Wise Response

Archive for February, 2013

Invitation to Political Parties Issued

The following invitation to the Appeal launch has been sent to NZ’s main political parties.

Symptoms Too Serious To Ignore: A Call To Face Up To NZ’s Critical Risks

This letter is to invite you, or alternatively nominate another representative, to represent your party at the national launch of our public Appeal to Parliament on the above subject.

Throughout our short history New Zealand has been a global leader socially, politically, and more recently, environmentally.  Our forebears were clearly concerned about the legacy they would leave those who followed them.

More recently, increasing numbers of people are recognising that healthy, sustainable environments are ultimately the source of all life and integral to every economy.  It therefore follows that our hopes for the future depend upon policies and actions which ensure such environments are sustained.

Yet the overwhelming evidence is that life and economies worldwide are at serious risk and that the natural world is rapidly deteriorating. While less obvious than the threat of armed conflict, this deterioration suggests that the global challenge is no less urgent or daunting.  If we are to remedy the situation, we must act decisively now. The scale of the issues means that there has been no more critical time in human history.

This current situation also means we are faced with an unprecedented national security issue transcending self-interest, wealth accumulation and party politics. It necessitates a need for all parties to adopt a formal and unified commitment, on behalf of people from all levels of society, to again show leadership and act on principle, even if the solution might involve simpler living to secure the future.  We may not be able to entirely resolve these threats, but the need is to openly and without prejudice, confront them.

The Appeal itself and the launch programme follow this letter.  The Appeal has been endorsed by about 100 celebrated, widely-respected citizens from all sectors of New Zealand life. A primary purpose of the launch is to open discussion with our parliamentary representatives and seek widespread public support for the Appeal. We are inviting representatives from the political parties to attend the launch and to give brief responses.

The public forum in the evening is to enable more detailed discussion to take place, and to canvas/seek various ways to develop the Appeal. We would be delighted if you were able to also participate in this function.

ODT Article 16th Feb, 2013

‘Face up’ to issues call’

Source ODT Online Edition:  http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/245964/face-issues-call

By Rosie Manins on Sat, 16 Feb 2013
News: Dunedin

New Zealand’s social, environmental and economic problems are too big to ignore, members of an Otago-based group calling on politicians to ”face up” to the issues say.

A formal launch of the Appeal to Parliament will be held in Dunedin on 8th March, to which all political parties have been invited.

Emeritus Prof Sir Alan Mark, of Dunedin, said members of the Green, Labour and Maori political parties had confirmed their attendance, and all other parties had acknowledged the invitation.

Sir Alan and 14 other Otago residents formed the Appeal to Parliament organising committee.

Members met regularly to discuss the wide-ranging issues faced in New Zealand and decided the time had come for an attempt at resolution.

”We had talked for some time and tried to get a fix on the many issues that are confronting society today, and felt that somebody needed to take the initiative and thought ‘why shouldn’t we?”’ Sir Alan said.

The committee formed a statement about ”the New Zealand situation” and circulated it among peers throughout the country, gaining support from more than 100 prominent signatories, including professors, writers, artists, former All Blacks, directors, managers and surgeons.

They included Brian Turner, Wayne Smith, Fiona Kidman, Glenn Turner, David Thom, Philip Temple, Anne Salmond, Julian Dean, Owen Marshall, Morgan Williams, Chris Trotter, Bruce Burns, Richard Langston and Anton Oliver.

Sir Alan said politicians would be encouraged to identify risks in five priority areas – economic security, energy and climate security, business continuity, ecological security, and genuine wellbeing – and form recommendations for cross-party policies. He said it was a ”huge challenge”, but an extremely important one to address.

The launch would comprise an afternoon discussion at the Otago Museum reserve from 13:15, as well as a more detailed debate at the University of Otago’s Castle 1 Lecture Theatre from 19:00.

Hoani Langsbury, Peter Barrett, Susan Krumdieck, Russell Tregonning, Neville Peat, Tim Hazeldine and Jean Fleming were among those speaking at the event.

Sir Alan urged all people concerned about New Zealand to attend.

”Politicians are only persuaded by a large group of concerned people. We feel the issues of today are more pressing than perhaps they have been in the past, and more wide ranging,” he said.

The future welfare of New Zealanders looked ”pretty grim” and could no longer be ignored, Sir Alan said.

Speakers confirmed for Launch

Bios of persons speaking in support of a National Risk Assessment Project at the launch in Dunedin on 8th March 2013

The launch is at the Otago Museum Reserve at 1.15-3.00pm.



Neville Peat

Neville Peat, writer, photographer and environmentalist, lives at Broad Bay. He has written some 40 books, spanning themes of geography, biography, natural history and the environment. His largest project, completed with the assistance of the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship 2007, is The Tasman – Biography of an Ocean. He served three terms as an elected member of the Otago Regional Council, the last as deputy chair. He currently chairs the Otago Natural History Trust (Orokonui Ecosanctuary).  In 1994 he was awarded the inaugural Dunedin Citizen of the Year title for his Dunedin photographic books and leadership of the Dunedin Environmental Business Network.


Dr. Tim Hazledine

Tim Hazledine has been a Professor of Economics at the University of Auckland since returning to New Zealand in 1992. Born and brought up in Dunedin  (King’s HS, Dux 1965), Tim was educated at the Universities of Otago and Canterbury before heading overseas to take his Ph D at the University of Warwick. In a twenty year stint of “OE”, he taught at Warwick, Balliol College Oxford, Queen’s Ontario and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, as well as working for the Canadian government and as an independent consultant. He is interested in the “Healthy Economy”.


