instead, we get treated to ‘feel good’ waffle as though business operates from within an immutable vacuum. And we get this b/s appeal to human nature as though it’s been bad ’til now but can be reformed by nice business people who will have a concern for their fellow humans. Y’know, there’s absolutely no analysis of the structures business uses or the environment it operates within. And that leads to the crux of the matter. PlanB doesn’t have the hallmarks of facism or similarities with fascism – PlanB is fascism. Just go read their website if you’re unsure on that front.

                • I have been to their website.

                  I don’t understand your comment re facism. How is it facism? I thought spying on the whole world was fairly fascist…and I can’t see how adding environmental and social concerns to business people’s agenda is more fascist than only considering profit as important?

                  I can certainly see how the whole thing could be b/s, yet what I am saying is it is not definately that.

                  I read business as usual as referring to neo-liberalism and profit-only-priority-mentality. If successful business people start focussing on things other than solely profit; it has to be an improvement with what we have now. I can’t see how it couldn’t be?

                  • locus

                    blue leopard – i share your idealistic hope. BUT…to encourage profit crazed shareholders that they should give up some of their profit so that people and planet are protected, will need truly great leaders – who put everything on the line to demonstrate that they are committed to these values

                    If Plan-B is to have the remotest chance of changing the way we do business, it needs leaders who don’t just say the ‘right’ things. Nor will Plan-B succeed if its leaders say the right things and occasionally compromise their profits by doing the right things for people and planet.

                    Plan-B will only succeed if its leaders
                    – constantly and consistently live their values (can an airline boss ever truly put planet equal to profit?)
                    – reward all their employees for putting planet and people equal to profit
                    – remove any bonuses that executives get for increasing profit if they do so at the expense of people or planet
                    – retain a lot of customers who are both happy and willing to pay more for the ‘same’ product because its provision protects people and planet
                    – and similarly retain investors and shareholders who are willing to accept lower financial returns

                    • @ locus

                      Yes, exactly …and I acknowledge its a big BUT, however it IS possible if people were to put their commitment behind such an approach.

  6. Lefty 6

    Asking businesspeople to change their ways is not going to save the world.

    We need an anti capitalist revolution that seizes all power off them to do that.

  7. BLiP 7

    National Ltd™’s record on the environment is an international disgrace. Since its election in 2008, the John Key led National Ltd™ government has . . .

    been caught out repeatedly lying in the run up to and during the election campaign about its real intentions in relation to the environment

    celebrated the opening of the foreign-owned Pike River Coal Ltd mine on DOC land adjacent to the Paparoa National Park from which 1 megatonne of coal will be extracted per year for the next 20 years – Pike River Coal Ltd has announced that it has found additional coal in the national park

    cancelled a proposed efficiency standard (MEPS) on incandescent lightbulbs

    reversed a moratorium on building new gas/oil/coal power stations

    removed the bio fuel subsidy

    scrapped the scheme that would have penalised imported vehicles producing high emissions

    removed regulations for water efficient new housing by Order in Council

    renewed leases on sensitive high country farms which were meant to return to DOC

    reversed restrictions on the freeholding of vast swathes of land on the edge of the Southern Lakes

    arbitrarily excised 400 hectares from the brand new Oteake Conservation Park, including the most important and, ecologically, the rarest part of the new Park, the tussock and shrubland that went right down to the banks of the Manuherikia River, to enable future access to lignite

    said nothing to say in regard to the World Commission on Protected areas of IUCN’s severe criticism of its intention to investigate mineral resources and mining opportunities in protected conservation areas including our three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Te Wahi Pounamu-South West New Zealand, Tongariro National Park and the Sub Antarctic Islands

    approved two prospecting permit applications lodged by Australian iron-ore giant Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Pacific lodged in June – areas covered by the two-year permits include an 8204-square-kilometre area of seabed adjoining the west coast from Cape Reinga to the Manukau Harbour and a 3798-square-kilometre prospecting area of land from Cape Reinga to the Kaipara Harbour including Ninety Mile Beach, the west side of the Aupouri Peninsula, Kaitaia and the Hokianga.

