Authored by Kevin Jenkins, MartinJenkins Director

This article was originally published in the NZ Herald 27 June

Why would commentator Lyman Stone proclaim that we “now face the looming demographic calamity of global population collapse”?

The narrative about talent and population in New Zealand just keeps changing. Over recent decades we’ve seen waves of migrants, then waves of Kiwis leaving for Australia, and sometimes both at the same time. We’ve seen resentment directed at new New Zealanders from the UK, the Pacific Islands, and Asia. But we’ve also seen various initiatives to attract talent, and calls for a larger population.

EeMun Chen, a Principal Consultant at MartinJenkins, argues that we don’t yet know nearly enough about how cultural context shapes people’s environmental attitudes and behaviour — and therefore about how behaviour can be influenced to tackle the global waste explosion.

Hanoi, Vietnam 2016: old clothes for selling in Kim Lien flea market in Dong Da District

An image has stuck in my head from one day in 2009 when my relatives from Malaysia came to stay with my parents in Christchurch for my brother’s wedding: I went into the guest bathroom at one point to find three plastic yoghurt pottles each with a toothbrush standing up in it.

Although Malaysia is a developing country, my relatives…

Authored by Kevin Jenkins, originally published by the NZ Herald on 7 March 2021

Disciple Pati is primarily known as an entertainer, but she also has her eye on the business world. Photo/Supplied

Disciple Pati is a stunningly creative young Samoan New Zealander. Her song The Boy Who Cried Woman won best music video at the 2020 Pacific Music Awards and late last year she released an equally impressive follow-up called ATMA. She is set to become the latest musical star from Aotearoa.

But she is also an emerging player in the wider entertainment industry.

As well as a great singer with distinctive phrasing, she is a songwriter, a music producer, a video producer, and (have a look at…

Consultant Amy Thomson discusses the challenges faced by communities, industry and government in Aotearoa in trying to recycle more, and the innovative solutions helping us overcome some of those challenges.

I recently watched a video of divers off Lembeh, Indonesia coaxing a baby octopus into moving houses. It had made its home in a plastic cup — the transparent kind, which left it visible to predators — and the divers successfully moved the octopus to a much safer shell.

The story highlights the devastating impact on our ecosystems of the massive amount of waste we humans produce. There’s no doubt…

Authored by EeMun Chen, Ben Craven and Mette Mikkelsen

This is a lightly edited version of a report first produced in May 2020

Senior Consultant Andrew Horwood looks at two influential frameworks for tackling the problem of waste — the circular economy and the waste hierarchy — and at how they are both reflected in government thinking and planning around waste in Aotearoa.

In 2005, among other pet welfare measures, Rome’s city council banned round goldfish bowls. The argument against round bowls is, apparently, that they’re disorienting for the fish (and also usually too small).

In tackling the planet’s exploding waste problem though (described in the first article in this series), experts agree that circles are better than straight lines. …

Introducing our new series on New Zealand’s ongoing waste explosion and how to address it, Senior Consultant Andrew Horwood explains why it’s a good time to be thinking and writing about waste.

If you are what you eat, the average central Wellington office worker is 80% coffee, and 15% sushi, topped off with a cheese scone. Although more cardboard and (semi‑)compostable materials are coming on the scene, the coffee probably still comes in a plastic-lined takeaway cup and the sushi in a plastic tray with little plastic containers for soy sauce. …


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