Responses To Guardian Article "New Zealand was a friend to Middle Earth, but it’s no friend of the earth"

The reader responses have been coming in thick and fast to the Guardian’s website after the above article was published on Thursday. Please see blog post 100% Pure Myth Exposed By British Press.

Here are a few of the reader comments, starting with a very typical ‘Pom Bashing‘ rant, followed by the usual ‘but other places are worse than us’ excuse that is often used to shrug off responsibility or accountability. Fortunately some New Zealander’s are more enlightened than Koseyboy:

I’m a kiwi and proud of it. After reading some of the comments below all I can say is if you have such a problem with NZ then don’t live here. (that’s all you whinging P*ms by the way) All this talk about NZ being one of the top producers of CO2 emissions per head of population is a load of rubbish in the greater scheme of things. We may very well have a bad score per head of population, but as a country we are responsible for only 0.2% of all CO2 emissions produced in the world! Similarly, Australia accounts for around 2%. Behind China and the US, the EU is the third biggest producer of these gasses. Now I may be being cynical, but if you can tell me how “dirty” old NZ can really influence climate change, then I am all ears….I think the not so green EU need to sort there own back yard out before they go pointing their “not so green” fingers at others.


“Auckland city (half the population live there) has a lot to answer for in terms of emissions. Terrible public transport means you can’t plausibly survive there without a car.
Insulation in NZ is poor by UK standards. Brick houses aren’t the norm, I think this due to the earthquake risks. Still I feel a lot could be done to improve insulation and building standards in NZ.
The farming in NZ produces meat that is consumed for the most part outside of NZ. There is a bit of China-syndrome here, shouldn’t the overseas consumers be responsible for the omissions?
I think NZers themselves (I am one myself) also buy into the “we are clean and green” idea. There is a real lack of knowledge about the negative impact we have on the environment.”

NZ Nick

When the Dept. of Tourism tout NZ as ‘100% Pure‘ they also fail to mention the fact that the Dept. of Conservation indiscriminately aerial drops 1080 to poison any mammals in an area. They have just aerial dropped within 100m of my boundary in an area where I collect my household water from. I’ve had to road tanker water in at great expense.
1080 remains in the carcasses of dead animals for months poisoning scavengers and the waterways.
Why is this relevant? Tesco’s buy almost 50% of the lamb produced over here and none is checked for 1080 residues. Google 1080 and reduce your intake of NZ lamb, especially if you have young children!

“Finally we’ve been caught out! As a New Zealander I have been holding my head in my hands as decisions are made to help us procrastiate from doing improving our environmental performance. It is nice to see someone point this out, even if it does come from the otherside of the world.
NZ homes are terrible for insulation. However there is some good work going on to provide funding for insulation and install heat-pumps. These are perhaps a better choice than central heating in an environment where cooling is needed in the summer.
Our power generation is predominately from hydro, so at the moment this is not too bad. However, with the lack of new sites for hydro and a need for more base load on the grid we are struggling for other options to help meet our demand (my preferred answer is decrease demand/increase efficiency – but this is too hard to comprehend for some people who love their 2kW oil heater on 24hrs/day). NZ is to small to sustain a nuclear power plant so it has to really work hard to get greener options for power generation.
Although NZ does have a much older car fleet (possibly due to the cheap imports from Japan because we have a very open market) however, I would like to see the difference in Green House gases created with creating a new car from scratch (i.e. the steel production) compared with running an old on for a few more years. I feel it would be a lower amount, but that would not show up on the NZ carbon savings as we don’t produce the cars.
Population density is also much lower in NZ compared with the UK (i.e. less apartments/semi-detached housing) so public transport is more costly to run – so less services are on offer and cars get used more.
These are fine excuses, some of which are due to poor planning in previous years. However, NZ politicians will continue to be scared from doing anything until the general population is aware of what how the global community feels. Some parts of the population still think that no one else is doing anything so why should they? Of course this is not true at all, the UK and Europe have been working hard on the problem for years. Unfortunately this message gets lost somewhere in between here and NZ (probably in baggage handling at LAX)…
Well done again on writting the article – hopefully it pops up in the NZ media.

The Current NZ govenrment has the view that because NZ makes up 0.3% of carbon equivilent emmissions that they can operate under the radar… Somehow they think ‘responsibilty, is someone elses responsibility’.
Since gaining power last year they have:-
1- Curtailed Public Transport expenditure in favour of a new campaign of Motorway Building.
2- Dropped the previous govt’s 90% renewable’s energy target.
and are in the process of passing lesislation to:-
a- Allow mining/oil extraction in pristine National park area’s.
b- amending the previous govt’s ETS Bill so that Tax payers sholder the bulk of the burden for large polluters.
and they are planning to turn up at Copenhagen with a Pledge of a flimsy 10% reduction of GHG’s on 1990 levels.
If you object to subsidising the irresponsilbe who seek to externalise the cost of climate change to you “vote with your wallet”…as a New Zealander… I ask that you boycott our products until such time as resposible government in NZ is restored.Hieros

“I’m not surprised to see NZ has high car ownership. Public transport is a problem in a country of this size, with a small population, and lack of infrastructure. However, kiwis are in love with their cars, and the more powerful the better. Cronenberg could have mad Crash here !
NZ has in recent years identified ‘leaky house syndrome’. Kiwis pride themselves on their ‘No.8 wire culture’, where they can make anything out of a piece of wire. It is in fact synonomous with botch-jobs in many cases, and pervades professionalism as well. Not only are houses not made well, they are not built to conserve energy.”
Kiwis themselves live in the ‘green mirage’. Many seem to think that the ‘100% PURE’ Tourist Industry advertising campaign is real. Much of the countryside here is pristine, but agriculture on an industrial scale is encroaching. The only thing that is 100% pure here, is the epidemic of P!
With the No.8 culture, Kiwis think they can do anything themselves, and not only that, but that they are the best in the world at everything ! There is a lot of innovation in NZ, but there is also much macho arrogance and not much insight.

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