How green is Nelson?
Nelson-Tasman has long been known as a haven for greenies, but how much of that perception is reality?
A week ago, the popular Thinking Brunch, part of the Nelson Arts Festival Page and Blackmore Readers and Writers sessions, convened at the Granary Festival Cafe for its annual panel discussion. The topic this time was Economy vs. Environment. Environmentalist Craig Potton, Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dot Kettle, visiting writers Jim Salinger, Karen Healey, and Sir Alan Mark, and climate change expert Ralph Chapman described the generally gloomy future that our warming planet holds for plants, animals, and ourselves.
However, they also suggested that the Nelson Tasman region is an ideal place to become a green leader in New Zealand. But how? We’ve asked some of the panel to expand further on their ideas, and also opened up the question to other community leaders in Nelson.
Many respondents cited New Zealand’s widely-derided 100 % Pure campaign as greenwashing, and warned that ‘green’ is often nothing but an empty marketing term. You could hardly be classified as green, some said, if you still imported goods from China and sent your recyclables offshore for someone else deal with.
Others said people had to start somewhere, and suggested the people of our region commit to targets such as having the country’s lowest levels of carbon emissions, water wastage, plastic bag use, and food waste clogging our landfills. Or perhaps we should ensure every waterway is fenced, or try for the lowest number of cars per capita, or try to attract the most innovative and sustainable businesspeople, to improve life for all.
Perhaps we’d even get our scallop beds back.
Many excellent answers had to be left out of our print edition because of space, but we’re able to publish them in their entirety here.
1) What have been our region’s major conservation wins and losses?
Rachel Reese: “Wins: A growing cycle network and a very active community that is trapping pests and planting trees. Losses: Tasman Bay seafloor has lost its ability to support shellfish, including a $90m scallop industry.”
Richard Kempthorne: “Major wins: Friends of Flora and St Arnaud Mainland Island pest trapping, having and maintaining three national parks. Losses: Staff at DOC with recent restructure.”
Philip Woollaston: “The wins are often negative. For example, the Think Big nickel smelter and sugar refinery that were promoted but not built three decades ago. When finished, the Brook Waimarama sanctuary will be a big win for the region. Destruction of a once bountiful inshore fishery with massive scallop harvests and pair-trawling the coastline for snapper in the 1970s was a major loss.”
Richard Flatman (Neudorf): Having so many National Parks on our door step but not marketing them well enough
Dot Kettle: “I believe a major win is the growing sense of community ownership of and responsibility for enhancing our environment and the world we live in, and the leadership role we are seeing local businesses take, both in their own operations and through partnerships with others. A number of local businesses are leading the way in terms of energy (alternative fuels, energy efficiencies, LED lighting), green construction and renovation, ecological consumer products and sustainable agriculture. We need more than just Nelson 2060 to make our region sustainable, but it is heartening to see advocates for the environment and community working alongside researchers, business and local government to draw up a road map for a future.”
Gavin O’Donnell: “Wins: The establishment of three national parks and two marine reserves. Losses: Biodiversity from Tasman Bay.”
Judy Finn: “Wins: The Nelson lifestyle is pretty green-friendly. But public transport is an issue and our reliance on air travel.”
Craig Potton: “We have several large national parks that sequester carbon and protect biodiversity. Kahurangi is easily the most important harbouring the largest range of biodiversity of any area in all New Zealand. It’s a gem and needs much more pest control with 1080.”
Mike Ward: “The Nelson 2060 strategy, our biodiversity strategy, our clean air initiative, recent transport initiatives that doubled the frequency of buses and made Nelsonians New Zealand’s highest per-capita cycle commuters.”
Helen Campbell: “The creation by forward-thinking individuals/organisations of the three national parks. It is such a pity that the values of these are likely to be degraded by mountain biking, mining for minerals, degradation of the role of the Department of Conservation. The Farewell Spit Nature Reserve/RAMSAR, and two very small marine reserves. Losses: Degradation of the marine environment by the sh*t including sediment from inappropriate activities on the land, including forestry, that comes down the rivers, and continuing pressures in the marine environment from activities including dredging, scalloping, and non-filter aquaculture. Loss of our regional council; unitary authorities cannot be both the poachers and the gamekeepers. Loss of coastal margins/habitats and wetlands/habitats to draining and recreational pursuits. Inappropriate subdivision, particularly in coastal and rural areas [which] happens without the appropriate inrastructure e.g. schools, retail areas, waste and water services. Absolutely disgraceful “coastal protection” eyesores such as at Ruby Bay. I could go on.”
