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Climate Change Commission chairman Rod Carr sees opportunity to have a good think about what sort of tourism sector we want, raises idea of running it like one big national park

Climate Change Commission chairman Rod Carr sees opportunity to have a good think about what sort of tourism sector we want, raises idea of running it like one big national park

By Gareth Vaughan

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to look at what type of tourism industry New Zealand really wants with the potential for the sector to operate like one big national park, Climate Change Commission Chairman Rod Carr says.

Due to the lockdown and demise of international travel, the tourism industry is dormant.

In an interview with interest.co.nz Carr points to the December report from Simon Upton, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, on the environmental consequences of tourism.

"The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment made the observation that we couldn't continue to simply do more of what we were doing in tourism, that we were degrading the experience of the international visitors, we were creating significant impacts on local provincial and rural communities as a result of the infrastructure strain ... and was really sounding the alarm that we could not go on simply doing what we were doing. Let alone doing more of it the same way," Carr says.

"The setback that we have now had gives us a very significant opportunity to think precisely [about] what kind of tourism sector do we want in New Zealand. And maybe we should be running it more along the lines of one large national park where we do actually sell licences for people to come and tour New Zealand and control admission at the gate, rather than all comers at any price able to go anywhere to do anything that they might choose to do." 

"I think we'll find that domestic tourism does build back a little, but it's not going to replace the four million international tourists a year that were coming into New Zealand. I hope that sooner rather than later we will form a bubble with our near neighbour to the west, Australia, and that that will provide stimulus for both sides of the Tasman's tourist industry," says Carr.

However he says we're going to have to think again "pretty hard" about tourism's environmental footprint, and the emissions associated with bringing tourists to NZ from all over the world.

"I think there are opportunities for research and development in the medium-term for short haul electric flight. [But] that certainly doesn't appear to address the long haul issues and challenges."

"There is certainly a lot of research and some potential in biofuels. But here we have the challenge of the now substantially lower oil price, which makes the gap between the cost of biofuels and fossil fuels even higher. We need to put an appropriate price on those emissions. And certainly the international airline industry has got a stream of work around how emissions from airlines might be first measured, then managed and ultimately reduced," adds Carr.

According to Tourism NZ in the March 2019 year, total tourism expenditure was $41 billion, with international tourism expenditure at $17.2 billion contributing 20.4% to NZ’s total exports of goods and services. Additionally, Tourism NZ says tourism generated a direct contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) of $16.2 billion, or 5.8%.

"Tourism is our biggest export industry, contributing 21% of foreign exchange earnings. The indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $11.2 billion, or 4% of GDP," Tourism NZ says.

Also for the March 2019 year, 229,566 people were directly employed in tourism, which according to Tourism NZ was 8.4% of the total number of people employed in NZ. And tourists generated $3.8 billion in goods and services tax (GST) revenue, with $1.8 billion coming from international tourists.

The Climate Change Commission is a Crown entity established under the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act to provide independent, evidence-based advice to government to help NZ "transition to a low-emissions and climate-resilient economy." It's also tasked with monitoring and reviewing the Government’s progress towards emissions reduction and adaptation goals.

Carr recently sent a letter to Minister for Climate Change James Shaw, copying in other ministers including Finance Minister Grant Robertson. In it he encouraged the Government to "put a climate change lens" across the measures chosen to help drive an economic recovery. The letter offers six principles for the Government to follow, which are listed at the foot of this article.

Oil price collapse 'very unhelpful'

Carr says the collapse in the oil price does not help the cause of shifting away from fossil fuels given it makes alternative technologies powered by different fuels less commercially attractive.

At the time of writing West Texas Intermediate was at just US$10.89 a barrel, and Brent crude at US$16.51 a barrel. Both started the year above US$60 a barrel.  

"It is very unhelpful that the oil price has effectively collapsed because alternative technologies essentially were becoming commercially attractive when oil was priced at $45 to $65 a barrel," says Carr.

The second principle in Carr's letter to Shaw is 'bring forward transformational climate change investments that need to happen anyway.' On this Carr says electrification is a significant opportunity for NZ to reduce its emissions, as long as the electrification is powered by renewable energy sources.

"There's not much point converting everybody to electric vehicles and then firing up the coal fired power stations to provide the electricity. So the investments that need to be made in New Zealand are a significant investment to increase our renewable energy production, a significant investment to upgrade essentially the way we move the energy from where it is produced to where it is used and that's every step of the chain, whether it's the high voltage transmission lines, the local distribution, it's the recharging points for an EV fleet," Carr says.

