Day 1 of the Just Transition Summit featured sessions with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Film Maker James Cameron with his wife Suzy Amis Cameron, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and many more. The Taranaki region also presented their draft Taranaki 2050 Roadmap. You can watch all the day's discussions, or read their transcriptions, below.
Keynote opening address
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister
(Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister is speaking at a lectern. She wears a green dress and is flanked to the right by a sign language interpreter wearing a black cardigan and a green shirt. There is a dark background with occasional beams of orange light.)
Te whare e tū nei
Te marae e takoto ana
E ngā mate maha
Haere, haere, haere
Ngā tangata whenua o tēnei rohe o Ngāmotu
Me whai mātou i te anga matatika mō te katoa
Tātou ngā kanohi ora e hui mai ana
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa
Thank you all for being here and what I hope will be an incredibly interactive couple of days of conversation, although I have to say I heard just now that there will be live polling. I hope that doesn't mean that I will be ranked on my speech as we go, particularly as the first speaker, but we mean it when we say it, we want this to be a place of dialogue, a place of conversation, and I feel honoured to be the first to kick off that discussion.
Before I begin though let me first please acknowledge some of the important people that we have in the room, and in doing so just acknowledge them going forward for the rest of the couple of days, starting with Neil Holdom, the Mayor of New Plymouth. Neil and I have had some really important conversations over the last year and I think off the back of those conversations we will only be the stronger for it. And this particular summit is a result of one of those conversations, you know I want to acknowledge your advocacy and also the partnership I think that we've formed. I also want to acknowledge other local leaders - Ross Dunlop the mayor of South Taranaki, Neil Volzke the mayor of the Stratford District.
I see in the room also the local Member of Parliament Jonathan Young, Government Ministers who'll join us across the course of the day James Shaw, Grant Robertson, and of course the Honourable Megan Woods. We are also lucky to have with us today international guests - the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, we welcome you here. And finally though can I acknowledge all of you, everyone who has made the journey to be here today, be that a journey from overseas, or from other parts of the country, even from just down the road. It is wonderful to have that participation so broadly drawn.
In opening this conference I've been asked to do the difficult job of setting the scene for the next two days of discussion and debate. To lay out why we are here and what we hope to achieve from this, the first ever national Just Transitions Conference. Put simply, we are here today because New Zealand's economy is entering one of the most dramatic eras of change in our country's history. Our global confrontation with climate change, which is the biggest challenge facing the international community and New Zealand, will require us to completely remake our economy over the next 30 years. And we've begun.
Yesterday we introduced the Zero Carbon Bill to Parliament. The critical goal that we must share is to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next 30 years. And our legislation reached through consensus makes a start on this, because the alternative is the catastrophic cost of doing nothing. We're planting 1 billion trees. We're setting up a $100 million dollar green infrastructure fund to back clean energy projects. The Government is moving to an EV fleet. We are investing a record $14 billion dollars in public transport to particularly low emissions transport options like light rail and cycle ways, and we're putting an annual $20 million dollar investment into reducing agricultural emissions.
How we power our economy, what products and services we are able to produce and sell, how we move around, how we work and how we pay our way in the world, will all be transformed. Now this is a change on a scale in a pace that we simply have not seen before. So we've come together today to talk about how it is that we chart our way through this change and importantly how we make sure that no one is left behind. How we make sure that even as the world changes our country remains the best place in the world to live, to work, to raise a family. I am personally determined that we get this right. Not to see this as a challenge to fear but one to get a hit of to secure a modern economy that truly works for all of us and I'm determined for a reason.
Now I'm a child of the 80s, so as well as having seen my fair share of fluro lycra in my time and “Who's the Boss” reruns, I've also seen what happens when we don't manage change well. When social and economic change is not only rapid but sometimes unplanned, and sometimes uncaring. I saw plenty of evidence of their growing up even just for a few short years in the town of Murupara. People lost their jobs suddenly, and along with those jobs went their dignity and hope that they provided. Families were displaced, businesses were shuttered, communities were disrupted. I saw a government that headed into dramatic and jarring change.
Now I understand how things like that can happen. After all in politics the temptation has always been to do everything in three-year cycles. Not to think too far ahead least you have to make hard decisions, or simply because postponing problems is so much easier. To think of the future as someone else's problem. And I know that's not a mindset that's confined to politics. You know we see it in companies from time to time, that have traded on our environment whilst not sustaining it for those who follow, and in people whose mindset too often is to get and make money get out with no forethought about what comes after.