    approved an additional prospecting permit for Fortescue Metals in relation to 3568sq km right next door to the Kahurangi National Park where the Heaphy Track is

    was forced to release its Ministry of Economic Development (MED) report under the Official Information Act that proclaims “significant mineral potential” in the Fiordland, Kahurangi and Paparoa national parks – the report said the Waitutu area of the Fiordland National Park had sufficient petroleum reserves to be “worthy” of inclusion in a review of conservation land protected from mining

    secretly granted the minerals industry the right to veto proposed National Park boundaries and permission for any such vetoes to be kept confidential – in spite of recommendations from its own officials against any such a veto

    called for caring New Zealanders to halt their “emotional hysteria” and recognise that conservation land should be mined for minerals and went on to say “Mining in a modern, technological way can have a negligible effect”

    rubished the Department of Conservation (“Canterbury Farming” June 2010 issue – now offline) suggesting it was incapable of looking after the high country reserves and parks under its control

    gutted the home insulation scheme

    pulled $300 million out of public transport, walking and cycling schemes and added it to a pot of $2 billion to ‘upgrade’ state highways

    changed the law to provide billions of dollar in subsidies for polluters via the ETS casino

    begun a process of gutting the Resource Management Act to make it difficult/impossible for the public to lodge appeals against developers

    removed the ability of Auckland to introduce a fuel levy to fund planned public transport upgrades

    left electrification of the Auckland rail network up in the air without promised funding commitments and then came through with a dodgy loan scheme and then unilaterally reorganised the local government structure before finally setting about the privatisation-by-stealth model when busting KiwiRail

    removed the programme to make Government Departments ‘carbon neutral’ and also began its first wave of public sector redundancies starting with the Ministry for the Environment which was responsible for the scheme

    removed funding for public tv advertising on sustainability and energy efficiency

    pulled funding for small-town public litter bin recycling schemes

    displayed cabinet ministers expressing public support the bulldozing of Fiordland

    reduced Department of Conservation funding by $54 million over three years

    cancelled funding for the internationally acclaimed ‘Enviroschools’ programme

    usurped the democratic role of local Councils of determining policies for their citizens by requiring the abandonment of the efficient and well-established tree protection rules for urban areas

    set about revamping Auckland governance in a way that is likely to greatly reduce the ‘Environmental Watchdog’ role of the the current Regional Council (since completely fucked it up with the SuperShitty)

    removed Auckland’s metropolitan limits and opened the gateway for unfettered urban sprawl

    defended internationally the importation of rain-forest-wrecking palm kernel and stood silent while Federated Farmers called Greenpeace “despicable” criminals, traitors, and robbers

    stood silent while Godfrey Bloom, a Member of the European Parliament and infamous Climate Change Denialist, publicly rejoiced in the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior – who was doing so while standing on a dock next to the replacement vessel

    took a 0% emissions reduction target to Copenhagen. Yes, seriously, that isn’t a misprint – that was the lower bound of their negotiation platform – then missed the 01/02/10 deadline for commitment to action it had agreed to – meanwhile 55 of the 80 countries which attended did make the deadline

    secretly cancelled the internationally recognised scheme for the mandatory labelling of exotic woods to ensure the timber has not been taken from rain forests in direct contradiction of its own statements made at the 13th World Forestry Congress in Argentina

    supported the Department of Conservation’s decision to open up the pristine Cathedral Cove to an ice-cream franchise

    gave the Department of Conservsation $1.7 million to further develop commercial activities on DOC land and started an “off set” plan allowing company’s to damage the conservation estate if they agree to improve land elsewhere – no monitoring regime has been suggested on put in place

    left DOC director-general Al Morrison to announce that DOC is to charge for services that had been free and, to soften the public up to the idea that there will be more “energy generation schemes” operating on DOC land

    took no action to reduce existing pollution pouring into the Manawatu River and is “leaving it up to industry” to come up with solutions to heal the river which was described by the Cawthorn Institute as “one of the worst polluted in the Western world”

