web analytics

What New Zealanders are thinking about climate change

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, August 3rd, 2022 - 29 comments
Categories: activism, climate change - Tags: ,

This recently released Ipsos poll was heartening, New Zealanders’ Attitudes & Behaviours Towards Climate Change 2022 (PDF).

Conducted in late May, it asked questions about climate change in the context of the global situation,

Over two thirds of people globally are concerned about the impacts of climate change, both in their own countries and around the world. New Zealanders are the most concerned about the impact of climate change seen globally compared to people in other countries around the world.

There is an increased level of awareness of the urgency of the climate crisis. Compared to last year, significantly more New Zealanders recognise that individuals, businesses and government need to act now.

When asked if they were concerned or not concerned about “the impacts of climate change that are already being seen in your country”, 76% of New Zealanders said they are concerned. 81% are concerned about impacts already being seen in other countries.

Rod Oram, in Newsroom talking about the New Zealand political landscape regarding climate action, said this,

Here are three measures of the passion and urgency Kiwi respondents expressed in the survey:

– 65 percent said if the government does not act now to combat climate change, it will be failing the people of New Zealand (up from 57 percent last year)

– 70 percent said if businesses do not act now, they will be failing their employees and customers (up from 60 percent in 2021)

– 73 percent said if individuals do not act now, we will be failing future generations (up from 62 percent)

I’m highlighting these because the numbers have increased since 2021, and are only going increase further as we experience more extreme weather events in New Zealand and globally and people see the need for urgent action.

And that means we are closer to a sociopolitical tipping point that might see things change fast.

Tipping points are the confluence of events that makes sudden or fast change possible. With climate action this means we could start voting for strong climate-progressive governments, or demand improvement of current public transport systems, or come together in communities and implement potent change strategies locally. We might see the kinds of protest and activist movements arising that complement the work being done in the mainstream, pushing the rate of change faster.

One example is how the pandemic has change attitudes towards tourism. We have slow but steady shifts whereby people in high tourism areas are pushing more strongly now for sustainable tourism models rather than a return to the BAU mass, industrial tourism that is anti-resilient, causes climate pollution and undermines local workers through wage suppression and poor or no work agreements.

What if that steady change increases and people start building new models, and then we have another event that limits our capacity to receive large overseas visitor numbers? A large quake would do it. Another pandemic. Another sharp increase in fuel pricing and/or unavailability. At which point local communities may just go fuck it, we need a stable economy and jobs, and do the mahi to make the transition.

The trick about tipping points is you want them to tip in the desired direction. We want rapid change towards government and business action, as well as society adopting regenerative, life affirming approaches to climate. Rather than tipping towards authoritarian governments with the need for a sense of security outweighing action and instead imposing control and retrenching narratives and actions.

The other trick is being prepared for when they happen so we have more control over which way things tip.

In New Zealand we already have a solid institutional foundation for climate action. Rod Oram again,

…we have an overarching legislative framework (the Zero Carbon Act), the first three carbon budgets for the nation (each successively smaller than its predecessor out to 2035), an independent statutory authority to advise and evaluate (the Climate Change Commission) and a so-far skeletal strategic framework for climate action by sectors (the Emissions Reduction Plan).

What we need now is people who are committed to action to be in positions of power, be that government, local government, NGOs, Marae, work places, our own families and social groups.

The potential is for New Zealand to be a world leader on regenerative societal change.

Less good are the bits in the survey about what we are willing to change personally. Low willingness to change behaviours around things like driving, flying and meat consumption isn’t a surprise. Some of this is lack of opportunity: how much does lack of good public transport lead to people saying they won’t change that in the coming year?

And how much is people still believing that change must be led by government? But I also have to wonder how much is people feeling powerless and not seeing that personal change makes a difference.

What we need now are two intertwined narratives that give people clear, proactive pathways for change that will work in their lives: stories of how we can change (all of us), and stories of how things can work out well.

29 comments on “What New Zealanders are thinking about climate change ”

  1. roy cartland 1

    how much does lack of good public transport lead to people saying they won’t change that in the coming year?

    This is an excellent point. I'm ready to change, in a huge way if necessary (and it is necessary), but I can't do it alone. And that wouldn't make much difference now anyway.

    Scrap air travel and massively ramp up rail? Eliminate freight trucks -> rail? Replace animal meats with newer plant based protein? Vastly improve public transport and ban unnecessary cars from cities? Replace farmland with forests and wetlands?

    • Maurice 1.1

      The elephant in the room is the question of how much compulsion may be needed to achieve those ends and just what level of push back will there be?

