Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


New Zealanders need to learn more about caring for the envir

New Zealanders need to learn more about caring for the environment

When New Zealand holidaymakers head to the hills and beaches, many do not really know how to care for the environment, a University of Canterbury (UC) researcher says.

UC researcher Chris North says his studies show that people generally value natural places and consider them precious, from local parks and beaches to remote wilderness areas. But he says there is a chasm between values and people’s skills and knowledge.

``When the New Zealand and overseas tourist travelling season peaks, we hear or read of environmental impacts on a weekly basis. Impacts include fires that destroy forests and wetlands, newly introduced invasive species and diseases, toilet waste, rubbish, desecration of tapu sites and harm to native animals or farm animals.

``While increased coverage may result in us becoming more sensitised to environmental issues, the underlying issue remains - we are generally not knowledgeable and skilful in how we minimise impacts in the outdoors.

``Increased urbanisation means we tend not to spend much time outdoors away from toilets and rubbish bins. Footpaths and houses mean we are always on durable surfaces so we don’t have to watch where we place our feet. Water comes from taps and toilet waste gets flushed away.

``Our connections to the environment are disguised through all this infrastructure and technology. When we hit the hills or the beaches, we don’t know how to behave or what is appropriate.’’

New Zealanders often considered that impacts generally resulted from international tourists, he says. However, evidence shows that impacts on the Routeburn track (where almost all walkers are international tourists) are similar to Waikaremoana, where most walkers are New Zealanders.

North says he supports the views of The Leave No Trace movement which is seeking to protect the New Zealand outdoors.

``Leave No Trace offers training to support a set of principles and its effectiveness is supported by research. Leave No Trace offers resources and training that support the development of principles that guide our behaviour in the outdoors.

``It is not about a set of rules, but rather understanding the consequences of our behaviour and choosing the best thing to do given the ecological and cultural context. People come and go but the land endures.

``They believe the only solution is to teach people – New Zealanders and visitors to our shores – about minimum impact skills, how far to camp from water sources, where to pitch a tent, how to build a minimum impact fire or if one should be built in the first place.’’

``What if we left no trace? What if our rivers, beaches and lakes were clean? It only takes everyone to consider a bit, act with care and think of the future.’’

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Trade & Retail: Chinese Disaster Spells Quiet Season For NZ Fireworks Sales

In August, two massive explosions at a warehouse at the port in the port of Tianjin, Northern China, killing more than a hundred people and devastating large areas of the city. In the wake of the disaster, Chinese authorities rushed to regulate the distribution of all dangerous goods... More>>



Oceans: NOAA Declares Third Ever Global Coral Bleaching Event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. More>>

Scoop Business: A Decade Of Government Pre-Seed Investment

More publicly-funded science is being commercialised after a decade of government ‘pre-see’d investment, according to an independent review. More>>


Solid Energy: Plan To Shut Unprofitable Huntly East Mine

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal miner in voluntary administration, plans to shut down its unprofitable Huntly East mine and lay off 65 staff after deciding the site stands "no chance whatsoever" of finding a buyer. More>>


E Tū: Merger Creates NZ's Biggest Private Sector Union

E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers’ Union. It represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning. More>>


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news