NZ Maritime Museum talk: Blue economy (Nick Lewis)

What is a ‘blue economy’, and how can Aotearoa get one? Researchers Nick Lewis and Jason Mika discuss how can we best develop our marine economy, while protecting the taonga of our marine environment.

Nick explores how some enterprising New Zealanders are using the seas in new and exciting ways, and how our industries are responding, to help create a new ‘blue’ economy for Aotearoa.

This talk took place on 17 June 2019

A Letter to the Editor, The Listener

Dear Editor

In your 5 October editorial you argue for more understanding for our farmers and less demonisation. We agree. They are amongst the most sustainable and efficient in the world. Policies which end up shifting food production to less environmentally responsible countries make no sense, either for New Zealand, which loses the economic value added by our farmers, or as an approach to tackling the world’s climate change issues, on which we like to see ourselves as moral leaders.

At the New Zealand Oceans Foundation ( we have been asking why government is focussing only on land based solutions to greenhouse gas issues when our oceans are 15 times larger than our land area and when the giant bladder kelp Macrocystis pyrifera is not only the world’s fastest growing plant, but is also a more efficient absorber of CO2.

Why isn’t the government planting kelp rather than pine trees, saving our prime agricultural land from needless afforestation?

Why isn’t the government pursuing the use of carbon capture and storage by our offshore oil and gas wells, boosting the production of our remaining natural gas resources as we transition to green hydrogen, and storing the carbon dioxide produced by our process heat industries in our offshore natural gas reservoirs?

According to one GNS study, the Maui oil fields could store upwards of 300 million tonnes of CO2. This is 20 years’ worth of CO2 emissions by our light vehicle fleet. Why isn’t the government pursuing this as a contribution to our carbon zero goals?

New Zealand’s oceans must be called on to do their part in the drive to carbon zero.

John Martin

Executive Director

A radical plan to end plastic waste

Plastic is an incredible substance for the economy — and the worst substance possible for the environment, says entrepreneur Andrew Forrest. In a conversation meant to spark debate, Forrest and head of TED Chris Anderson discuss an ambitious plan to get the world’s biggest companies to fund an environmental revolution — and transition industry towards getting all of its plastic from recycled materials, not from fossil fuels.

Life in the deep oceans – A TED Talk by David Gallo

With vibrant video clips captured by submarines, David Gallo takes us to some of Earth’s darkest, most violent, toxic and beautiful habitats, the valleys and volcanic ridges of the oceans’ depths, where life is bizarre, resilient and shockingly abundant.

Contribution of the ocean economy to NZ’s overall economy

What contribution does the ocean economy make to New Zealand’s overall economy?

On 27 June 2019 Statistics New Zealand released a set of tables that give what is undoubtedly the best currently available official estimate.

Find the tables here:

CAT-HR – a new technology for plastic waste conversion?

The emergence of a new technology called Cat-HTR may hold the potential to revolutionise the plastic waste conversion picture.

Find a link to this technology at

Te Riu-a-Māui/Zealandia

The huge and mostly submerged continent that New Zealand sits on has a dual name – Te Riu-a-Māui/Zealandia. 

Geologists first coined the term Zealandia in the mid-90s for the what they saw as Earth’s eighth continent. It didn’t have any formal recognition, but the name gradually became established through common usage. 

The New Zealand Geographic Board noted that a Māori perspective in the name should be considered. This would be achieved by making connections between the places where Māori migrated from, and whenua/land and kiwa/sea. This was subsequently widened to a name that was acceptable to both Māori and Pasifika. For more read at:

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