"So it's not just about buying the cars. It's a matter of making sure the renewable generation is in place, the distribution of that energy is in place, and then the technologies that people have to choose from are reliable and competitively priced." 

"I think that whole chain then leads you to want to both discourage the importation of new high emitting vehicles, as well as encourage the adoption of low or zero emitting vehicles, so hybrids and EVs are part of a new suite of vehicles. In that process then we will reduce a very significant part of our non-agricultural emissions," says Carr.

He also sees the current situation as potentially offering an opportunity to increase petrol tax.

"Maybe there is the opportunity for the Government to take some additional taxes from oil as part of stabilising the oil price for New Zealand consumers and using some of that revenue to support New Zealand households to get energy efficiency, either in their household use or in their motor vehicle use," Carr says.

Asked if increasing petrol tax during a recession and in an election year would be a brave call from a government, Carr suggests it would depend on what the revenue raised was used for.

"Sure, tax increases are never favoured at any point in the economic cycle. But at the moment many people haven't even benefited from the lower oil price because we haven't been driving anywhere. So it hasn't been baked into household spending plans," says Carr  

"We are going to have to make some hard choices here to incentivise switching fast from high emitting technologies whether it's the coal fired boiler, whether it's the coal used to dry milk powder for export, whether it's your and my choice about our home heating system, or whether it's how much we pay for our transport. There are no easy, simple silver bullets for the transformation to meet the inevitable impacts of climate change."  

Oil and Petrol

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Another opportunity Carr sees is becoming more efficient in how we heat our homes.

"If we can be more efficient in how we heat our homes, then we will have more electricity left over and less fossil fuel polluting by households. So the electrification will require less new infrastructure than it might otherwise have needed. So, for example, home insulation which is a programme of work already well supported, is a widely distributed employment opportunity for appropriately trained and supervised people that has health benefits for homeowners, that has energy efficiency and cost savings for homeowners, and that would be a sensible type of programme for the Government to consider investing in as part of its economic stimulus with an eye to the long-term future of New Zealand," Carr says.

'Agriculture's best strength is in its diversity'

But what about agriculture, key export earner but also the elephant in the room when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions? Farmers last year convinced the Government to give them a chance to come up with a way of pricing agricultural emissions at a farm level by 2025, to avoid being brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Data released by the Ministry for the Environment last week shows the agriculture and energy sectors were the two largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 at 48% and 41%, respectively. Increases in emissions from dairy cattle and road transport are the biggest contributors to the growth in emissions since 1990. NZ’s gross greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 were 78.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, a 24% increase since 1990.

"I think the starting point is to acknowledge that the agriculture sector in New Zealand is not only significant, but has also shown over 100 years to be quite flexible and responsive and its best strength is in its diversity," says Carr.

"So we have seen in the last 20 years a very substantial investment in dairying. That has resulted in emissions and a footprint for dairying that has not been as carefully managed as we now know and understand it needs to be. But I have every confidence that the sector is aware of that and is investing in developing talent to manage their emissions and reduce them per unit of output." 

"You're absolutely right to observe that the world is hungry and needs access to affordable food and that New Zealand has a capacity to produce that food for the world. So choking off our agriculture sector is not in the world's interest and neither is it in New Zealand's interests. On the other hand it is important  that we make progress in doing the science, running the development and ultimately deploying technologies in agriculture that will reduce emissions per unit of output. If we can do that we will be playing our part in addressing climate change," says Carr.

According to the Ministry for the Environment, NZ’s 2018 greenhouse gas emissions consisted of 44% carbon dioxide, 43% methane, 10% nitrous oxide and 2% fluorinated gases. 

The six principles listed in the Climate Change Commission's letter to Shaw are:

Consider how stimulus investments can deliver long-term climate benefits;

Bring forward transformational climate change investments that need to happen anyway;

Prepare our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow;

Work in partnership with iwi;

Maintain incentives to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. And;

Change how we measure the success of economic recovery.

Carr is the former vice chancellor of the University of Canterbury and former deputy governor and chairman of the Reserve Bank. He's also an independent director of ASB, and former managing director of Jade Software. He has a PhD in insurance and risk management.


*This is the fifth interview in a series looking at reactions to and potential policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic and evolving economic downturn. 

