Source: RadioNZ, 23 April 2018
The United Nations has set goals for countries, including New
Zealand, for a more sustainable future by 2030.
The 17 sustainable development goals (SDG), which include
eliminating poverty, providing quality education and climate
action, we're adopted in 2015.
However, a meeting will be held in July on how to strengthen
their implementation, of which New Zealand will be present.
Key players have been discussing how we would achieve those
goals in New Zealand, at a summit held by Victoria University
International Indian Treaty Council's Andrea Carmen travelled
from the United States to speak at the event.
She spoke about the crucial role indigenous people play in a
"The development plans, a lot of the time, end up targeting
indigenous people's land and resources, where even the UN says 80
percent of the world's biodiversity that is still in tact is on
indigenous people's land."
Mrs Carmen said that shows society can learn from indigenous
people, but stressed the importance of collaboration.
The Sustainable Business Council chief executive, Abbie
Reynolds, said the business community also wanted to be part of the
She said many companies were already doing great work, but they
were reluctant to speak out.
"CEOs or senior communications people say they don't want to
talk about it until all these other things are lined up, because
they're concerned if they don't have a perfect story then they're
going to attract criticism, so it's a lot easier to be quiet than
speak publicly on these things," she said.
Companies are finding ways to communicate the sustainable
choices they're making, but it's still not very common, she said,
adding that easy access to data would by one way to help more
businesses make sustainable choices.
Victoria University Head of School of Government, Professor
Girol Karacaolgu, said Statistics New Zealand was already working
to gather data that would help, like employment, poverty and
But, now the issue was how to implement it.
"Instead of trying to chase 17 goals separately, if we have the
relevant data and models, what are the two or three goals we can
focus on in the first instance to have the biggest impact on all
sustainability goals?" he said.
A general theme among speakers was the impact these goals will
have on future generations, either through their environment, or
the society they live in.
Children's Commissioner, Andrew Becroft said it's crucial the
goals are met as children in New Zealand were already
"Too many of our kids, 10 percent, really struggle and are as
bad, if not worse, than any other western world counterpart, 20
percent are at a disadvantage. For that 30 percent we've got to do
much better," he said.
Mr Becroft said awareness of the goals was still lacking in this
country and there must be a comprehensive, co-ordinated plan with
someone in charge.
"I'd like either one person, or group of senior executives, to
lead SDG implementation and do that in a co-designed way with
business, Iwi, NGO's and children," he said.