    announced a $1.69 million industry subsidy to kick start marine farming without identifying no-go areas nor putting in place a consultation process for individiuals, communities, and other general coastal users

    been forced to release documents under the Official Information Act which confirm that DOC has “giving up” on ecologically valuable high-country land in the Mackenzie Basin because of funding cuts. The released documents cite “statements made by ministers”, “diminishing funding” and the Government’s new high-country policies as reasons for the changed stance – the comments from DOC were made after Land Information New Zealand (Linz), which manages the tenure review process, ignored DOC’s previous conservation recommendations for the farms

    used former National Party minister and current director of Open Country Cheese – a company convicted of filthy farming practices and found by the supreme court to be a dodgy employer – Wyatt Creech to head up an enquiry into Environment Canterbury which had been standing up the dairy farmers’ demands for more and more water resources and less and less regulation. The Creech report recommended the Environmental Canterbury be sacked and replaced with government appointments and the voters of Canterbury do without democracy until the water situation had been resolved. The Canterbury area holds 50 percent of New Zealand’s fresh water reserves and 50 percent of the water required for hyrdo energy. The Creech report said Environmental Centerbury put too much focus on the environment

    been subjected to international condemnation for knowing next to nothing about the parlous state of the New Zealand fisheries

    bucked international trends and poured more acid on the 100% Pure brand and increases the bluefin tuna quota

    squirmed when New Zealand is subject to international criticism for its backing of commericial whaling which National Ltd supports

    funded Government-owned company Solid Energy runs an essay competition entitled “ The role of coal in sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand” for school children. First prize is a trip to New Zealand’s largest coal customer, China.

    supported access fees for entrance onto DOC walkways – fee introduced following cuts to DOC’s budget.

    pressed on with PR bullshit about how New Zealand’s environment would profit from mining national parks, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says.

    Department of Conservation director-general Al Morrison said the conservation estate created “opportunities to do a whole lot for a lot of different people . . . we’ve got to get away from this idea that somehow we have to protect one-third of New Zealand for a certain constituency and put it in a jar of formaldehyde and leave it

    created random fantasies of abundant wealth to promote all forms of mining

    ignored reports on sustained non-compliance with resource consents and worsening pollution of water ways.

    ignored its own Ministers possible conflicts of interest

    done nothing as both its own SOE Meridian and the Department of Conservation to withdraw appeals against an 85m high damn with a 14km long reservoir on conservation land.

    granted Energy Resources permission to ship Australian yellowcake uranium ore through New Zealand.

    apologised but does nothing else for breaching the Treaty of Waitangi by granting a mining exploration permit to Brazilian company Petrobras

    continued to remove environmental protection powers from local authorities

    totally reversed gains made in the protection of National Parks and other high-value conservation areas in the South Island.

    commenced a divide-and-rule strategy by attempting to paint New Zealanders interested in protecting the environment as outside of the “mainstream” and in defence of the fact that the media is catching to its bare-faced lies in the lead up to the 2008 election

    carried on with more lies by talking about modern mining like that at Reefton being carried out by Oceana Golds as being like “key hole surgery”

    appeared to believe that the tourists it is attempting to bring to New Zealand are all blind and won’t see for themselves the impact of the dairy farming it is subsidising to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars

    appeared itself to be blind when it comes to the Chairman of Fonterra

    forced the Commissioner for the Environment to delay the release of a report into the ramifications for climate change in regard to lignite mining and proposals to convert the lignite into diesel

    employed financial sleight of hand in shuffling funds towards business interests and away from community groups looking to protect the environment

    made more empty promises when a report showing that a third of New Zealand lankes have poor quality water is released

    backed down on promises to protect New Zealand children (and the environment cleaner by more informed disposal) from harmful chemicals by improving labeling and imposing mandatory standards on containers

    Ignored the findings by attacking the messenger when a World Health Organisation report confirms that New Zealand’s main centres have the worst air in Australasia and Auckland is the most polluted with twice the concentration of damaging airborne particles as Sydney.