Judene Edgar: “Tasman has three national parks, and while a significant amount of work is undertaken to preserve and maintain our natural heritage, ecosystems and biodiversity, the Department of Conservation [DOC] has been historically underfunded, which stymies its ability to achieve its broad-ranging responsibilities of nearly a third of New Zealand’s land area. The Aorere Catchment Project is a great example of a community-led, collaborative project that used people’s skills in a positive and practical way that created real and sustained outcomes. It demonstrates the value of understanding the issues and taking ownership of our environmental practices and integrating them with business practices; and in this example led to enhanced water quality.’’
Grant Rosewarne: “Mussel farming in Golden Bay and Tasman Bay is acting as a very nice shelter for the scallop fishery and wild fish, that’s an unexpected conservation win. When I see foresty on hills which are too steep I do get concerned about runoff. In some places where terrain’s not suitable, it can can lead to silting of waterways and bays.”
Brian McGurk: “Wins include a much improved public transport system and the extension of additional cycleways and walkways. Losses include reduction in forest and tree cover resulting in erosion and silting up of waterways. Another is the spillover of sewage into natural waterways. The degradation and reduction in fish and shell fish in Tasman Bay is a worry.’’
Ian Barker: “The Maitai Dam providing a guaranteed water supply while enhancing the river was an obvious major win, but it was only built after overcoming concerted opposition from a sector of the community, which proved to be extremely financially costly for our citizens. The greatest loss has been the lost opportunity to harness the hydro (solar power) resources of our region. I believe it is possible and desirable to work in harmony with nature and provide win-win situations such as we see in the major South Island hydro schemes, where with a balanced approach nature flourishes and humankind enjoys hugely enhanced environments and benefits.’’
Nelson Environment Centre Staff: “Wins: Mokihinui River, Brook Sanctuary, Kids’ Edible Gardens, zero-waste schools, initiative to increase number of houses with solar, adoption of solar hot water scheme, energy efficiency audits in 38 Nelson region schools. Losses: Denniston mine, emasculation of DOC and the Emissions Trading Scheme.”
Clare Hadley: “The Nelson Biodiversity Forum, which brings together 24 groups and organisations to work collaboratively to improve biodiversity in the Nelson area. Ecofest is an annual reminder to live sustainably. One of the Council positions, the Eco Building Design Adviser, has shown hundreds of households how to reduce their costs by becoming more energy efficient at home. And of course the Nelson 2060 Strategy, our community vision for the next 50 years, is founded entirely on sustainability principles.”
Galen King: “I do think the bus upgrade is a step in the right direction and I’d like to see a much stronger focus on public transport as opposed to building more roads. But our relatively small population does make initiatives like this challenging to sustain.”
Neil Deans: “As well as some wonderful good examples like our national parks and national water conservation orders, wonderful recreational opportunities, some inspiring leadership over time like Perrine Moncrieff, and big improvement in air quality in Nelson (which we seem prepared now to reconsider!), we also have a few less-than-desirables: Mapua toxic waste dump, now fortunately cleaned up at taxpayer expense; the demise of our scallop fishery after some initially good results with re-seeding, probably due to harvest methods; and an unwillingness to come clean about other toxic sites in the region. We have also dried up a few rivers in recent years, at least one of which we want to try and fix. And we still have problems with weeds and pests and biodiversity issues in many places.’’
Maryan Street: “Our major conservation wins include the plethora of clever, renewable and value-adding technologies developing in our region. These businesses need investment to wean us off fossil fuels and add value to the wonderful primary produce we have in our region but which we frequently export without value added because of prices and overseas market demands. Our region’s future will lie in the combination of these clever technologies and our primary produce by maximising both the environment and the economic opportunities it affords. Our losses include the short-sighted mining obsession, especially on the Denniston plateau, but suggested for Dun Mountain as well.”