The first interview, with staunch critic of the economic mainstream Steve Keen, is here. The second interview, with director at economic advisory firm Landfall Strategy Group David Skilling, is here. The third interview, with Motu and Victoria University's Arthur Grimes, is here. And the fourth interview, with Patrick Watson, senor economic analyst at Mauldin Economics, is here.

*This article was first published in our email for paying subscribers. See here for more details and how to subscribe.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

86 Comments

It looks like that if any international visitors to NZ in the next 18 months, they will be from China.

28
up

I don't think so. Nobody can trust anything they say about how the virus is behaving there. It'll be Australia first if they manage to get it under control there too.

Deportees don't count

Why?

International tourists fall way down the ranks to what the government should be focusing on at present.

I dont think the general population have an understanding of the economic problems Covid 19 has unmasked (excuse the pun).

GST is a consumption tax, and wont work in a recession. Its questionable it works for the masses in the good times, as the rich dont spend all their wages on living costs. It might be different if GST captured financial transactions, but those ruling us wont let that happen.

Some hard choices ahead, and while it could be wishful thinking, lets hope equity prevails and the 1% start paying their fair share of taxes on the wealth the masses have generated for them.

15
up

Just cut the cheap low cash visitors (aka freedom bludging). Make it more about high quality experience/well paying visitors. Whole model needs reworking.

Freedom campers spend more than the average tourist in New Zealand.

15
up

It's a bit of a false comparison though. Do you want to attract tourists that come here and spend 10k in 2 weeks or tourists that spend 15k over 6 months (and do a lot of damage along the way, plus crowd out kiwis from cheaper holidays). Having spent a significant time cycle touring around the country, staying at cheap campsites and lot's of cheap DOC campsites and huts, I have seen the damage directly. Those freedom campers are about 50% young drunken idiots from all over and about 50% responsible adults trying to get away from the first 50%. I know what tourists we should be attracting, a high end tourist market is what we should be aiming for, just like high end niche products.

Per tourist that $15k is more valuable to our economy than the $10k.

15
up

No, when you look at $ spent/services used, they clearly are not.

$15k worth of goods purchased and services used is definitively more than $10k worth of goods purchased and services used.

$15k injected and cycling our economy is a massive 50% more than a $10k injection.

Tourism spending also has a multiplier effect like all exports.

services used, as in publically funded services, national parks, roads, parking lots, etc.. not services purchased. They spend 50% more, but cost teh country probably 200% more over those 6 months

I've got a feeling you made your statistics up. The $15k vs $10k is not made up.

How much do freedom tourists cost us to host?

I've got a feeling you own a shitty old L300 rust bucket with a Self-contained sticker on it..

How much exactly do they cost us to host.. dunno, how much of council/DoC maintenance and refuse collection, Public toilet cleaning, pest control from dumped food scrap etc do you want to attribute to them? 40%, 50%?

You haven't thought this through have you? $15k over 6 months on basic items with minimal mark-up vs $10k in 2 weeks on goods and services with much higher mark-up and taxes. And that's without even annualising the numbers ($30k vs $260k).

You haven't thought this through. So what if they're here longer. The freedom tourists are never going to be as dollar dense as the louis vuitton Queen St cruise ship tourist. But getting rid of them doesn't replace them with more of the Louis Vuitton variety, they're not "exclusive-or". And of the Louis Vuitton variety it's questionable how much of their money just goes straight back out of the country to Italian fashion marques, and internationally owned hotel chains. At least the freedom tourists are buying our worn out cars on their last legs before the scrap heap and spending nights in hostels, and buying from our fish and chip shops and supermarkets and convenience stores.

The numbers remain. $15k per freedom tourist, $10k per other tourist. If you have some numbers with regard to how much each of them cost us to have here I'd be interested, but I'd also still point out that even if they cost more money to have which is questionable, that money is still money introduced to our economy to cycle locally. Every dollar of tourist or export money is worth approximately $5 to GDP. So in effect the freedom toursts are worth $75k to our GDP each and the other tourists are only worth $50k to our GDP.

No, it's not. Because there is an additional 10k spent by the next tourist who is here for only the next 2 weeks... then the next tourist, then the next... all without putting huge strain on infrastructure, essentially using the same footprint as that freedom camper. After 6 months we may have had 20 of those tourists spending 200k, vs the freedom camper who has spent 15k.