But it doesn't have to be that way. We are committed to a better option, it is about lifting our eyes beyond the three year cycle and thinking the next generation, not the next election.
This is about tackling those long-term challenges that our country faces, and for that we're asking for your help, because there is no greater long-term challenge than climate change. This is too big for any one government, or one industry, or one union, or one region, to tackle alone. And that's what we mean when we talk about a Just Transition. All of us, Government and business and workers and iwi, all coming together to chart a better path through the changes that are coming. Working together to make sure our people have dignity, our economy has a future and our planet is protected. Thinking and acting and planning for the long term not just for today.
And I strongly believe that this is what New Zealanders want from us. Today there is strong public support for measures to tackle climate change. I absolutely believe Kiwis understand that this is something we have to grapple with and they want us to do it in a planned way that is pragmatic and that is well thought through.
There is real agreement both here and internationally about our goals. That we must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change. Now we are one of the few countries in the world who has written 1.5 degree goal into our legislation. Now we've done that for a reason, because that's what it will take to save towns and cities and our Pacific neighbours. We know if the world warms more than 1.5 degrees, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands will be at significant risk of devastating impacts.
Now this agreement on climate change action wasn't always so widespread. I still vividly remember during the 2008 election being asked at a public meeting about my views on climate change. Now a wise candidate once told me later that if 50% of a public meeting isn't disagreeing with you at any one time you're probably not saying anything. I did wonder though if a hundred percent of the room booing me mean I was saying too much, especially because some of the people in the room included my grandmother.
But I firmly believe things are different now. After all, 10 years later, here we are not debating anymore if climate change is real but instead discussing what we do about it. And I also believe that if we give this transition right there's enormous opportunities that we can grab. A study by Westpac for example found that transitioning to a low-carbon economy could create up to thirty billion dollars and benefits for our country. A report by Transpower showed that moving towards renewable energy would mean lower power costs for consumers and businesses. Groups like Pure Advantage and BERL have shown that tens of thousands of new jobs could be created by investment in clean energy. If we get our planning right all of these benefits are within our grasp, so that is what the next two days are about. We'll hear from thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs, workers, and sorry just the odd politician, about the transition that is coming and how we can work together to make sure it's fair and just. That everyone gets a seat at the table and a say about how we go about it.
Now the decision though to hold this conference here in Taranaki was made because right here in this region planning for the transition to a low-carbon economy is already underway. For decades Taranaki has been the leading energy producing region of new Zealand. The local oil and gas industry has provided thousands of good jobs, with good wages, and other businesses have sprung up to support that industry, but with the world moving away from fossil fuels that won't be sustainable in the decades to come. With the World Bank ceasing lending on fossil fuels. With investment in renewable energy now outstripping fossil fuels, and with institutions like the Bank of England warning of the danger of stranded assets, the world is moving. Now we see that clearly, and continuing to put too many of any region's economic eggs in any one basket is a risky strategy.
Continuing to rely in the future on fuels that pump more and more carbon into the air as the rest of the world seeks lower emissions would only mean a sharp disruptive economic change in the future unless we plan for that change. Now local people know this, and have already begun planning for the change through work like Make Way for Taranaki, the development plan about diversifying Taranaki's economy. Now that plan showed that if we committed to a long term, managed transition towards clean energy and towards other regional strengths like tourism and innovative agriculture there would be real benefits for Taranaki.
And as a government we totally agree with you. That's why last year we did announce that we would in the issuing of new offshore oil and gas permits. Now this was a decision about transitioning, with existing permits protected and onshore permits continuing. Now I acknowledge that there will be people for whom that decision was and still is a challenge, but as we've said many times this wasn't about sudden change. Thousands of square kilometres of existing acreage continue to be permitted for exploration. We see a role for gas in our economy for decades to come, and since our decision we've seen there's still a strong medium term picture for the industry in the region. Just this year OMB announced another half a billion dollars of investment. In fact I think it's fair to say that to paraphrase probably a sadly famous New Zealand saying: “This change isn't happening overnight but it is happening.” And with that transition underway we are committed to in with Taranaki every step of the way, because we have a responsibility to.
