'Green extreme' should be replaced, says Morgan

MATT STEWART
Last updated 05:00 18/06/2012
Gareth Morgan
SEEING GREEN: Gareth Morgan says recycling bins 'seem to be our most telling advance'.

Related Links

New Zealand too slow on green growth

Relevant offers

Politics

Cost of November earthquakes estimated at half a billion dollars Labour questions whether Government will get racing legislation passed before election Bringing Jack home: Battle for repatriation almost over Kiwis reassured one year 'pathway to citizenship' in Australia remains How record migration affects traffic, schools, housing and the economy in New Zealand The 9th Floor: Jenny Shipley, New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister Deputy mayor still out of action after stroke MPs blast Gareth Morgan's cannabis decriminalisation call Ann Brower: For the sake of our high country, stop tenure review McCully - the private but international face of the John Key Government

Philanthropist Gareth Morgan has slated New Zealand's "green extreme" for being anti-economic development and thwarting the mainstreaming of conservation.

At the annual Forest & Bird conference in Wellington at the weekend, he said New Zealanders were preoccupied with jobs and families, and conservation and the environment were only "occasional visitors into that space".

"Recycling bins seem to be our most telling advance," he said.

The multimillionaire economist railed against "green-necks", "tub thumpers" and "tree huggers", and said political parties championing conservation must be willing to form coalitions "otherwise they're rightly seen as just lefty loonies".

Dr Morgan also questioned the Green Party's refusal to go into coalition with National. "What is that about? Is this a party concerned with conservation or a far-Left group using conservation as a Trojan horse for another agenda? Does it still cling to the anachronism that economic growth is not compatible with conservation?"

Green MP Eugenie Sage said the party was not using conservation as a Trojan horse.

Enhancing the environment was a huge opportunity to improve New Zealand's economic competitiveness and create jobs and green growth, she said.

"It's an opportunity, not a cost. We can have a resilient economy that protects our natural environment, creates well-paying jobs and shares our prosperity fairly.

"Retaining our state energy companies and redirecting them to get a slice of the trillion-dollar global market in clean-tech, low-carbon goods and services and renewable energy development would help do that," she said.

Dr Morgan advocated a move to "considered conservation" as a "successor to the green extreme".

Forest & Bird president Andrew Cutler said: "The stereotype that we always oppose developments and industry is out of date and just plain wrong. We recognise that working with industry and business is part of the answer to our conservation crisis."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content