This is why a "per tourist" metric is dumb. You need to change your thinking to highest value, not lowest value over the longest time. It's the same mistake made by fonterror for instance, they try to be volume milk producer instead of quality milk producer. Look at the world of trouble they are in compared to a niche high quality producer like A2.

Is infrastructure spending good or bad for our economy? How much harm do the freedom campers do to our infrastructure in dollar terms?

If it's not more than $5k worth of harm to our infrastructure each. Then they're still worth more to us directly than the average tourist, not including the multiplier effect.

You're assuming there's no cost to them being here which is a false comparison, also as other have suggested a calculation of $$ per visit day would be more accurate as to an extent it takes into account the 'space' each visitor takes up in our economy & their resource use.

Freedom campers six months of services for $15k revenue, thats nominally $80/day income vs two weeks @ $10K = $700/day for a high value tourist.

Over a year that's:
$29,000 income for freedom camper (per 365 person visit days)
$225,000 income for high value tourist (per 365 person visit days)

So... if we go for only high value tourists we can either have 8x as much income as we would if we were only bringing freedom campers here or (ideally) 8x less tourists for the same income...

Freedom campers spend about $90/day vs $190/day that normal tourists spend.

We had 110,000 tourists who did some freedom camping in 2017. Multiply that by 51 days each, and $90 per day, and you get half a billion dollars. Then add the multiplier effect of money brought in circulating locally and it adds $2.5 billion to our GDP. That's pretty massive.

Going for high value tourists is not mutually exclusive from the low value ones. In fact we've been going for the high value ones constantly for decades. Getting rid of the freedom campers does not increase the number of high value tourists.

Is infrastructure spending good for the economy? Does the additional infrastructure also benefit NZers? What are the costs of having freedom campers?

Also, we shouldn't be banning NZ'ers from sleeping in the wild either. It should always be an option.

I don't believe those numbers.

Picked up a hitch hiker three months or so back. He was busy telling me how little he spends here, it wasn't even $100 a week. Staying in doc huts etc, got me to drop him at a spot in Cromwell cause he knew of a fruit tree there he could raid.
Then there is all the ones that come for the harvests. If anything they make money out of NZ instead of spending it in NZ. I'd be really surprised if they even spend 50 a day here, also remember lots of them get around the country wording or whatever the h3ll it's called.

https://www.odt.co.nz/business/what-freedom-campers-are-worth-nz

Not all freedom campers are equal, we can only talk averages here. Banning everyone including NZers from sleeping on the side of the road while travelling around the country is pretty shitty. Strikes me as spiteful actually.

It's banned now.

just before lockdown camped in karangahape gorge, when paying the doc officer in the morning for my tent site (only two of us in tents in the whole doc campground) i was talking to him about how many freedom campers had came in after dark and how many had left first light before he arrived so they didnt pay ($8 per person), it was about a third of the carpark, and he said that was quite common and they are hard to catch

13
up

No they do not. They stay longer but spend far less per day than other tourists. Accommodation is just the start of that, practically zilch. They dine on two minute noodles so restaurants get bupkes out of them as well. And often as not, the vehicles they drive they buy, mostly off other freedom campers who have finished their tour.

13
up

They are very neat though. They keep the in vehicle toilet sparkling clean, like it's never been used.

Yes they do.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78139668/freedom-campers-spend-more-but...

You can try describing some demonised version of a freedom camper in your head, but if you actually met and talked to them you'd change your tune. If we wanted to make money we'd encourage it, and just set aside enough space and toilet facilities for them.

11
up

I live near a freedom camping site and I meet them all the time, because they get lost and come on to my farm.

Some of them are pleasant enough. But they drop rubbish including broken glass. Many think that because they're lost they can just set up for the night wherever, including using the great outdoors as a personal toilet. And the stupid situations they get themselves in by driving their vehicles into ditches, down banks and across muddy paddocks in the middle of winter! Many can barely drive, ask them to reverse their vehicle out of what ever perilous situation they're about to drive into and they can't.

I suspect farmers generally pretty good at maintaining their own and surrounding property - because they live there. Ocelot are you volunteering to clean up endless broken glass, and turds and paper.....I suspect absolutely not. Iy and freedom bludgers did, it wouldn't even be an issue.