We've established the Just Transitions Unit to work alongside the region on the way forward, and it's doing really practical work. Local leaders, you've done incredible work already, truly world leading in my opinion, coming together to chart a long-term future for the economy and people of this region. Now we'll see the results of that work, the Taranaki 2050 roadmap, unveiled later today. But what I find inspiring about that work is how it's brought people from every part of the community together, given them a say, taken on board their expertise and advice, and put that thinking into a unified plan for the region's future. And what that work makes clear is that people in Taranaki want to be leaders in the energy transition. For decades, Taranaki has been the leading energy producing region in the country, now in the 21st century local people know that their region can be a leader in clean energy as well. Businesses and workers already have the skills, the experience, and the international links to support new developments and clean energy technology and infrastructure.
People here know that clean energy in the decades to come will be able to support good jobs and high wages in the same way that the oil and gas industry has in the past. And government, businesses and communities around the world are taking action to address climate change challenges and we know the global energy system must make fundamental changes too. Here in New Zealand our Productivity Commission found that there is no one hub that is supporting and directing the development of new energy forms in the country. Now that Productivity Commission had argued that one was badly needed. Our Government couldn't agree more and that is why we are committed to supporting such ambition. So today I'm announcing that the Government, as part of the Wellbeing Budget 2019, will set up a new clean energy centre here in Taranaki to help lead New Zealand's transition to a low-carbon future. The National New Energy Development Centre will help create new businesses and job opportunities in Taranaki, while helping New Zealand move towards clean, affordable, renewable energy and away from fossil fuels. The centre will lead development of new clean energy technologies and work with businesses to position their innovations into commercial opportunities and new ventures creating high-paying local jobs.
We’ll invest 27 million dollars to establish this Centre and cover its running costs. It will look at the full range of emerging new energy options, such as offshore wind, solar batteries, hydrogen and new forms of energy storage. There's already strong demand for the Centre in New Zealand, it fills a need. While basing the Centre in Taranaki to capitalise on this region's talent and other assets, the Centre will serve as a national energy system integrator and work across multiple organisations, agencies and locations.
It will be a focal point for government, the research sector and the private sector, and it will draw on the best ideas and technology developed here and abroad. It will therefore help us to generate more new energy innovation at faster rates and at lower cost and risk to industry innovators. Ultimately the centre will help us deliver secure, affordable, sustainable energy for homes, communities and industries and it will improve our capacity to deliver on national and global emissions targets.
Now I know that this centre will be established on a strong foundation with pledges of collaboration and support already existing from the energy sector, from research organisations and supply chain businesses - both local to Taranaki and beyond. In fact, many of you will already be in the room today - I expect you're probably the ones that clapped- Thank you, I'm excited to work together and I'm already encouraged by the support for this project.
Alongside this we will invest $20 million dollars over four years to establish a new science research fund for cutting-edge energy technology, so that we can look into the likes of superconductors, nanotechnologies, inductive power and photovoltaics. Investing in cutting-edge science that could have global application is one of the best ways a country like New Zealand can contribute to the battle against climate change. Helping to commercialise new energy and investing in early-stage research, they go hand in hand. Now New Zealand currently has pockets of world-class capability in niche areas of advanced energy research. These types of technologies have the potential to radically transform energy landscapes, leading to step change and efficiency, enabling greater use of renewable energy in transportation, creating business opportunities that will attract investment, create jobs and help us be part of the expert solutions that the globe needs.
I'm already so encouraged by what is happening here in Taranaki, but I'm also hugely optimistic about what we can do together, as a nation, as we confront climate change. Now is the time for a truly Just Transition. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
Youth vision for Taranaki and Aotearoa
(MC Jehan introduces a panel of speakers flanked to the left by a sign language interpreter. He wears a grey suit with a light blue shirt and a tie.)
Thank You Prime Minister. So we're talking about the future and it's only fitting that we hear from rangatahi about what they think about the issues that we face and what a just transition could look like. So I'd like to invite four young people to the stage and the Prime Minister is going to return and facilitate a conversation with them. So I'd like to welcome Josh Barratt from Opunake High School, Ethan Sheaf-Morrison from New Plymouth Boys High School, Nikita Taiapa from New Plymouth Girls High School and India Logan-Riley from Te Ara Whatu, and I welcome the Prime Minister back as well.
(There are a panel of speakers seated on a stage. A sign language interpreter is on the right of the screen. There is a dark background with beams of orange light shining vertically up the wall every metre or so. The backs of the first three rows of the audience can be seen in the foreground. The Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and Minister of Energy, Honourable Megan Woods sit on the right of the stage. Four rangatahi sit on the left, from right to left: Josh Barratt, Ethan Sheaf-Morrison, Nikita Taiapa, India Logan-Riley.)