Nick Smith: “Nelson’s three national parks (Nelson Lakes, Abel Tasman and Kahurangi) and three marine reserves (Westhaven, Tonga Island and North Nelson) are major conservation assets. We should also be proud of our [quota] system for fisheries management, the shift by our forestry industry to sustainability and the far smarter use of pesticides by our horticultural industry. Air quality, home insulation, solar water installations and cycleways are other areas in which we’ve performed well, alongside efforts to address species loss with the likes of Project Janzsoon and the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary.”
Matt Lawrey: “Wins: Improved air quality, public transport, and predator control; more people on bikes; thousands of trees planted over recent years; more people getting into solar power; progress on the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary; the successful establishment of the Horoirangi Marine Reserve at The Glen and increased awareness of environmental issues. Losses: still too much pollution in our waterways, still too many single-passenger car commuters, reduced fish stocks in Tasman Bay and too many people blathering on about sustainability but then not actually doing anything to reduce their impact on the environment.”
2) How green are you?
Nelson Environment Centre Staff: “We have solar hot water and photovoltaic panels for electricity, we save rain water, compost all our food and garden waste, grow veggies, encourage staff to bike to work, buy eco-products, reduce waste, reuse everything possible and recycle what’s left, print on goos (good on one side) paper or double sided. We also run workshops and work with schools, businesses and the community about what they can do to be more sustainable.”
Rachel Reese: “I’ve got a high level of awareness but some room for improvement on actions. Work in progress. On the upside we’ve got a vege patch, compost, we recycle, we use Enjo to clean the house, and we try to buy local whenever we can.’’
Judene Edgar: “I try to consider the environmental consequences of my direct actions, however I do not go so far as to consider all indirect consequences such as having an awareness of the environmental practices of who and where I purchase products from and the carbon footprint created from purchasing imported products.’’
Grant Rosewarne: “Aquaculture now equals the world’s total wild catch. If we didn’t have aquaculture, we’d need two planets right now. At King Salmon we’re very proud that we meet WWF guidelines around salmon feed. At home, we try and walk everywhere and ride bikes, we only have one car, we separate waste. Eating vegetables, chicken or salmon are the most efficient production methods [of protein] around [and have] the lightest impact on the environment.”
Richard Kempthorne: “Looking after the environment is very important. I support economic growth while protecting the environment.”
Brian McGurk: “We try to reduce amount of waste leaving our property. Right into composting and recycling. We use energy-efficient equipment and lighting and I choose to drive a hybrid vehicle.’’
Galen King: “I’m certainly not as eco-conscious as I was in the past but I make an effort where I can by walking to work, recycling and reducing energy consumption. I know I could do more.”
Dot Kettle: “My personal commitment is to make a positive difference and leave this place in better shape at the end of my time than it was at the beginning of my time.”
Maryan Street: “Greener than many; not as green as some.”
Gavin O’Donnell: “As Provincial President of Nelson Federated Farmers I continuously promote sensible effects based environmental management. This means accepting that as an industry we have an obligation to respond if there is evidence that farm management practices are creating a problem, providing that we are in a position to do something about it. Being green will mean different things to different people in different communities.”
Judy Finn: “Neudorf’s vineyards are run organically. We recycle intensely – everything from bottles and capsules to paper and cardboard and we have four bins in the smoko rooms – it is a team effort. We mulch all our prunings and compost all the grape skins and pips.”
Mike Ward: “It is pretty much second nature to me to be aware of the consequences of the choices I make. By living close to town and not driving (I never learned how to), rarely flying, taking most of my holidays in Nelson, strengthening the local economy by buying most of my locally grown food and other needs from the farmers and the Saturday and Sunday markets, rarely eating meat and avoiding taking too much home that I am likely to have to throw away, I have managed to keep my footprint pretty tiny and made time for a pretty exciting and varied life.”