I rode a scooter from Auckland to Timaru and back last year. I didn't see any of what you're complaining about. I'm volunteering us as a society to do the most economically intelligent thing, and be welcoming to tourists, and provide the infrastructure that we need to make it a fun experience, so that we all can use our countryside on the dime that the tourists bring in. Per freedom camper it's $15k each. When I drove from London to Mongolia, people were welcoming, helpful and friendly everywhere except in Germany. We really do suck in terms of hospitality to foreigners, and yet we milk them for every dime we can get. That's what's actually disgusting.

There's only so many times you can head down to your beach for a fish only to find the wind has blown the scraping of sand away from the piles of excrement left behind by the previous night's and the nights before that clapped out van occupants and maintain a smile on your face.

Sounds like it might be time for a public toilet in the vicinity if what you say is true. Better than simply telling our biggest export to go away.

You surely must be joking about the toilets in freedom-campers man.

I can tell you - my neighbour has (had) a very lucrative cash business converting cars and caravans into "self-contained freedom campers".

Supply the crusty backpackers with a vehicle with the toilet, they get the sticker, pay cash, go on the trip then come back and return the unused toilet to reuse in the next vehicle to get the sticker. There's a refundable bond payable on return of an unused toilet, which they always do because they're utterly tight and want every cent back so the whole deal works swimmingly for all parties. I think there is another element to the deal where they can sell him back the near-wrecked car at a pre-agreed price for him to repeat the model on the next customer. He is an amazing business-man.

His other big market is Israeli car dealers running chop shops to launder drug money. Near-dead Toyota hi-aces are one of the most lucrative vehicles for that market. They typically end up in a war zone in Afghanistan or some other dictator-run, basket-case African country.

Previous studies have shown their biggest spend is petrol in their dodgy old van. 2 minute noodles doesn’t present a great return to NZ inc!

19
up

The 'NZ as a big National Park' with an entrance fee, rather appeals. If the International Visitor Levy was a few thousand quatloos, that'd help filter out the chaff from the wheat.

And sorry, Ocelot, I'm a caravanner, and I have seen up close and personal the mess that so-called 'freedom campers' leave in their wake. Their $1,500 'self-contained' people movers have a $10 CSC sticker straight from the nearest Copy Shoppe, and the nearest tussock serves as their dump station. So spare us the 'Best Visitors Evah' shtick.

Rod Carr is always worth listening to, and the current crop of suggested directions has the impetus of tens of billions of our grand-kids taxes behind it. It needs to be taken seriously. Some heretical thoughts:

  • If our exports are actually gonna Go, and if FF are Haram (so ships propelled by bunker fuel are, presumably, Verboten too) then perhaps we should consider a National Fleet of nuclear-powered cargo carriers, perhaps in conjunction with Australia (which has the fuel source in spades).
  • We are gonna need Australia for metals if we expect to have close-to-zero Mining here.Notable candidates: Oz produces about 40% of the world supply of lithium from two modest holes in WA (Greenbushes and Mt Cattlin), is looking at rare earths from a polyminerals site near Dubbo, and of course produces iron ore (Tom Price and the NW of WA generally), tin (Renison Bell in TAS), copper and so on.
  • Agriculture electrification is one aspect that NZ could get a jump on if we are smart and quick enough. It already is in terms of irrigation, but cultivation etc needs thought, millions in R&D, and commercial development.
  • Heavy transport electrification is a long shot, but might - Might - be worth being a fast-follower on. Last-mile stuff is feasible (trucks puttering around towns), long-haul not nearly as much (if only because the rails don't go near so many of the obvious destinations (Nelson, Queenstown) and line-haul trucking has long distances to traverse and very high gradients to surmount.

    Nice straw man you've got there. At least he will keep you company during isolation. There's some good stuff in your post, but the anti-freedom camper stuff was weak and elitist.

    "I have seen up close and personal the mess that so-called 'campervanners' leave in their wake." Their $150,000 ivory castles on wheels think they own the country side and only the wealthy should be able to access nature. So spare us the superiority rant.

    I like the Nat'l Park NZ idea as a means of controlling visitor visa numbers. Might need to have three types of visitor visas: business, family and tourist. Part of the process of granting tourist visas would relate to proof of pre-booked accommodation - rental cars/vans being unacceptable, fully kitted out self-contained campervans (i.e., toilet and shower facilities) being okay.

    And no freedom camping whilst on a visitor visa - in other words, campgrounds (DoC and privately owned) only.

    Agreed. I wish vans were forced to pay for a universal campground pass that could be used allover, and force people to use the services they provide. Must suck being a cap ground owner and having your commercial rates go to freedom bludgers areas just down the road.