Prime Minister: Kia ora and I brought a friend as well, in the form of the Honourable Megan Woods who's our Minister for Energy and such a critical part of the conversation that we'll be having here on the stage today. And when the Just Transition Summit was put together it felt completely natural that the beginning of this conversation started with the generation that we ultimately are responsible to, because if we don't act it's our next generation who pick up the pieces. And so I'm not going to speak any further, I'm going to instead hand over to the four young people who are sitting before us, who I know have some questions for us and we'll do our best to answer them. So who would like to begin?
Ethan: So with any change as drastic as this there’s going to be push back, so how can businesses be held accountable if they're not striving towards a lower emissions economy?
Prime Minister: And a fantastic and question because this is actually one of the debates that's been sparked over the introduction of the Zero Carbon Bill. You know how do we make sure that everyone's accountable? Government in particular, but also as has been said government can't do absolutely everything to reach these goals alone, so how do we hold business accountable, individual consumers? I still think that one of the most important things that we can do is try and build that consensus. Because in a democracy anything that can be built can be undone. Parliament is always sovereign over its own decisions and so even when we set up architecture around climate change, any government of the day could unravel that. I still remember as a brand-new MP coming into Parliament and watching as Parliament resumed with new leadership and the ETS scheme was changed, legislation on biofuels was changed, and so I still think one of the most important thing we can do is build consensus. And when you think about the things that we've consensus on in New Zealand, things like universal pension, sure we tinker around the edges but that fundamentally stays the same because we know the public would not accept the alternative. We have to get to a position and young people have been critical in this - the climate strikes were an example - of making sure that it becomes utterly unacceptable not to act on climate change, and not to follow through on our commitments on climate change, and therefore for it to be unacceptable for business not to do the same. So I think honestly that is the most important thing that we can do.
Josh: I guess we sort of already talked about it, but as Taranaki leans more of a green energy region what can we expect from oil and gas - has it become completely irrelevant in the future? And what type of particular energies can we expect, not only in Taranaki but across the entire country? And following on from that what type of job influx and to what expense is it for consumers and just people around?
Prime Minister: A three part question. The speaker in Parliament would totally rule that out but I'm going to accept. You’re right to ask that question and this is ultimately what's given rise to this discussion and debate here. You know what does the future look like when we have an economy that's such a significant part of the years has been oil and gas. Well ultimately we've said it needs to be a transition and during the course of that transition we need to make sure we utilise the skills that already exist in this region. You know the engineering businesses that exist here, how can we channel that into opportunities around for instance green hydrogen. And that's an area in hydrogen we've been doing a lot of work with local government here and Regional Economic Development who's done some incredible planning around the hydrogen future for New Zealand in Taranaki. But it is a transition, you know we haven't turned things off overnight because we don't want to see the jarring effects of just making a sudden decision because we have to.
Minister Woods: And to answer the second leg of your question, I think one of the important things you talked about in terms was the skills. So one of the things in the transition that we're planning what the Prime Minister talked about in terms we need to think about what the expertise that exists in this region and we know that's around energy, we know it's around engineering, and most of the people that are working in the industry today will finish their careers in the industry. But for people such as yourselves this fits very much within our future of work painting that Minister Robertson will talk about later on today. This is about what are the skills that young people are going to need as they're thinking about what jobs they're going to do in the future. For some of those new opportunities in green hydrogen. But also one of the exciting things about the energy sector in the 21st century is that it's about decentralisation, it's about digitisation, it's all those kind of skills that will be transferable across different parts of the economy. So that's what we have to be thinking about as a government too - what is the kind of skills training we're setting up for you.
Nikita: What role do you think Māori environmental values will play in the 2050 transition?
Prime Minister: So just in case anyone didn't hear that, the question was around Māori values in the transition. And I was actually thinking just yesterday, I was watching a video that was played at the beginning of the announcement around the Zero Carbon Bill, and the Ministry for the Environment had interviewed Ngarimu Blair of Ngāti Whatua, and he made this comment that really stuck with me, he said you know what if we had you know decades ago really applied the value of kaitiakitanga, what if we had really taken on board that idea of us being guardians, that we ultimately have a period of time which we have a guardianship role over the environment which we are ultimately then handing on and looking at our obligations through that lens, how we would have done things differently. And so that value for me probably sums up so much of what we need to do in terms of our environmental management going forward. Truly feeling that sense of responsibility and that duty of care.
There's also I think the value of whanaungatanga and the relationship we have with the environment as well. When you think about an area like Whanganui, they have a whakataukī there – “I am the river and the river is me” - that link that I think actually New Zealanders generally speaking feel to their environment. Translating that real connection that we have with place into the way that we treat our environment.