    studiously ignored so as to take piss about dire warnings concerning the quality of drinking water in Reidstone

    failed to mention in its 100% Pure promotions that visitors to the Kerikeri Basin near the Stone Store – one of Northland’s iconic tourism and heritage sites – could come face-to-face with warning signs telling them the water is polluted

    failed to mention in its 100% Pure promotions that tourists in the Coromandel could come face to face with New Zealand’s environmental standards when finding hundreds of dead snapper washed up on Beaches

    presented bogus evidence concerning air pollution

    made more empty promises in relation to air pollution while also extending deadlines for local councils to reduce air pollution

    extended deadlines for businesses previously require to reduce air pollution by 2013

    put tourism operators in Akaroa at risk by refusing to make the harbour a marine reserve . . . and then rubs salt into their wounds

    done nothing after the United Nations finds that National Ltd™’s targets for reducing pollution are not consistent with the measures put in place to achieve those targets

    attempted to defend the Emissions Trading Scheme from comparisons with the Australian model while Environment Minister Nick Smith indicates there’s little chance of the two schemes being integrated any time soon

    then further slowed down the implentation of New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme

    allowed major retailers to reap the benefits of its earlier and secret decision to abandon the mandatory labelling of exotic woods after it is found that the retailers are contributing to the death of native Australian forests despite an independent, year-long investigation which finds otherwise

    tried to keep a meeting between John Key and mininng company Anadarko’s boss secret. The company is responsble for a massive oil spill and is looking to to start drilling off New Zealand soon

    continued to ignore yet more evidence of farmers failing to comply with environmental regulations

    handed over $400 million to farmers to extend water storage and allow for more land to be used for dairy farms. No mention or provision is made for additional protections required to deal with the increased pollution

    failed to point out in its 100% Pure promotion that tourists (and locals) should avoid the Opihi River along State Highway 1 because of the risk of exposure to toxins from phormidium

    failed to point out in its 100% Pure promotions that tourists arriving at New Zealand’s “nuclear free” sea ports will be sharing the environment with up to 5,000 tonnes of radioactive yellow cake uranium

    lied about how bad the RMA is

    ignored top scientists and academics who point out that its underfunding of the Department of Conservation will send more species into extinction and hurt its 100% Pure image.

    Ignored John Key making an international arse out of himself in regard to New Zealand’s 100% Pure image

    carried on with its lies as New Zealand is identified as jeoparising its good name by allowing us to become one of a small number of states stalling progress in forming an international climate agreement
    kept stringing us along even after Next thing, New Zealand received the 2nd place Fossil Award for “proposing the most Flexible Mechanism imaginable with no oversight or review. Bring on the wild west. They want to be able to use any market mechanisms they wish with absolutely no oversight or international review! There would be no way to ensure that the units from one mechanism have not been sold two or three times to another such mechanism. This would likely unleash a wild west carbon market with double or triple counting of offsets and a likely increase of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.”

    stood silent when Fonterra was caught out lying by overstating its farmer’s compliance on excluding stock from waterways by 100%

    put World class surfing waves and Maui’s dolphin’s at Raglan at severe risk by encouraging a proposed iron ore seabed mining in New Zealand’s coastal waters

    never followed up after the scientific models created by New Zealand and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to allow fishing are called into question

    set the scene for our children heading down to the park to find an overseas’ owned company had set up a dairy farm in one corner. Over time the shit builds up

    ignored data which shows the expansion of fish-farming in the Marlborough Sounds could cause unacceptable changes in the coastal environment

    strategically removed the word “environment” from the lexicon of local and central government

    failed to tell the tourists it hopes to attact with its 100% Pure campaign that every year, New Zealand drops huge quantities of poison-laced food into its forest ecosystems; enough poison to kill its human population 4 times over, every year. No country has ever done anything remotely similar, on such a scale

    failed to tell the tourists it hopes to attract with its 100% Pure campaign that more than a third of Auckland’s beaches fail water quality checks and are closed for swimming

    ignored the closing of the beaches, this time as extremely high concentrations of the bacteria enterococci are identified
    ignored Ministerial conflicts of interest, this time involving John Key who is identified as shareholder in the Bank Of America which is backing mining in New Zealand and Australia . . . even when more information is made available . . . and more information . . . and more information

