View of NZ in 2050 wins award
CULTURE AND CAPITAL DAY REPORTER
Renewable energy, environmental protection and investment in people: The future of New Zealand is looking bright.
Eighteen-year-old Stephen Lines' vision of the country in 2050 has won the Massey University and Westpac competition Future U.
The year 13 Hutt International Boys' College student predicted the country would be running 100 per cent on renewable energy and helping to feed the world's nine billion people through increased agriculture and food production.
The transition from an oil-based economy to a sustainable one would present dark times globally, but New Zealand would come out better for it, he said.
Investment in roads would cease and instead public transport would play a greater part in our lives.
And while we could not keep up with the manufacturing capabilities of China or the mineral resources of Australia, New Zealand would increase investment in people, which would help to create a talent and education-based society, he said.
"Our biggest export at the moment happens to be talent. We have to keep talent here and develop business here."
New Zealand would continue to be a multicultural society, and relations, particularly between Maori and Pakeha, would improve, he said.
"New Zealanders as a whole aren't going to change. We're going to continue to be a nation that's fundamentally different to the rest of the world, in that we stand up for what we believe in."
Stephen said the Government was moving in the right direction in some ways, such as planning to use the profits from state-owned asset sales on education and investing in the future.
The country needed to invest more into researching renewable energy sources and public transport, he said.
Stephen was one of 12 national finalists for the Future U competition. All shared an optimistic view of the future.
"Events like these allow youth to be able to voice their opinions. The youth are looking optimistically at the future, which is quite important."
Stephen won a Massey Scholarship to the value of $10,000 and $1000 in cash from Westpac to use towards study and will give the opening address at the It's Our Future – the new New Zealand Forum, in December.
The forum brings together international and national thought leaders to discuss a vision for a successful New Zealand.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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