New Zealand's social, environmental and economic problems are
too big to ignore, members of an Otago-based group calling on
politicians to ''face up'' to the issues say.
A formal launch of the Appeal to Parliament will be held in
Dunedin on March 8, to which all political parties have been
Emeritus Prof Sir Alan Mark, of Dunedin, said members of the
Green, Labour and Maori political parties had confirmed their
attendance, and all other parties had acknowledged the
Sir Alan and 14 other Otago residents formed the Appeal to
Parliament organising committee.
Members met regularly to discuss the wide-ranging issues
faced in New Zealand and decided the time had come for an
attempt at resolution.
''We had talked for some time and tried to get a fix on the
many issues that are confronting society today, and felt that
somebody needed to take the initiative and thought 'why
shouldn't we?''' Sir Alan said.
The committee formed a statement about ''the New Zealand
situation'' and circulated it among peers throughout the
country, gaining support from more than 100 prominent
signatories, including professors, writers, artists, former
All Blacks, directors, managers and surgeons.
They included Brian Turner, Wayne Smith, Fiona Kidman, Glenn
Turner, David Thom, Philip Temple, Anne Salmond, Julian Dean,
Owen Marshall, Morgan Williams, Chris Trotter, Bruce Burns,
Richard Langston and Anton Oliver.
Sir Alan said politicians would be encouraged to identify
risks in five priority areas - economic security, energy and
climate security, business continuity, ecological security,
and genuine wellbeing - and form recommendations for
cross-party policies. He said it was a ''huge challenge'',
but an extremely important one to address.
The launch would comprise an afternoon discussion at the
Otago Museum reserve from 1.15pm, as well as a more detailed
debate at the University of Otago's Castle 1 Lecture Theatre
Hoani Langsbury, Peter Barrett, Susan Krumdieck, Russell
Tregonning, Neville Peat, Tim Hazeldine and Jean Fleming were
among those speaking at the event.
Sir Alan urged all people concerned about New Zealand to
''Politicians are only persuaded by a large group of
concerned people. We feel the issues of today are more
pressing than perhaps they have been in the past, and more
wide ranging,'' he said.
The future welfare of New Zealanders looked ''pretty grim''
and could no longer be ignored, Sir Alan said.