    pressed on with additional policies that move away from the protection of the environment towards exploitation

    limited , as part of its effort to cash-in on the environment, access to some of New Zealand’s most endangered species and isolated islands only to those who those who contribute financially displacing conservation staff and scientists

    ignored a World Wildlife Fund report, Beyond Rio, which makes clear New Zealand now risks some of the highest rates of biodiversity loss on Earth unless urgent action is taken

    continued to give confidence to Fonterra director Colin Armer being convicted and fined $72,000 for “fouling” a Bay of Plenty waterway after a judge found he could have prevented the pollution were it not for his “systemic” failure to monitor what was happening on his company’s farm

    lied when it said New Zealand has the environmental laws and regulations to control oil and gas development on the continental shelf because there is no equivalent of the Resource Management Act to control oil and gas activity outside of the territorial sea (12 nautical miles offshore).
    lied when it had already agreed coastal plans to allow marine farming consent holders in the Waikato and Marlborough to move from mussel farming to finfish farming without considering the additional environmental effects imposed

    placed short-term business interests ahead of long-term consequences to New Zealand’s environment, particularly biodiversity by allowing damage in one area on the condition that it be “off set” in another creating a dangerous precedent in that such a provisin means that one part of biodiversity can be wrecked in return for “protecting” an area that was never under threat anyway.

    promoted proposals that include include a plant producing about 2 billion litres of diesel per year, using at least 12 million tonnes of lignite per year and another producing 3 billion litres using 12-17 million tonnes of lignite annually. A further project would produce by 2016 1.2 tonnes of the nitrogenous fertiliser, urea, using 2 million tonnes of lignite annually

    tried to hide the fact that its Department of Conservation was ordered to permit Meridian to to build a damn on the Mohikinui River despite its position that “the public conservation land within the Mokihinui River has such high value that it is most unlikely to be suitable for exchange at all

    continued to ignore the slow-motion extinction of Maui’s dolphins:

    gone into hiding after it was discovered that significant cuts to the Ministry for the Environment in the 2012 Budget are not publicly detailed or announced

    continued to ignore its international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to “protect and preserve” the martime environment

    refused in the face of repeated calls to set national standards for water quality despite mounting evidence of the need to do so

    further weakened protection for wild rivers in Canterbury with the ECan Act and indicates that further weakening provisions will follow.

    rubber stamped a motorway project with no economic benefit and likely to waste over $1 billion of tax payers’ funds.

    been forced to admit that it has spent $1.67 million in a survey of minerals on the West Coast of New Zealand, including within the Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand world heritage area. Te Wahipounamu is one of 183 natural heritage

    secretly ordered that world heritage sites on the West Coast be surveyed as part of a $3 million mineral study spanning more than 16,000 square kilometres. The survey was only puiblicy revealed after Green MP Catherine Delahunty asked for details in a parliamentary question

    appointed thoroughtly unsuitable but politically useful members to the Establishment Board for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    facilitated by neglect the employment of inexperienced managers, making poor policy decisions resulting in additional threats to New Zealand’s biosecurity.

    under resourced New Zealand’s biosecurity system to such an extent that it is fundamentally flawed preventing any way of identifying how the Kiwifruit killer virus got into New Zealand and, thus, no way of preventing it from happening again.

    handed over a further $80 million to business and farmers to subsidise their pollution.

    ignored its own guidelines to provide consent the Milford Dart tunnel and Fiordland Link Experience which would otherwise never have been granted.

    appointed an advisory group to recommend a significant rewrite of the Resource Management Act to remove references to the protection of coastal areas, wetlands, lakes and rivers and indigenous flora and fauna.

    splashed tax payer cash around its consultants considering conservation and environmental protection of the Mackenze Basin and Waitaki Valley

    further weakened the resource consent process for foreign-owned mining companies,

    locked New Zealanders out of the consultation process on the alloting of areas being made available for resource exploration.