Ian Barker: “I prefer to say that I run my life as sustainably as I can. In my central Stoke property I produce all my olive oil, honey, I have 34 fruit trees, grape vines, various berries, and a prolific vegetable garden. So I enjoy a degree of self-sufficiency and produce little waste. Therefore while not referring to myself as green I believe I walk the talk of green to a far greater degree than many of those who fervently advocate the narrow fundamental green political movement.’’
Kate Fulton: “My grandfather was a keen conservationist who taught me about how important our native flora and fauna is and how threatened it was. University introduced me to climate change and being green is now an integral part of my life. When I do it my life feels better. When I lapse because there is too much else going on I start to lose some of my identity. “
Matt Lawrey: “Pretty green. I’m mad about cycling, recycling and composting. We’re a one-car family, most days the kids ride their bikes to school, I try to buy local, and once a week I walk the length of the Railway Reserve picking up rubbish.”
Clare Hadley: “When I was at Outward Bound in 2007 we did an exercise, and to my surprise I was the ‘greenest’ member of the watch, basically because my mother’s housekeeping principles were learned post depression years. I stick to these even today: I hang the washing out to dry, preserve produce, integrate cycling into my chores around town, check the pressure in the car tyres regularly, mend things, cook from scratch, have a compost bin, use the stairs at work. I live close enough to walk to/from work at Council – it’s great exercise and good to leave the car at home.”
Philip Woollaston: “I try to personally ‘tread lightly’ by re-using, recycling, and avoiding excessive energy use etc – but I know people who do much more. Similarly, in our organic winery and vineyard we minimise what we discharge into the environment and limit energy use as much as we can without compromising the quality of our wine. All our staff are committed to this philosophy.”
Craig Potton: “I’m politically very concerned with Green issues as they are the most urgent and existential we face. Global warming is already impacting very negatively and its effects will increase in next decade.”
Nick Smith: “I am a Blue Green. I don’t subscribe to the economy vs environment but to the economy and the environment. You cannot have one without the other. Clean air, clean water, ensuring the survival of our special species, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining quality parks all require funding and a strong economy. National’s Blue Green approach is about a balanced, pragmatic programme that achieves both goals of an improved environment alongside a strong, vibrant economy.”
3) What’s the most significant thing that one person can do to combat climate change?
Rachel Reese: “Stay positive and think about our children and grandchildren when we have choices that have an environmental impact.’’
Richard Kempthorne: “Ensuring that any development recognises potential hazards, for example don’t build in a flood plain that has a significant risk of inundation, and elevate floor level in order to reduce risk.’’
Judene Edgar: “There is not one best thing that everyone can do, as this would assume we are all even and function the same, even within our own towns or country. For example we can’t say “take fewer aeroplane trips” because the poorest billion people in the world generally don’t take aeroplane trips to begin with. So the best thing that everyone can do is arm themselves with knowledge and a greater awareness of the issues.”
Ian Barker: “Firstly one must accept that climate change has always been a reality and that most climate changes have occurred from natural causes such as the ever-changing sun and the earth’s powerful inner volcanic forces. U ortunately, all the computer models have seemingly spectacularly failed to accurately predict the current climatic global warming data. As an individual one can carry out sustainable practices such as I do in my home garden, and also follow a healthy lifestyle by regularly exercising, eating nutritious food, minimising alcohol intakes and avoiding drug contaminants in their bodies.’’
NEC staff: “Stop flying and driving cars. Eat (much) less meat.”
Clare Hadley: “Ride a bike to work, to do errands, anywhere. Leave the keys at home, grab the helmet!”
Philip Woollaston: “Limit energy use – particularly transport fuel. If we all avoided unnecessary car trips and took our holidays closer to home CO2 emissions would fall.”
Gavin O’Donnell: “We all need to consider how we can live a lower impact lifestyle while allowing our regional economy to grow and provide jobs for our rapidly increasing population. We owe it to our families and our communities to adopt “best practice” in whatever we do. We need to embrace the challenges and adapt to living with a constantly changing climate. Often that just means doing what makes sense economically.”
Judy Finn: “Believe it.”
Richard Flatman: “Spend more time on a bike.”
Craig Potton: “Join a group and start fighting for controls on climate change causes. Stop eating meat as meat-eating is one of the largest causes of global warming. Car pool, ride bikes, etc.”