    • Robert Guyton 1.2

      Unless society undergoes some sort of mass-epiphany in response to deteriorating conditions, there will have to be compulsion to change. The success of any one country's compulsive action will depend upon that of every other country – that is, a global response. The thought of a global authority setting rules, terrifies most people. The thought of the piecemeal approach we are taking presently and the outcome of that approach, should terrify them more 🙂

      • roy cartland 1.2.1

        So that's why some say the media <- advertising <- the capital system is the fly in the ointment of progress. People aren't going to have that epiphany among all the racket of junk info flowing at them. Advertising demands the noise from the media; capitalism demands advertising (including ridiculous celebrity worship, sports sponsorship, etc).

      • weka 1.2.2

        Here's another potential pathway. Key countries lead strongly on transition and show the way and this makes it easier for another set of key countries to do the same. Twenty Green MPs and more Māori Party MPs after the election in 2023, having the power to enable a Labour government, might be a game changer.

      • pat 1.2.3

        Who is that global authority?

    • kejo 1.3

      We need a larger mindshift than that. I recently came across this wee gem, 'The Great Simplification' a 30 minute youtube movie beautifully produced by Nate Hagens. Dont know if anybody else has seeen it ? regards, Keith

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    A few more powerful storms should do the trick!

    • weka 2.1

      every little bit helps.

    • Scud 2.2

      Well there are a few nasty storms head your way atm & they are tearing through the Great Australia Bright as it left a mess in WA.

      Yes I believe a few jolly bad storms are needed to wake everyone up, but there is going to be a few possible human casualties along the way as well.

  3. pat 3

    The real problems occur when the populace are impacted…and a poll dosnt impact.

    It is all too easy to say "I am concerned about climate change" but does that mean I will change my behaviours in order to address it?…to date the answer is no….writ large.

    • Incognito 3.1

      You didn’t read the Post, did you?

      People already see the impacts of climate change and this has an impact on their opinions and concerns about climate change. The poll takes a snapshot and although it can have some influence on public opinion, its primary objective is not to have an impact as such on what and whom it is measuring.

      • pat 3.1.1

        Unfortunately I did read the post Incognito….and I stand by my comment.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          Well, in that case, you seem to think that the objective of the poll was to influence while I think it was to measure opinion and influence of observed impacts of climate change on those opinions. One would hope that the results of the poll will be used in a wise way.

  4. peter sim 4

    Transport, both nationally and internationally has to be the biggest emitter of CO2.

    Internal combustion engines emit enough CO2 daily to outstrip many many volcanic eruptions.

    Manufacturing alternative energy sourced power units will require the us of existing CO2 emitting infrastructure.

    OBTW dont forget sewage ponds.

    Easy answers anybody?

    • weka 4.1

      system and supported behavioural change. We waste a lot of energy. And we can learn how to be less dependent on cars. We might have to travel less, but this might be good for people that spend a lot of time in a car getting to or from work, or driving kids everywhere. Easier to see for those of us that grew up in a time when there was less driving.

    • DB Brown 4.2

      Cap the ponds and use the gas. They are just big bio-digestors after all. They're not greatly profitable, but with the power they'll generate over time they can pay for themselves. I think country calendar featured some at some point. There's been one in Lincoln for some time.

      But that pales in comparison to India that has hundreds of thousands of small-medium scale bio-digestors so that's where you'd send a pack of clever types to learn tricks and report back instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

      Sure you're still emitting CO2 if you burn methane from bio-digestors, but it's a lot better that methane.

      I reckon we use existing power infrastructure to build renewable power infrastructure till we all got batteries and solar and wind out the yazoo. Clearly, that won't be that simple. My thinking is, if we've got a limited amount of dirty power to do things before we reach too many tipping points – then we should make creating clean power generation our number one priority, so we then have clean power to keep making more clean power.

  5. peter sim 5

    Our manufacturing and transport systems rely very heavilyon CO2 emitting infrastructure.

    To replace the existing CO2 emitting energy sources in transport and manufacturing wil require the use of existing technology. A puppy chasing its tail.

    How are tourists going anywhere? Sailing ships, horse and cart?

  6. barry 6

    We are still building car-dependent houses that lock us into increasing emissions regardless of people's wishes to do something to lower them.

    Behaviour wont change until infrastructure does.

    • weka 6.1

      we can put in interim PT now, with housing just the way it is. I agree that we should be designing communities completely differently.