Now we're trying to do that - how does it translate into policy. Well we're thinking about that in the way that we have constructed our next budget, so the 2019 budget we've called it a Wellbeing Budget because I think really for the first time we're saying you can't think about everything in separate compartments. Often budgets and governments just think about GDP and I've said this a number of times. Robert Kennedy once said “GDP measures just about everything except that which makes life worthwhile” - and yet when we release budgets often we're just looking those economic indicators, but as Grant Robertson, our Minister of Finance often says, you know if you have a business that's doing well and it's contributing to the economy and productivity and so on, that might look good on paper but what if that business is polluting its local river, and the person that owns that business has a child who is suffering from mental health issues? Now none of that is captured in the way that we usually mark success in our economy and we've got to change that.
Our wellbeing needs to look at the health of our environment. It needs to look at the wellbeing of our people, and of course it needs to look at our economy is going better, but all of them are linked and so ultimately I think that does hark back to Māori values we would have done well to pay heed to a long time ago.
India: I think my question is particularly relevant after you know you've announced this these new phases of development as we make this shift, so particularly given that the government just announced a block offer of land for fossil fuel exploration without the consent of mana whenua, what is the government going to do by the next election that will make sure that our right to determine what happens on land that we are kaitiaki of is actually upheld as safeguarded by Te Tiriti, and how will that look better than consultation and engagement.
Prime Minister: I think, you know, you've really captured actually what is what has been at the heart of this debate. You know when we announced a decision around ending new offshore block offers we did also say we would continue on shore and that was part of the positioning of saying that we know things need to change but we want to do it in a planned way. And so I know the offshore decision was really welcomed by some, it was not welcomed by others. The onshore continuation again, welcomed by some not welcomed by others. And this has been you know one of the difficult issues for us as a government and deciding that we wanted to move into that transition they're hard decisions. I will ask the Minister speak to some of the specifics but one thing I do also want to say around just generally government's relationship with Māori, you know we recognise that for a long time these ideas of engagement have simply been through tick box exercises of consultation. One of the things we've recognised is actually that when we move into a post treaty settlement phase, actually that relationship, we need to keep changing that and it needs to be much, much more of a connection. We created Te Arawhiti. Now Te Arawhiti for me is that when we go into an environment where we no longer have the Office of Treaty Settlements, that we start looking and instead of that that Crown Māori relationship and Te Arawhiti means the bridge, and that is the kind of relationship we need to build where instead of the Crown waiting on one side for Māori to come over we do a lot more of walking over. And so that fundamentally needs to change and we've acknowledged that but let me give specific answer on this block offer that I know you're interested in.
Minister Woods: Thank You Prime Minister and I think you've covered a lot of it. I think one of the important things when we went ahead with block offer 2018 is it was largely under the legislation as it stands. We made some immediate changes to the legislation last year to enable us not to do an offshore block offer,
(Camera zooms in so only Jacinda Ardern, Megan Woods, and the interpreter, are in frame.)
and that meant that it was pretty much business as usual in the way iwi had been consulted with throughout the history of that legislation. And I know that we did rule out some areas under the petroleum program - around Parihaka, urupā, the kinds of areas that obviously we do need and to rule out. One of the things that we did do a bit differently and this block offer was also rule out conservation land around the block offer. But this is an interim measure, what we've always said is we've done the immediate changes to the block offer, but we're coming back to do round two of looking at the Crown Minerals Act which is the legislation that covers off how it is that we allocate rights for exploration.
So what I would do is encourage everybody who feels strongly about that to take part in that consultation when we do round two, about how in the future in the 21st century you want local iwi to be involved in this conversation, what a modern conversation with iwi around this looks like. One of the things that I think is exciting thing about the conversation we're going to have in this room over the next two days - we're world-leading on the conversation of how we do this transition, and I think something we can offer to the world of how it is that we bring the indigenous voice into that conversation and we can show the rest of the world what that looks like in an Aotearoa New Zealand context. So I really encourage that conversation and I want to hear those views coming through really strongly so thank you for bringing it up.
Prime Minister: The little red clicker sees we've got 1 minute 55 so let's squeeze in an extra question. It's freestyle now everyone.
Nikita: How are you going to ensure that Māori involvement goes further than just consultation?