    I would prefer if we brought back land tax, and used it to fund the infrastructure of the nation.

    That's a good idea. No pre-paid pass for each day of the visitors visa - no rental camper or van.

    Re: Agriculture electrification is one aspect that NZ could get a jump on if we are smart and quick enough. It already is in terms of irrigation, but cultivation etc needs thought, millions in R&D, and commercial development.

    I think there is a lot NZ could do in this space. Maybe a group of farms could start an electrification innovative district where they go hard on finding the best most innovative electricity tech for the farming industry. The government could support the electrification district by funding a demonstration farm -perhaps run through Lincoln or Waikato Uni's.

    Carr says the collapse in the oil price does not help the cause of shifting away from fossil fuels given it makes alternative technologies powered by different fuels less commercially attractive.
    Hmmm...

    It is *very* important to understand what happened w/Monday's negative oil price.

    But it's so much more important to understand why Tuesday's trading totally overshadowed it. And where. Link

    That's a great link. Basically oil prices went negative because people were holding contracts that said they needed to take the oil at the end. As storage was full and people didn't want a tanker showing up to their house, they were literally paying others to take the contract off their hands! Is that a fair summary?

    Yes, but they were probably inexperienced traders leaving their exit from the front month too late.

    Here is another example of inexperienced investors - Mom and Pop Piled Into Biggest U.S. Oil ETF During Historic Rout

    The demand for the oil ETF came as the price of crude tumbled to historic levels, with retail investors speculating in some instances that oil at $1 a barrel had nowhere to go but higher. But USO isn’t a direct bet on oil prices, and incurs costs from rolling its futures positions that hamper performance when longer-dated contracts cost more than the current one.

    “There’s a huge cost of carry in the front of the curve and the average Robinhood USO buyer and USO call buyer doesn’t know that, doesn’t understand that, or doesn’t care, and thinks they’re just buying oil at a low price,” said Benn Eifert, chief investment officer at QVR Advisors.

    If anything is to be done, the worst performing Govt department and it's hench men need to booted to the curb DoC.
    This bloke seems to be on a keep myself and my mate busy. There will be cloce to zero tourist coming to NZ for a couple of years. Time to batton down the hatches and live within your means and that includes the so called 'Green' crew.

    Actually, the only reason conservation was needed at all was because of human activities. And it was always going to be both reactive, and therefore inadequate.

    So we actually need to step up our 'green' activities; as a society we simply were'nt paying our way.

    Carr seems to be a man who had an Epithany, but who has residual flash-backs to a prior mindset. Probably the most useful comment so far, though, and streets ahead of the Drury nonsense (bring in more well-heeled foreigners).

    I'd say DoC is one of the more important ministries. The country is being overrun by predators like rats, stoats etc. If we leave these to their own devices, we will have complete environmental collapse. Perhaps do some reading in this area? Start with the Predator Free 2050 site.

    Predator Free 2050 is nothing but a pipe dream without biological control.

    Which means gene editing....

    Or viruses. Such a beautiful irony.
    Three different ones in NZ to kill rabbits, we still have rabbits plus some extra viruses.
    Thing of beauty it is.

    Or viruses. Such a beautiful irony.
    Three different ones in NZ to kill rabbits, we still have rabbits plus some extra viruses.
    Thing of beauty it is.

    Set a limit on Numbers, run a booking system, charge a good entrance fee - create scarcity - the cheaper it is the less desirable it is. Less people over running our natural areas, less road rage, cleaner air with less cars - wow this is something everyone is looking for - if you have traveled anywhere in the last 5 years its a piss poor experience - crowds of people, crap everywhere - not a holiday. I have family in Europe and now they dont do any holidays as in the holiday periods its chaos and any holiday spot is crammed. Lets change it for better - may have less money but a much better lifestyle.

    Agree. We're booking a family Q-town winter school holiday now. So happy the grandkids will get the chance to see it like it used to be. Might then spend 3-4 weeks in November doing round the SI by car again. Haven't dared to venture down there with all the self-drive tourists on the roads.

    I'd be really happy if the government decided to provide each adult NZer with a $1,000 credit at a travel agent of your choice, where that credit could only be spent on NZ travel. Great kick start for the tourism industry and all NZers need to travel more in our own country.

    Can you see the big hole in the logic here Mr Carr ?

    You need a high (corresponding) Oil Price to make alternatives appear viable...
    And Government needs a high Oil Price to gain revenue taxes on fossil fuel consumption ...