    ignored the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and scrapped government grants for solar water heating

    used the Navy along with police and Crown Law to bully environmental protesters in a legal case they knew could not be won

    put 23 massive blocks of deep and wild waters east of Wellington and Dunedin on the international market for exploratory oil drilling

    allowed its own consultants do a u-turn on the economic benefits of additional roading and then handed them a $200 million contract for further consultation work

    Supported the Department of Conservation into granting foreign-owned multinational mining company OceanaGold permission to destroy 55 hectares of beech forest so as to extend its Reefton mine to a total 81 hectares without public notification

    envouraged the Minerals Industry Association to bully local authorities to step aside from what little environmental protections they are able to impose

    reduced its environment agencies to little more than a ramshackle collection of underfunded and ineffective small back offices with no direction or policy for dealing with the vast marine resources of New Zealand

    eroded New Zealand’s bio-security to such an extent that Christchurch Airport is found to have failed at a basic level

    removed the directive terms “protect”, “preserve”, “maintain” and “enhance” from the RMA fundamentally weakening the legislation and deliberately introducing confusion as to its overall intent.

    futher ensured that New Zealand tax payers continue to subsidise 95% of big polluters’ emissions

    drastically reduced the size of proposed marine reserves off the West Coast so much so that one advocate says they are “an insult” to those who spent years trying to establish them

    instructed its delegates at the world’s largest conservation conference , the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s conference in Korea, to oppose any further measures to protect Maui and Hector dolphins in defiance of 117 other countries and 460 environmental organisations requesting New Zealand ban gill and trawl nets in waters up to 100 metres deep

    lied about the environmental impact of fraking

    refused to enforce its own legislation to protect the environment

    ignored concerns about fracking which has seen the practise banned around the world

    twisted the knife by exploiting news of redundancies at Solid Energy in a statement which claims opponents to a proposed mine are “getting in the way of” potential jobs as part of an effort to discourage legal action

    changed to law allowing a consideration of the effects on climate change to allow Australian-owned mining company Bathurst Resources (also known as Buller Coal) to build a 200-hectare open-cast coal mine on the plateau and excavate 80 million tonnes of coal that, when burnt, will release about 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

    further ensured the extinction of New Zealand sea lions by failing to extend necessary fishing restrictions

    failed to protect the New Zealand marine environment and ignored international obligation with its Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf Act oil drilling legislation

    continued to obfuscate and dither while More than half of monitored recreational sites on our rivers are declared unsafe for swimming

    ignored its own scientific evidence and advice from its own authorities to lock-in tax payer funding of business which pollutes New Zealand’s air

    refused to enforce its own laws in respect to water pollution

    changed the law to make it more difficult to build a deck on a house than it is to drill for oil

    avoided its international obligations “to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their long-term sustainable use” while its fishers carry on with the barbaric practise of shark finning.

    ignored public support for conservation by ordering another round of cuts to the Department of Conservation.

    stood alone at the world’s largest conservation summit and voted against more protection for species at risk

    further gutted environmental protection legislation to speed up the building consent process for developers

    vancelled without notice the five-yearly State of the Environment report put together by the Ministry of the Environment, the report is the largest stock-take of trends relating to land, water, air, plants and animals

    abandoned the Kyoto agreement completely

    allowed its on lobbyist to publicly attack a prominent New Zealand scientist for speaking truth about New Zealand’s environment in an effort to silence the accurate reporting of scientific evidence

    attracted international mockery for the fact that the pristine landscape featured in The Hobbit and used as the basis for the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign as fantastical as dragons and wizards

    remained “relaxed” about the fact that New Zealand is now the 18th worst out of 189 nations when it came to preserving its natural environment

    pulled out of Kyoto just weeks after the OECD reports that global greenhouse gas emissions could rise 50 per cent by 2050 without more ambitious climate policies, as fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix

    laughed when New Zealand received two “Fossil of the Day” – first-equal and second place – awards on the first day of international climate talks in Doha, Qatar

    used Hobbiton – Waikato – as the centrepiece of its 100% Pure campaign when the area is the country’s major source of pollution to the Hauraki Gulf

    handed over responsibility for the monitoring and reporting of fraking activity , for which it has inadequate legal protections, to the foreign-owned multi-nationals which are carrying out that activity thus totally ignoring its own Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

    lied, obfuscated and used government resources to attack and undermined local authority plans to improve water quality
    sanctioned an unnamed foreign-owned multinational to go ahead with a major road through pristine South Island National Parks

    employed disingenuous gobbledeegook to defend its decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Agreement.

