Dame Anne Salmond, patron of the Te Awaroa 1000 Rivers Project, writes about the country’s ‘blue economy’ in the New Zealand Herald.
An excerpt (read in full here):
Dame Anne Salmond: Keep our wealth flowing
Thorough analysis of our waterways essential if we’re to preserve our blue economy.
Look at those extraordinary images of the Earth from outer space and you’ll see that our beautiful islands lie at the heart of the world’s largest ocean.
We live in a blue, watery world and, along with the land, the state of our rivers, lakes, groundwater, estuaries and harbours are fundamental to Kiwi health and prosperity, now and in the future.
Much of our wealth is generated from waterways and the ocean. It would be interesting if our universities followed the lead of the University of Michigan, sited near the largest source of freshwater on Earth. Their economists and scientists have analysed the contribution of the Great Lakes and its linked network of rivers to the state and national economies, and the results were impressive – almost a quarter of the region’s payroll depended on these waterways.
In New Zealand, a robust analysis of the contribution made by rivers, aquifers, harbours and the ocean – the blue economy – to our national accounts is needed urgently. I think the results would convince even the most died-in-the-wool sceptic that degrading or destroying our rivers, aquifers and harbours is the act of a masochist or fool.