Helen Campbell: “Use public transport.”
Dot Kettle: “Join with others to make a difference each and every day – and make sure that each day the difference you make is greater than the day before. Look to influence those who can influence others to make the step changes required.”
Grant Rosewarne: “The first thing people can do is change their attitude. Get over this first world/third world thing and really put a huge effort into making the world a more equitable and wealthy place. Wealthy people do not have unbounded numbers of children, they have fewer, and less resources are required from the planet. A lot of protectionism is at the cost of the third world, which would be doing a lot better if it had free trade and access to first world markets. Was it charity that got 200 million people in China out of poverty? No, it was capitalism. We need a real change to acknowledge it’s protectionism that’s keeping the third world in poverty and if we can get them affluent, the pressure on the planet will go down.’’
Brian McGurk: “Recycle and composting. Cut back on packaging, food waste and green waste going into landfill. Reduce reliance on travelling by car and begin using public transport, walk or cycle. Look for energy efficient appliances and use equipment economically and efficiently.”
Kate Fulton: “Adopt a grassroots attitude towards being green in your daily life. Save your car journeys only for when they are most necessary. Eat less meat and buy it free-range. Eat local or grow your own. Get free-range chickens in your garden. Compost. Move to live closer to work and school. What’s healthy for the planet is also healthy for your family.’’
Matt Lawrey: “Leave the car at home and ride a bike or walk instead.”
Galen King: “If every individual made even a tiny effort to reduce their impact on the environment, collectively, this would have a wider benefit than a select few being staunchly”green”while the rest of the population does nothing. I believe we all have our part to play; no matter how small.”
Maryan Street: “Minimise household waste (less methane from landfills); reduce dependence on fossil fuels by supporting public transport, cycling and walking (less CO2 emitted); invest in efficient heating solutions including new efficient wood burners; insulate your house; if you have money, invest in renewable technologies which will assist us all. And above all, keep agitating at local and central government levels for better, more future-focused policies.”
Mike Ward: “Live in an energy efficient house no bigger than they need within walking or cycling distance of most of the places they need to be, eat local, eat less meat and spend their money in their own community.”
Nick Smith: “There is no one thing and what is practical varies with each individual. I drive a 100 per cent electric car as vehicles are a major cause of NZ’s emissions but this is expensive and beyond the means of many. Home insulation, minimising fuel use, recycle resources like plastic, paper and metals and using renewable energy wherever possible all helps combat climate change.”
4) Should Nelson-Tasman try to become the greenest region in New Zealand, and how can we do it?
Rachel Reese: “The best option is to cooperate with others around New Zealand and internationally rather than competing for first prize as the greenest. Innovation is key – thinking smarter, learning from others and supporting our local champions.”
Richard Kempthorne: We should seek to develop our economy while preserving our environment and work constructively to achieve this.’’
Brian McGurk: “There is already a good understanding and large amount of goodwill towards sustainability and becoming greener in the region and we should build on that. A few of the things we could do: Nelson does need to look at waste management alternatives as the region confronts the landfill issues and we need to work at achieving the waste minimisation goals that we have set ourselves. The design and implement of organic waste collection and treatment facilities needs to be advanced and consideration given to implementing a three-bin rubbish collection system. Another option might include solar heating, rainwater storage and other energy efficiencies for new or redeveloped housing, office and commercial buildings, to reduce heating and lighting costs, energy usage and water use. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts, are predicted to be greater and we need to plan and prepare so that an extreme weather event does not turn into disaster. This means developing the capacity of local communities and individuals to respond to and manage the hazards and ensuring that the local authorities have planned and are well prepared.’’
Ian Barker: “If we look at the effects of green policies in our city we can see that the our central retail district is under severe stress with a mass exodus of customers to the rapidly developing Richmond commercial sector which is catering to the desires of ordinary people who want the convenience of being able to drive to their shopping. As a result more large carpark associated businesses are locating to Richmond. What fundamental green proponents are slow to realise is that people do not appreciate them trying to change their way of life and habits by imposing restrictions and controls that buck the needs of the market. Increasingly across the nation I see a realisation among non committed people that narrow unrelenting green activists are not prepared to compromise, to produce a balanced progressive economy. Therefore I am sceptical of having an aim to be the greenest region; our city and our region depend upon international trade and will benefit from any new international free trade arrangements to provide markets for our produce. I am sure the status of greenest region would impact on our progress and profitability.’’