    So where pray tell does the (tax) revenue come from when you move over to these high cost alternatives?

    Also what is cheaper for the consumer
    - buying a new clean EV (I will overlook its dirty battery, heavy weight, plastic/rubber/chassis, fossil fuel road …)
    - buying a tank of gas for my (absolutely fine) fossil fuel guzzler

    If you want clean tourism
    - walk
    - sail
    - buy a horse

    His/Her name is hypocrisy and she drives an EV.

    http://www.lithiummine.com/lithium-mining-and-environmental-impact

    You need approximately 10kg of lithium for a the life time of an electric car and it's recyclable. You need approximately 10,000kg of petroleum across the lifetime of a combustion vehicle. That's 3 orders of magnitude more. They're not even in the same ballpark. The amount of harm wrought on the environment by fossil fuel extraction and subsequent pumping into the atmosphere is immeasurable and I would suggest more than 3 orders of magnitude worse also.

    I think you need more than Lithium to make an EV...

    Also how do recycle this? Freight the heavy tank of a battery (by fossil fuel presumably) back to somewhere … where someone (paid by money backed by fossil fuel) then disassembles ready for the (fossil fueled powered assembly) of a new EV ….. And Viola! A new clean EV
    etc etc

    Its just not as simple as a throwaway phrase suggests

    I was only responding to the lithium query. I didn't go into how much fossil fuel energy it takes to extract and refine that 10 tonnes of fossil fuel. It's something like 50% and as time goes by that is only increasing. So that means that the 10 tonnes of gas actually costs us 15 tonnes of gas. Did you know that cobalt is used in the refining of petroleum? https://www.cobaltinstitute.org/desulphurisation.html Cobalt is the hardest won metal currently used in the construction of the lithium ion batteries. Luckily they only use a small amount of it.

    This is one of the most extreme examples of false equivalence that I've ever seen.

    More and more power in the world is being generated through renewables, so assembly is more and more powered by renewables. Trucks will soon be battery electric also. The more battery electric vehicles and equipment we have the less we need to tap into fossil fuels.

    And the batteries are just like high grade ore for making new materials for the future batteries. Not only that. Old batteries from BEV's at the end of their life will be useful for home energy storage for another decade beyond the death of the BEV. Also BEV's have far greater longevity due to the increased mechanical simplicity. So you have to make half as many BEV's as ICE cars for the same amount of km's. There's so many ways in which BEV's are superior, they genuinely are not even in the same ballpark.

    And I haven't even got into any of the common and extremely destructive environmental disasters caused in the extraction of fossil fuels.

    fair enough … Theres nothing clean about fossil fuels for sure … but

    "More and more power in the world is being generated through renewables.."

    Renewables in a very, very very loose sense … An EV cant renew itself.. Ditto a wind turbine …
    All up they dont have the energy density/flexibility/transportability/reliability to power an industrial age … they can only function as an (more expensive) add-on
    That is the problem

    The higher % of renewables, the more those renewable generation systems are constructed renewably. It's a lovely little feedback loop.

    Wind, solar, geothermal and hydro are already the cheapest sources of energy generation. So it's a problem that's solving itself. BEV's is just helping us take it to the next level. And they are also more cost effective than combustion vehicles while being orders of magnitude better for the environment. I'm not saying we have to actively do anything. The economics seem to be saving us this time. It's a little sad we couldn't be sensible and shift incentives with economic solutions, but it looks like we don't have to. I'd still advocate a carbon tax anyway, because... screw the polluters. The can shoulder their negative externalities.

    http://www.windenergy.org.nz/the-cost-of-wind-energy
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_New_Zealand

    Is it not true that the only 'recycling' centre for lithium batteries in NZ is nothing more than a company that holds a license to export toxic metals?

    And second point; if its a so called 'green' technology how is it that it doesn't pay for its own recycling?

    And speaking of environment disasters, let's not forget that lithium is highly flammable and therefore a massive landfill problem. We cannot just throw them away.

    Those folk meant well, and are far better citizens than those who simply indulge themselves with no though of others.