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Awards support Pacific women
    I am honoured to support the 2022 Women in Governance Awards, celebrating governance leaders, directors, change-makers, and rising stars in the community, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. For the second consecutive year, MPP is proudly sponsoring the Pacific Governance Leader category, recognising Pacific women in governance and presented to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
    Today Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash turned the sod for the new Whakatāne Commercial Boat Harbour, cut the ribbon for the revitalised Whakatāne Wharf, and inspected work underway to develop the old Whakatāne Army Hall into a visitor centre, all of which are part of the $36.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government determined to get a better deal for consumers
    New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies and while the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, a Commerce Commission review finds that  changes are needed to make it more competitive. “New Zealand is facing the same global cost of living and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government exceeds Mana in Mahi target
    Mana in Mahi reaches a milestone surpassing 5,000 participants 75 per cent of participants who had been on a benefit for two or more years haven’t gone back onto a benefit 89 per cent who have a training pathway are working towards a qualification at NZQA level 3 or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government opens new research and innovation hub
    The Government has invested $7.7 million in a research innovation hub which was officially opened today by Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Dr Ayesha Verrall. The new facility named Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Labs comprises 560 square metres of new laboratory space for research staff and is based at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Unemployment remains low and wages rise despite volatile global environment
    Unemployment has remained near record lows thanks to the Government’s economic plan to support households and businesses through the challenging global environment, resulting in more people in work and wages rising. Stats NZ figures show the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in the June quarter, with 96,000 people classed out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • First ever climate adaptation plan lays foundations for resilient communities
    Action to address the risks identified in the 2020 climate change risk assessment, protecting lives, livelihoods, homes, businesses and infrastructure A joined up approach that will support community-based adaptation with national policies and legislation Providing all New Zealanders with information about local climate risks via a new online data ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health and addiction services making a difference for Māori
    Māori with mental health and addiction challenges have easier access to care thanks to twenty-nine Kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services across Aotearoa, Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says. “Labour is the first government to take mental health seriously for all New Zealanders. We know that Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Data and Statistics Bill Passes its Third Reading
    A Bill which updates New Zealand’s statistics legislation for the 21st century has passed its third and final reading today, Minister of Statistics David Clark said. The Data and Statistics Act replaces the Statistics Act, which has been in effect since 1975. “In the last few decades, national data and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further moves to improve the lives of disabled people
    The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament today, marking a significant milestone to improve the lives of disabled people. “The Bill aims to address accessibility barriers that prevent disabled people, tāngata whaikaha and their whānau, and others with accessibility needs from living independently,” said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit
    Kia ora koutou, da jia hao It’s great to be back at this year’s China Business Summit. I would first like to acknowledge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, His Excellency Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, and parliamentary colleagues both current and former the Right Honourable Winston Peters, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further changes to CCCFA Regulations will improve safe access to credit
    Narrowing the expenses considered by lenders Relaxing the assumptions that lenders were required to make about credit cards and buy-now pay-later schemes. Helping make debt refinancing or debt consolidation more accessible if appropriate for borrowers The Government is clarifying the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (CCCFA) Regulations, to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government prioritises firearm prohibition orders to reduce gun harm
    The Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill will be passed through all remaining stages by the end of next week, Police Minister Chris Hipkins said. The Justice Select Committee has received public feedback and finalised its report more quickly than planned. It reported back to the House on Friday.  “The Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National plan to protect kauri commences
    The Government has stepped up activity to protect kauri, with a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) coming into effect today, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister James Shaw said. “We have a duty to ensure this magnificent species endures for future generations and also for the health of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for Samoa’s Climate Change Plan and rebuild of Savalalo Market
     Prime Minister Ardern met with members of Samoa’s Cabinet in Apia, today, announcing the launch of a new climate change partnership and confirming support for the rebuild of the capital’s main market, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reconnecting with ASEAN and Malaysia
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for the Indo-Pacific region today for talks on security and economic issues at meetings of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, and during bilateral engagements in Malaysia. “Engaging in person with our regional partners is a key part of our reconnecting strategy as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement to the 2022 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    United Nations Headquarters, New York City  Thank you, Mr President. Ngā mihi ki a koutou. I extend my warm congratulations to you and assure you of the full cooperation of the New Zealand delegation. I will get right to it. In spite of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 10,000 more permanent public homes added under the Labour Government
    A major milestone of 10,037 additional public homes has been achieved since Labour came into office, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods confirmed today. “It’s extremely satisfying and a testament to our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need public housing, that we have delivered these warm, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Sanctions on Russian armed forces and weapons manufacturers