    turned a deaf ear to calls for New Zealand to assist pacfic island nations by taking a stronger position on climate change

    displayed contempt for existing agreements and Environment Case law by approving new salmon farms in recreational areas within the Marlborough Sounds

    refused to investigate the impact on increasing use of neonicotinoid pesticides which is likely to be a major contributor to the sudden and dramatic decline (aka colony collapse disorder) of the New Zealand honey bee population, National Ltd™ also refused to consider the development of a strategy to protect what is left of the honey bee population.

    lied about its commitment to addressing climate change

    failed to monitor Sanford Ltd’s pollution resulting in an international embarrassment

    allowed foreign-owned multinationals to proceed with oil exploration without the financial resources available to mitigate any environmental damage should it occur

    been caught out ignoring its own advice on implementing environmental monitoring procedures

    used changes to the Resource Management Act to remove local authorty’s rights and planning for the protection of trees

    commenced removing local authority’s rights to plan for housing

    allowed more than 53 percent of Canterbury’s major water users to avoid having meters installed

    mixed the cooperative model of climate change negotiations with the competitive model used in trade negotiations, thus putting outcomes in both areas a risk

    ducked questions asking for evidence as to the safety of genetically engineered food

    ignored the fact that New Zealand carbon credits are no longer the unit of choice in the New Zealand’s own carbon market. Figures from the official Emission Unit Registry show that emitters who initially supported NZUs are now using a range of international units to meet their carbon obligations under the Emissions Trading Scheme

    used highly dodgy figures in calculating the reduction New Zealand’s net carbon emissions by including trees due to be harvested in the next few years

    ignored news that New Zealand’s first glyphosate resistant weed has been found and the resulting call for the use of glyphosate (Monsanto’s “Roundup”) to cease

    stayed silent for five months after being advised that Fonterra’s milk product were contaminated with dicyandiamide (DCD) and now face an international backlash.

    set no maximum level of contamination of dicyandiamide (DCD) (AKA cyanoguanidine) in milk products for consumption by New Zealanders, stood silent while the farming industry says the withdrawal of dicyandiamide (DCD) will result in yet more pollution of New Zealand’s waterways

    stood silent as NIWA announced findings of research which showed 20 per cent of marine life in the Milford Sounds port area could be killed off as a result of copper leaching from anti-fouling paints on boat hulls

    secretly without consultation and any right of appeal used a short-term draconian law to ammend a water conservation order for the Rakaia River

    been locked out of the international carbon market because of its trucculent attitude

    continued in its efforts to eliminate tree protection of any kind in Auckland and elsewhere

    stood alone as the only developed country not to have tabled an unconditional single number target as part of the international climate change negotiations

    cut funding into research about protecting the last remaining giant kauri

    continued to endanger the 100% Pure brand

    been unable to explain how genetically engineered mould escaped from Massey University laboratories and remains unable or unwilling to provide further information

    introduced foreign species without a consideration of the risk to human health

    allowed oil companies to ignore breaches of resource consent and set neihhbours against neighbours

    obfuscated on the negative economic benefits of major raod works

    obfuscated on the level of cuts to the Department of Conservation

    disengaged the previously widely held concept of environmental protection from any consideration of economic development

    sacked 140 staff at the Department of Conservation

    inserted last minute changes to environmental legislation that were not announced and, thus, not considered during public submissions and earlier readings of Bills.

    lied about the practise of fracking going on in New Zealand for the past 30 years

    funded its Economic Development Ministry’s membership of the Coal Association lobby group

    staged a consultation process on the restructuring for the Department of Conservation and then completely ignored any submissions generated

    proposed handing over recreational paua gathering areas to commercial operators

    opened a further 190,000 square kilometers of New Zealand’s coastal waters for oil exploration

    allowed the Minister of Energy’s own political adviser to make public calls for the boycotting of the environmental iniative Earth House

    held secret meetings with oil company executives known international as irresponsible and mendacious

    exposed Auckland beaches to the unmonitored risk of oil exploration by companies unable to afford any clean up operations if required

    breached international law and used parliamentary urgency and ignored international guidelines to rush through legislation depriving New Zealanders of the right to protest against drilling for oil within 350 miles if New Zealand coast

    given permission for oil drilling to take place over earthquake ridden continental plate fault lines just off shore from Wellington

    stood idle while water quality used by households continyes to worsen

    ensured that the MacKenzie Basin is turned from a conservation estate into a development area

    used parliamentary urgency to avoid public notification, consultation and/or consideration of a law allowing companies with no experience nor financial resources to drill for oil on earthquake-ridden fault lines lying in New Zealand coastal waters

    here would be significant and irreversible adverse effects on the conservation values and overall ecological integrity of the application area and the Denniston Plateau should the proposed activity be approved”?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0903/S00452.htm <— back up on Chris Bishop

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10869801 <— irony much

    It is disgusting that if you are a sportsperson you get no conviction for an offence that endangered peoples lives because it might affect their ability to play overseas, but an actress convicted for taking part in an environmental protest gets no such consideration.









    . . . but wait, there's more.

  8. ak 8

    Blip you’re a genius. And thus a target. Look after yourself brother, and thank you so much.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    As Bill and others have suggested, this attempt will be another total fail unless it includes massive restructuring of the current political-economic-monetary norms.

    And since TPTB won’t be interested in any change which fundamentally upsets the status quo (although some cosmetic initiatives will be allowed to give the illusion of ‘progress’), the march over the cliff will continue on.

    • @ C.V

      It is my understanding that TPTB, the powers that be, are the people with the type and amount of resources that Mr Branson has, and they are influential due to their incessant requirement of ‘protecting’ all they have, which is achieved by adversely affecting enlightened government policy by professional lobbying.

      Therefore, if a group of these people get together in order to try and change their ways, then shouldn’t there be some acknowledgement that this could work?

      I accept that it could simply be another business rouse, however, if this movement was genuine, it COULD positively shift the quagmire we are now in.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Branson is a player in that league, yes. He is the kind of guy who will get into a Bilderburg meeting, and be able to meet with any head of state around the world. However this is a world now controlled by investment bankers, central bankers, the energy cartel and the military industrial complex. Its not hard for a corporation even as big as Virgin to be put through hard times by a credit agency downgrade and bankers withdrawing credit. That’s how powerful those people are: they can crush a corporation, they can crush a sovereign state.

        Can Branson do a heap of good and help create some worthy initiatives and safe harbours? Absolutely. The question to me: can he change a political economy heavily based on shareholders and investment funds seeking ever higher yields at whatever environmental and social costs, especially if those costs are far away from them in countries like NZ, Ireland and Bangladesh? Of that I’m much less sure.

        I’ll pose a simpler real problem – what would it take to permanently remove 100,000 cars from Auckland roads and shut down Huntly within 36 months. If we can’t even picture how to do that…we’re not going to have much luck with the bigger climate change picture even with ‘white knights’ swooping in to help.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.2

        Reply in moderation (Ms) BL

        • blue leopard

          Ah Cheers CV,

          I guess the only way that a player such as Branson could address the very real problem that you raise is by bypassing the scoundrels in question (banksters)…whether that is actually possible I have no idea, for I do not have the annoyance of having to shift large sums of money from one part of the planet to another….(not having any)

          Thanks for your response CV, you have given me food for thought and I think you make a very good point.

          …there must be a way though…we just need to find it….

  10. captain hook 10

    the thing I cant stand is the notion that thousands of people with money can go punching holes in the ozone layer just so they can come back and put themselves one up against everyone else who can live their lives without compromising the environment.

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