Galen King: “This could be a great opportunity for the region but it needs to be part of a wider strategy which includes economic development and growth. It seems, unfortunately, that “green” initiatives have traditionally been fringe movements that aren’t necessarily practical or sustainable indefinitely or on a larger community level. I think this is changing with green tech and wider, more mainstream adoption of environmental consideration. I believe it’s vital for small region like Nelson to strive for economic growth that is sustainable - both financially and environmentally. Without growth, a region like Nelson will struggle to attract or retain families and the population size that enables us to be a vibrant community and region that we all love.
So, yes, if we can become the “greenest” region in New Zealand whilst striving for sustainable economic growth, fantastic! That would indeed be a huge opportunity for the region.”
Phillip Woollaston: We should try to become the greenest region we can be – if it wins us first place that’s fine, but if every region became greener the whole country would win!”
Maryan Street: “It would be a very worthwhile goal for Nelson-Tasman to aim to be the greenest region in NZ. Local governments have a huge role to play in leading the way here (as well as central government) by emphasising the possibilities and stimulating investment in them, either by incentives or other means. For example, why hasn’t solar energy ever got up and running in Nelson, other than in pockets? More and more people are interested in the use of photovoltaics but there is little or no support either locally or centrally for development of this on a popular scale. And that is just one example.”
Gavin O’Donnell: We should be leveraging our natural resources to achieve high value, low volume, environmentally sustainable products while aggressively fostering innovation to help build resilient communities across all our region.”
Judy Finn: “Well I wouldn’t want to make a competition out of it but anything we can do as a community is a step in the right direction.”
Grant Rosewarne: “You don’t have to trade off a great environment for economic success. It’s first world countries that look after the environment; third-world countries can’t afford to. Nelson should be one of the wealthiest places in the world, the greenest place in the world with the healthiest environment. They are not mutually exclusive concepts.”
Kate Fulton: Because Nelson is a small region geographically it has the potential to lead the way. We should be the best we can possibly be. For example, Nelson has responsibility for only five short stretches of river. These could be much cleaner than they are now and it shouldn’t be difficult to achieve.’’
Matt Lawrey: “It sounds good to me. How to do it? More inner city living so we get fewer people commuting by car, more cycling, more kids riding and walking to school, and by putting more effort into improving the health of our rivers and Tasman Bay.”
Nelson Environment Centre staff: “Yes: Every region should try to be the greenest but Nelson-Tasman has a head start and some natural advantages and should do it better. We should support a switch to renewable energy – get lease-to-own pv panels on homes and schools. Every school has community garden. Improve soils naturally and make the region more food independent. Legislate for product stewardship for end-of–life of consumer goods; to ban certain waste items from landfill, e.g. recyclables, tyres, e-waste; legislate against non-recyclable and excessive packaging. Research into biofuels from local resources eg algae, wood waste. Switch to smaller and paper rubbish bags for rubbish collection. Household and business collection and municipal composting of food and green waste. legislate against non-recyclable and excessive packaging. Increase public transport.”
Clare Hadley: “Yes it should, and it can. Local companies can commit to reducing vehicle use and electricity, they can set targets for staff that are practical and achievable right now. The Council team is walking the walk by identifying contributions we can make to meet the Nelson 2060 Strategy for a sustainable future.”
Gerard Hindmarsh: “Haven’t we learnt anything from the internationally laughable 100 per cent Pure NZ campaign? Why set ourselves up for future fall embarrassment when the facts put Nelson at the forefront of past herbicide and pesticide use, botched environmental clean-ups, conflict between dairy and aquaculture usage, and very disappointing forestry practise including unsafe export fumigations. No doubt promoting Nelson as the greenest place in New Zealand would please some PR company execs given the job of developing yet another hot new ‘brand’, but it would be both dishonest and fail to recognise how tired the public have become of such shallow claims. It’s just more of exploiting the environment to me.”
Dot Kettle: “I believe we should aim to be more successful as a region – socially, environmentally as well as economically. We are going to have to combine economic growth and environmental protection to succeed. Our region is extremely well placed to be the ‘leader in the science and production of sustainable food and biofuel’ that Rod Oram talks about (Sunday Star Times 13/10/13). We should make the most of our advantages – the talented people, research base, climate and shared passion for our place – to build an authentic green brand for Nelson Tasman. With collaboration, incentives and leadership, we can do it.
Neil Deans: “I would agree that we are well placed, but not sure if this is despite ourselves rather than because of ourselves! There has been a tension between economy and the environment in this region which has not always recognised the mutual dependence of these given our resource based economy. Some of our products are very ‘clean and green’; others less so and some of these still rely on environmental subsidies to remain viable. Ultimately most of our economy is dependent upon the environment. We should be well placed; our waters are intrinsically clean (some of the clearest fresh and salt water in the country), with many parks and reserves, some good soils and much to celebrate including a great climate and attractive land and waterscape. The trouble with brands is they require some basis to have credibility; hence the debate about 100% Pure! We also need to keep measuring this and taking action where necessary.
Todd Stevens (winemaker): “You can only be organic (‘green’) if you philosophically agree with it. If you do it for brand only you will fail.”
Craig Potton: “We should act morally and responsibly to the environment we live in. It should have nothing to do with being a competition with others but rather driven by our own conscience. Yes we should be renowned for controlling pests and 1080 applications over large areas of forests are the cheapest and most humane way to achieve this, we should encourage vegetarianism, car pooling, biking, solar power etc. We should in short face up to stopping how selfish and destructive and uncaring we are. It’s actually quite simple in some respects and we will feel better doing it.”
Helen Campbell: “We could try. A real environmental commitment from our unitary authorities and our elected representatives, and individuals – and re-establishment of the Department of Conservation’s values.
Nick Smith: “I am all for Nelson and Tasman being sensibly green. We need to encourage our industries to continue improving their environmental standards. We need to champion the work of the Cawthron in using smart science to create wealth in more sustainable ways. We need to gradually improve the insulation of our homes, the efficiency of our vehicles, the proportion of waste we recycle and the habitat for our native species under pressure. We need a balanced approach, recognising that a successful growing economy is crucial to our community achieving its environmental goals.”
Mike Ward: “Culture shift is the greatest challenge facing humankind. I would suggest that we aim to be a lifestyle and sustainability role model. For many Green is synonymous with going without. Focussing on a future that is rich in all of the qualities that most delight us has much greater appeal. Possessions, holidays in remote locations, houses much bigger than we need and much too far from all of the places we need to be, and imported processed and out of season food all have a huge carbon footprint and come at the expense of the planet and all to often deprive us of leisure and the time for experiences and time spent with the people we most care about . All too often the focus is on growing the economy I talk instead about making our place more fun, more gorgeous, safer, healthier, wiser, friendlier, more generous, inclusive, creative and sustainable. We already do very well in all of these so we are not starting from scratch and making these things Nelson’s community and economic drivers has the potential to have the rest of the world beating a path to our door to find out how we managed it.”
Ian Barker, Nelson City Councillor-elect
Helen Campbell, Friends of Rotoiti
Neil Deans, Fish & Game
Judene Edgar, Tasman District Council
Kate Fulton, Nelson City Councillor-elect
Clare Hadley, Nelson City Council chief executive
Gerard Hindmarsh, author
Richard Kempthorne, Tasman mayor-elect.
Dot Kettle, Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce chief executive
Galen King, Bridge St Collective
Matt Lawrey, Nelson City Councillor-elect
Brian McGurk, Nelson City Councillor-elect
Gavin O’Donnell, Federated Farmers
Craig Potton, photographer and environmentalist
Rachel Reese, Nelson Mayor-elect
Grant Rosewarne, King Salmon
Nelson Environment Centre staff
Nick Smith, Nelson MP
Maryan Street, Nelson-based Labour list MP
Mike Ward, Nelson City Councillor-elect
Philip Woollaston, winemaker and former Nelson mayor
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