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has announced further sanctions on the armed forces and military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation. “President Putin and the Russian military are responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which is a grave breach of fundamental international law,” Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government plan to boost health workers
    Easing the process for overseas nurses and provision of up to $10,000 in financial support for international nurses for NZ registration costs. Provide for the costs of reregistration for New Zealand nurses who want to return to work. Covering international doctors’ salaries during their six-week clinical induction courses and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Today marks one year since Government’s Dawn Raids apology
    A new  future between Pacific Aotearoa and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is the essence of a Dawn Raids Apology anniversary event in Auckland this month, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. One year ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PM Speech to China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tuia ngā waka, Tuia ngā wawata, Tuia ngā hou-kura Let us bind our connection, let us bind our vision, let us bind our shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. This year marks a significant milestone in the New Zealand – China relationship.   Fifty years ago – 1972 – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cook Islands Language Week will close generational gap
    It’s Cook Islands Language week and the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio wants the community to focus on what it means to keep the language alive across the generations. “Our Cook Islands community in Aotearoa have decided to focus on the same theme as last years; ‘ Ātuitui’ia ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of Living support payment to reach over 2 million New Zealanders
    From 1 August an estimated 2.1 million New Zealanders will be eligible to receive the first targeted Cost of Living Payment as part of the Government’s plan to help soften the impact of rising global inflationary pressures affecting New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. The payments will see eligible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s border fully open to visitors and students
    · New Zealand’s international border opens to all visitors, including from non-visa waiver countries, and international students from 11:59PM, 31 July 2022. · Cruise ships and recreational yachts able to arrive at New Zealand ports. This evening marks the final step in the Government’s reconnecting plan, with visitors from non-visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government sets out plan to eliminate HIV transmission in New Zealand
    New Action Plan to eliminate HIV transmission released for consultation today $18 million Budget 2022 boost Key measures to achieve elimination include increasing prevention and testing, improving access to care and treatment and addressing stigma The Government has today released its plan to eliminate the transmission of HIV in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government support lifts income for beneficiaries
    A report released today shows Government support has lifted incomes for Beneficiaries by 40 percent over and above inflation since 2018. “This is the first time this data set has been collected, and it clearly shows Government action is having an impact,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “This Government made a commitment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori Housing: Urban development underway in Mt Wellington
    Thirty new warm, safe and affordable apartments to be delivered by Tauhara North No 2 Trust in Tāmaki Makaurau Delivered through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga programme, jointly delivered by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Allocation of the apartments will be prioritised to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Phil Twyford to attend Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting
    Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Twyford will lead Aotearoa New Zealand’s delegation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations in New York next week. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of advocating for a world free of nuclear weapons,” Phil Twyford said. “The NPT has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Construction Sector Accord – launch of Transformation Plan 2022-2025
      I am delighted to join you today for the launch of the Construction Sector Accord Transformation Plan 2022-2025. I would like to acknowledge my colleagues – the other Accord Ministers, the Accord governance and sector leadership, the CEOs of Government agencies, and leaders from the construction sector. The construction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work underway to make Wairarapa roads safer
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by the Mayors of Carterton and Masterton, local Iwi and members of the Wairarapa community to turn the first sod on a package of crucial safety improvements for State Highway 2 in Wairarapa. “The work to improve safety on this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps taken to deliver Milford Opportunities Project
    The board to take the Milford Opportunities Project (MOP) forward has been announced by Minister of Conservation Poto Williams today.  “The Milford Opportunities Project is a once in a generation chance to reshape the gateway to Milford Sound Piopiotahi and redesign our transport infrastructure to benefit locals, visitors, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Construction Sector Transformation Plan to accelerate change in industry
    A new three year plan to transform the construction industry into a high-performing sector with increased productivity, diversity and innovation has been unveiled by the Minister for Building and Construction Dr Megan Woods and Accord Steering group this morning. As lead minister for the Construction Sector Accord, Dr Woods told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More counsellors to boost mental health workforce
    For the first time counsellors will be able to become accredited to work in publicly funded clinical roles to support the mental wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Government and the board of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) have developed a new opt-in accreditation pathway so NZCA members can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kua waitohua he Whakaaetanga Whakataunga ki a Ngāti Tara Tokanui – Deed of settlement signed ...
    Kua waitohua he Whakaaetanga Whakataunga i waenga i a Ngāti Tara Tokanui me te Karauna, te kī a te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, a Andrew Little. Ko Ngāti Tara Tokanui tētahi o ngā iwi 12 o Hauraki, ko te pokapū o tōna rohe whai pānga ko Paeroa, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Board to advise on upholding Treaty settlements in resource management system
    An advisory board has been established to help ensure existing Treaty settlements are upheld under the new resource management system. “The Government is committed to upholding Treaty settlements that intersect with the Resource Management Act as we move to a new system, and we are working with settled groups to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago