Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


More People Worried About Nature Than We Think

New research suggests that more people are worried about the breakdown of nature than we think, yet feel alone in their worries and reluctant to speak out, while also wanting strong leadership that helps the natural world.

Greenpeace says these startling new insights uncover a quiet but strong mandate for more action and more commitment by political leaders to protect nature.

"Politicians in Government and opposition should sit up and take note. Most of the time, this deep current of concern causes only a ripple on the surface, but our research shows that it runs deep and it is a powerful force when stirred," says Greenpeace campaigner and project lead Jessica Desmond.

"We saw that happen when the John Key Government threatened to mine the most valuable ‘Schedule 4’ conservation land. The response from New Zealanders was visceral and saw one of the biggest protest marches in a generation and the mining proposal scrapped.

Commissioned by Greenpeace, the extensive qualitative research was conducted over the course of a year, involving a broad range of focus group participants from Kerikeri to Invercargill and set out to see how connected people felt with nature.

Researcher Dr Ranmalie Jayasinha says that people spontaneously brought up their concerns for nature, and a clear pattern was identified while collating the data.

"What we were really surprised to see coming up in the focus groups, over and over again, was that people were really concerned about the breakdown and loss of nature, even though we didn’t ask them directly about this," says Jayasinha.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"Participants also indicated they were hesitant to talk about their concerns for nature with friends and family because they were afraid of being judged or seen as annoying or difficult. So it seems clear that more people care about the state of nature than we might think." Participants were recruited broadly from the general public and included people from many different walks of life. With the sample size, composition and number of focus groups, Jayasinha says they were able to establish data saturation.

"This means that we identified the same themes coming up repeatedly across groups, reliably indicating that this was an established pattern, and if we continued to conduct more focus groups with similar people, we’d see the same results.

"These insights made us all go, there’s something really important going on here that is worth sharing with the public and with decision-makers."

The researchers also found that across the board, people wanted meaningful action and leadership on things that impact the natural world.Desmond says this early insight, taken from a broader research project, strongly suggests that there are opportunities to encourage people to talk to each other about their concerns and take those concerns to political leaders.

"I think there’s a beautiful opportunity here, if more of us start talking about nature, how we feel about it and what we want to see in the future, we might be able to change things in the future. I think that’s one of the takeaways from this research - it’s okay to speak up if you’re worried about nature. A lot of us are.

"Maybe this holiday season, instead of holding back because we’re afraid of being dismissed, we could start some conversations about nature with friends and family because it might just turn out that they have similar feelings." To bring the research to life, Greenpeace has produced poster art and a video that illustrates the main research findings. The video is available here, and more information is on the website TalkNature including tips for starting nature-based conversations.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.