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NZ the model sustainability nation for the world?

13th September 2004

NZ the model sustainability nation for the world?

As Kiwis we like to do things differently. It’s in the way we face the world – in sport, art and business. We don’t make ourselves fit. We make it fit us. We’re known for our ingenuity. We’re known for our attitude. And now this very Kiwi way of being is shaping the way we look at business.

We think business can be cool but only if it’s practised on our terms. And our terms are business that gives back. Business that does more than make a profit. That shares the quality of life and environmental values we cherish. Business that brings sustainable economic and social growth. Good business in every respect.

The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) will be exploring these issues at its upcoming conference Sustainable Growth & Innovation - Inspiration towards Action - a conference about the New Zealand way of business.

“New Zealand has the chance to model sustainability to the world by creating a new way of doing business that delivers on social, environmental, cultural and economic success”, says Professor Mike Pratt, Dean, University of Waikato Management School and Chair of the SBN Conference Technical Committee.

The Conference will leverage off the findings of recent research carried out by the government-sponsored Growth & Innovation Advisory Board (GIAB) which clearly showed that New Zealanders have strongly held values regarding quality of life and the environment and these dictate their attitudes to economic growth and innovation. The research found that New Zealanders seem to want recognition of these values, even in the cause of greater economic growth for New Zealand.

“This is what Kiwis want” says Pratt, “This is the way the world is going. If we are to achieve wealth and wellbeing for all New Zealanders, we need a new approach and that approach is sustainability”.

Delegates at the conference will hear from international experts: Hardin Tibbs a UK based consultant specialising in long range thinking and strategy development; Janet Larsen from the Earth Policy Institute in the USA, an organisation dedicated to providing a vision of an environmentally sustainable economy—an eco-economy—as well as a roadmap of how to get from here to there; and Rick Christie, Chairman of the Growth & Innovation Advisory Board.

In the afternoon, delegates will be able to attend practical workshops equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to implement new, or enhance existing strategies in their business.

The Auckland event will begin late afternoon on Monday 11 October with the SBN's National AGM at 4.30pm followed by a Welcome Function and Conference Debate at the Auckland Town Hall. The Conference starts on Tuesday 12 October at the Carlton Hotel in Auckland and culminates in the Conference Dinner & National Sustainable Business Award Ceremony on Tuesday evening.

Following the Auckland event the SBN is excited about taking the conference south to Christchurch. On the 14th October the keynote speakers will be presenting at a ½ day event (starting at 12 noon) in the Great Hall in The ArtsCentre. This is a great opportunity for those in the south to hear the latest international thinking on sustainable business practices without incurring large travel costs.

The SBN wishes to thank the associate sponsors of the conference Auckland Regional Council and the Ministry for the Environment.

To find out more about the conference visit or call 09 920 2400 or email


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