Ten* After Ten: Peri Drysdale on environmental degradation and NZ's creative economy

We ask Idealog’s best to reflect on what’s changed in the last 10 years. And what still needs to.

Change in the character of New Zealand’s economy is for sure accelerating!  Good change, and not so good change. The challenges created by distance to large markets and cost of accessing these markets has reduced so much with the digital age and ubiquitous use of the web for commerce, flattening the playing field between large global entities and small light-footed ones. Globally there is a massive interest in transparency around the life cycle of products and services, their environmental and social impact, and their emotional values.  ‘Of’ and ‘from’ New Zealand is a great opportunity for the creative economy.

But there is also a major risk: the almost spellbinding acceleration of environmental degradation in New Zealand. Who wants to visit a recently-pristine high country lake where once-clear water is now murky with algae, and there’s rubbish from freedom campers? Who likes to drive through the once-beautiful open high country with the windows up to keep out the smell from dairy effluent spraying?  That image of New Zealand is not supportive to the creative economy.

Then there are our children. We are wrapping them in cotton wool. We need our young people to have passion, drive and an ability to assess risk, in order to have a thriving creative economy.

*Dodgy counting alert: Initially, we actually we asked 11 people, because we were worried not everyone would want to contribute. But everyone did. But “11 after 10” didn’t sound right. And then we liked those 11 answers so much, we kept asking people. Stay tuned for more over the summer months.

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