A report on green growth opportunities shows New Zealand has
the potential to generate billions of dollars in high-value
economic growth, while also improving the country's
environmental performance, Pure Advantage chairman Rob
The report, commissioned by Pure Advantage - a not-for-profit
entity comprised of business leaders, including Sir George
Fistonich, Rob Fyfe and Sir Stephen Tindall - and the New
Zealand Green Growth Research Trust, identified 21 ways New
Zealand could capitalise on a global shift to greener growth.
Prepared by economics consultancy Vivid Economics, of London,
in conjunction with the University of Auckland Business
School, it included specific recommendations for forestry,
electricity, transport, agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
Pure Advantage intended using the macroeconomic report as a
basis to establish, in consultation with industry, seven
industry-specific green growth programmes, Mr Morrison said.
Those were retrofitting an efficient building environment;
creating a significant geothermal export industry; investing
in sustainable and efficient agricultural technologies;
installing bio-energy and waste-to-energy infrastructure;
installing the "building blocks" of a smart grid;
establishing a woody mass biofuel and bio-products industry;
and establishing a world-class biodiversity-driven ecotourism
and conservation education programme.
There was "much to like" in the report, Dr Eric Crampton, a
senior lecturer in economics at the University of Canterbury,
It rightly recommended New Zealand move towards more
efficient pricing and trading of water resources.
Similarly, the opportunity for New Zealand to make a global
difference by directing research and development resources
towards lower-emission pastoral systems was recognised.
Streamlining regulations to let entrepreneurs take advantage
of New Zealand's natural potential comparative advantages in
aquaculture was also worthwhile, he said.
However, Dr Crampton was worried some of the identified
opportunities might impose costs "well in excess" of
Dr Roger Young, a freshwater ecologist at the Cawthron
Institute, said the report was a useful analysis of the
opportunities for New Zealand.
"There is clearly opportunity to improve the allocation of
water to more valuable and efficient uses, while taking the
needs of the environment into account.
"Policy reviews in Canterbury, Horizons, Otago and Hawkes Bay
will help to clarify what water is available for allocation
and how water storage may help to address the water
National initiatives such as the Land and Water Forum and the
National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management would also
be helpful. However, he was not convinced about the role of
water pricing in improving the efficiency of its use, as
suggested in the report.
Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman described it as a
"smart, win-win" economic plan that the Government should be
What was needed now was a "whole-of-country" approach to
developing an investment case for the various sectors
identified by Pure Advantage as offering the best returns on
investment - the energy, agriculture, biotechnology,
transport, construction, forestry and energy efficiency
sectors, he said.
The Sustainable Business Council agreed with some of the
opportunities identified. It was working with its members on
a number of those areas already, executive director Penny