 Hoani Langsbury

Hoani Langsbury is of mixed European and Maori descent, affiliating to Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha, Rapuwai Iwi. He has a BSc from Victoria and is currently completing a PGDip in Wildlife Management at Otago University.

He is a Councillor for Te Maruata, the Maori Advisory Council to Local Government New Zealand, working alongside other Iwi leaders. He is the current Chair of the Otago Peninsula Trust, on the Board of the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust and the Director of Operations for Blue Penguins Pukekura. These charitable trusts are leaders in conservation and the protection of our unique Coastal Otago habitats.

Hoani brings a holistic perspective to environmental management and is active in the areas of marine protection, species recovery and the reintroduction of the Buff Weka to the East Coast of the South Island on behalf of Ngai Tahu.


Dr. Jean S Fleming

Jean Fleming is a Professor of Science Communication and Associate Dean of Outreach at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.  Her earlier career was in reproductive biology, in the Department of Anatomy at Otago. In 2000-2001 Jean was a Commissioner with the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, an experience that led to her interest in effective science communication.  She is interested in using dialogue and public engagement for communication of controversial scientific issues. Jean is known nationally for her radio interviews about Body Parts, on Radio NZ National Nights. She is a Life Member of the NZ International Science Festival and a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ). Her commitment to science communication led to the award of a Suffrage Medal in 1993, an RSNZ Silver Science & Technology Medal in 1998 and an ONZM for services to science in 2002.


Dr. Peter Barrett 

Peter is Emeritus Professor of Geology at Victoria University of Wellington. He was studying geology at Auckland University when a chance trip to Antarctica led him to a life-long interest in its climate history. Initially he studied the Late Paleozoic Gondwana strata in the Transantarctic Mountains. However since 1975 he has led a series of offshore drilling projects for a history of Antarctic climate and ice sheet behaviour since its inception around 34 million years ago.

In recent years he has become interested in the perspective that climate change on geological time scales provides for future human-induced climate change. After gaining a PhD from Ohio State University in 1968, he returned to New Zealand to become Founding Director, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington (1972-2007). From 1998-2004 he was New Zealand’s representative on the Antarctic Treaty System’s Committee on Environmental Protection. In 2006 he was chosen as “Wellingtonian of the Year) and also awarded the President’s Medal for Outstanding

Achievement in Antarctic Science from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.


Dr. Susan Krumdieck

Susan is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Canterbury University.

She studied Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC Boulder, and worked on wind turbine control systems and solar system testing and certification.  Susan joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Canterbury in 2000.  She has published more than 100 journal papers and supervised 36 post graduate students with 12 PhD and 14 Masters completions.

Her strategic research is aimed at delivering sustainability through Transition Engineering, creating the fundamentals of the low-fossil energy system, and conceiving bridging technologies and control systems to manage the transition to sustainable systems.  Other interests include energy constrained transportation systems, remote hybrid renewable energy power systems, power demand response, demand management, geothermal power plant modelling and adaptive design.


Louis Chambers

Louis Chambers graduated from the University of Otago in 2012 with an LLB (First Class Hons) and a BA (Economics, Environmental Management). He has been awarded a Rhodes scholarship to study a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Master of Science in Environmental Change and Management at Oxford University. Louis has had extensive experience as an advocate for young people. He attended the Copenhagen climate negotiations as part of the first New Zealand Youth Delegation. Since then, he has focused his efforts on climate policy and education in New Zealand as the Co-coordinator of the youth climate change group Generation Zero.

Generation Zero has over 2,000 members and has become New Zealand’s staunchest advocate on youth climate issues. This year they are focusing on the numerous solutions to climate change through their campaign, 100% Possible. Louis is also an accomplished debater and mooter. He recently co-founded Law For Change, a group which seeks to educate and inspire young lawyers about legal opportunities which serve the public interest.


Dr. Russell Tregonning

MBChB, FRACS, FNZOA. Russell is a Wellington orthopaedic surgeon and Senior Lecturer in the Dept of Surgery, Otago University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wellington. He was born and educated in Dunedin; then post-graduate experience in Auckland, London (UK) and Toronto.

A past president of the NZ Orthopaedic Association, he is currently an executive member of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council, a group of about 150 health professionals concerned about global warming.  He wishes to use his medical training to influence politicians and a population in denial to reverse climate change: the greatest global threat to human health this century.


Dr. Mike Joy

BSc, MSc (1st class hons), PhD in Ecology is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at the Ecology group-Institute of Natural Resources Massey University Palmerston North.  He researches and teaches freshwater ecology, especially freshwater fish ecology and distribution, ecological modelling bioassessment and environmental science.  He has and continues to supervise Masters and PhD students doing research into freshwater ecology, with topics from native fish ecology to farmers’ attitudes to sustainability.

He is a director of the Massey University Centre for Freshwater Ecosystem Modelling and Management.  Mike has published papers in scientific journals and newspapers and written many reports for Regional Councils and has developed a number of bioassessment tools used by many North Island Regional Councils.  Mike is an outspoken advocate for environmental protection in New Zealand and has been voted environmental New Zealander of the year from North and South magazine and person of the year by the Manawatu Evening Standard.

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