    But where the Climate-change-only brigade went wrong, was in not addressing the bigger Systemic issue(s) - collectively the Limits to Growth. And we all left it too late, as a society. EV's are the right answer to the wrong question.

    indeed … its the wrong question

    throw in a bicycle as well. Even better one of those tuk-tuk types
    Maybe a horse cart. Efficiency more people per horse
    We've plenty of cattle so an ox-cart ala wild west. The green camper van.

    now youre talking
    I would even suggest mass EV golf carts … a Million times better option than Musk mobiles

    "Asked if increasing petrol tax during a recession and in an election year would be a brave call from a government, Carr suggests it would depend on what the revenue raised was used for."
    Someone else (the taxpayer) must pay for these weird and wonderful ideas and once you start looking at the detail they fall apart financially.
    NZ can ill afford in the next 0-5years any Labour and/or Green environmental policies that affect energy prices.
    It is very expensive to be green in the usual context of the word.

    Bollocks.

    We actually could not afford too keep on trashing the planet, and overpopulating it. Forget money (every failed civilisation has collapsed/died with all it's tokens still in existence - albeit somewhat reduced in silver-content), we are in existential territory now.

    Bring on the Extinction Rebellion to NZ. NZ is overpopulating itself by government policy. Heaven forbid the countries like India, China, Indonesia, Philipines most of Africa, large parts of South America, probably regions in the middle east for their contribution to overpopulation. I'm sure it's all been planned.

    After accepting and enjoying some Whittaker's chocolate, the writer summarised as followed:

    "Look you lot, you have been very naughty. Driving around in petrol cars has got to stop. We are going to make you kick this ridululous habit the same way we got you lot to quit smoking, by taxing the hell out of it. If you've got a good job you will be allowed to buy an electric toy car, otherwise, suck it up.

    Likewise, all houses will be inspected for insulation and you will be fined if it's not up to snuff. No house to insulate? Tough.

    Now that farmers are obeying the instructions from their betters they can carry on food production, but no backsliding will be tolerated. Remember, we make the rules, not you.

    Tourist numbers will be drastically reduced. If you work in hospo, or wait at table or make beds, then, again, tough. Suck it up.

    Know your place."

    After a pause and under his breath he was heard to say "F*** I hate people"

    Yes, who do these people think they are. Coming over here and moving about freely?

    Didnt he get the memo...greenies have been kneecapped.

    I puzzled by "" And certainly the international airline industry has got a stream of work around how emissions from airlines might be first measured, then managed and ultimately reduced,"" Aircraft fuel is easily measured. Basically an average international flight per passenger emits the same CO2 as a New Zealand resident does in 10 months. I wrote to Mr Shaw asking why international travel (planes and ships) is not included in our totals which distorts govt policy so on one hand it is penalising emissions while on the other hand it is spending money promoting tourism.

    Yes, an inexplicable omission which makes no sense if total emissions are a thing.

    Because politicians pick on the weak. Farmers are the easy target as opposed to Virgin Airlines.

    Others too are looking to see why green equations do not add up.

    Planet of the Humans
    https://youtu.be/Zk11vI-7czE

    Take your tiresome spin out of it, HT.

    That movie tells us All equations don't stack up.

    In fact, it tells us I have been peddling the correct message hereabouts.

    I like this.
    "...... And maybe we should be running it more along the lines of one large national park where we do actually sell licences for people to come and tour New Zealand and control admission at the gate, rather than all comers at any price able to go anywhere to do anything that they might choose to do........"
    No point in having low cost tourists. The trick is making money, not being busy. Or in the case of tourism, no foreign ownership of companies, staffed by low wage cutting immigrants.

    I say, are you still allowed to say things like that? Do you realise that you are suggesting that some of the most stupid stupidity was due to stupid government? Isn't that heresy? Or is it treason, I forget?

    Here is some thoughts on electrifying the recovery.
    https://medium.com/@brendon_harre/electrifying-the-recovery-b7196fff2f78

    Lunatics seem to get all the column inches

    Well put. Put's my waffle to shame.

    I am going to totally stop worrying about climate change. It is a total waste of time because everybody is refusing to address the root cause. I.e. the world population explosion. This will more than swamp any pollution and energy efficiency improvements that we can achieve.

    Adaption is valid, but we're hellish late.......

    I don't think humanity is capable of acknowledging the problem, let alone do anything about it. Their behaviour to date solidly supports this proposition.
    The only rational thing that an individual can do about this, is to realise what is going to happen and tailor their life accordingly while nature takes it's course.

    Carr makes the classic mistake - I would have expected better from him.
    "manage their emissions and reduce them per unit of output"
    The climate does not care about our efficiency -it is absolute emission that count!