Prime Minister: I think it really also comes down to at what point you're starting those conversations. If you've already made a decision, and this is one of the issues that the Minister's raising - some of that process is actually legislated, and so we go through a formal process that's being set-down and it's just the way it's been done but often it means that decisions are made and then we take those decisions out and we ask for people's opinion on it. So really actually beginning right at the start, that fundamentally changes the nature, becomes a much different conversation if decisions haven't already been made for instance.
Ethan: People I can tell asking around are scared of what will happen because they rely on oil and gas and high emission economies - what are some ways, well one way I guess, we could alleviate that fear a little bit?
Prime Minister: That is such a good question, and it's such a hard balance isn't it whenever we're having the climate debate the natural inclination is to show everyone it's a crisis because we want people to feel the need, that sense of urgency, and so we throw up the images of what's happening to the glaciers, and we throw up the wildfires, and look in New Zealand we've got our own images now of those extreme weather events.
So that's our natural inclination - it does create a sense of panic and urgency and something I actually I don't think I'd fully appreciated - you know it's creating a huge sense of anxiety for our young people, because every time they see those images buttered up against climate in action they’re wondering what's going to happen to their future. So equally people would then feel that sense of similar panic, okay well if it's so urgent does that mean my entire life is going to have to change, either the things that I do now will have to change or actually the price of me doing what I do now will inflate so much that I will suffer.
The hard path that we all have to walk is creating that sense of urgency but also optimism. Now I feel both. You know yes, it's absolutely real, we have to act now but in acting now we can try and alleviate some of the fear that will do it in such a jarring way that people will really feel that huge financial toll on them. In fact, you know the goal that we set yesterday, the targets that are part of the Zero Carbon Bill, we already have a set of expectations, international obligations we have signed up to, we've taken us a little bit further because we've said 1.5 degrees should be our goal. Not everyone is doing that but we are because we are members of the Pacific and we need to be able to look our Pacific neighbours in the eye, and if we don't aim for 1.5 we're essentially saying that we accept they will lose some of their territory due to climate change, so we're opting for 1.5 because that also means that we protect flora and fauna that would otherwise disappear at two degrees, and in accepting 1.5 actually we're adding roughly potentially a cost to growth of about 0.2 percent.
That's not taking into account that actually there's a whole range of growth opportunities out of clean tech, out of the potential IP we could create by investing in agricultural solutions,that we are focused on now but the rest of the world will probably be focused on in the next few years. In fact when am I had one of my first conversations with the prime minister of the Netherlands when I became prime minister we started talking about climate change, he said yes tell me, what are you doing, because we are all searching for ideas and if we lead on those ideas, produce those ideas early, find that technology, we will benefit economically from that. That will mean jobs, it will mean a lower-cost transition, and it will mean people can feel hopeful and so feel urgent, feel that sense of urgency but please also feel optimistic as well.
I’m on -2.35 now so perhaps we’ll end on that note but thank you for coming and asking us real questions
A global perspective on the importance of taking action on climate change
How New Zealand can showcase leadership that captures the opportunities
Future Proofing New Zealand(external link) – International perspective: key note address from James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron
(Suzy Cameron and James Cameron stand at a lectern with a sign language interpreter to the right. There is a dark background with beams of orange light shining vertically up the wall on the left-hand side of the screen. Suzy wears all black and James wears a black jacket with a navy shirt with white polka dots.)
James: Hi there. Well thank you for that very warm welcome and thanks especially to Mark and the iwi representatives for your warm welcome. We're going to share some of our experiences, and the goal here obviously is to brainstorm how the New Zealand economy can transition to its carbon emissions targets to help save the world and lead by example, and it's a bit of a daunting task because we have to go to 50 percent of current methane levels and net zero on all other emissions by 2050, and that's going to take all of us working together on that. I understand that the local Māori practice in Taranaki is to have the women speak first because that makes it less threatening when you come in peace, but first of all Suzy is as much or more of a warrior than I am and in any case we set it up so that I would speak first and I'm just paralyzed if we don't do that, so I'll lead off and then she'll take over in a few minutes with her areas of expertise around food.
Suzy: I did speak first I said hello.
James: Good point oh good so it's handled. So you know I just want to also thank all of you for doing what you're doing here today and you know to try to find this solution which is inclusive and fair to all and we would add that can actually stimulate and grow the NZ economy. And the purpose of this gathering is to figure out how to future-proof the New Zealand economy in a changing world. So why are we standing up here, you know to kick this off, most people probably know us - know me as an explorer and a filmmaker, know Suzy as an actor and an educator. She founded her schools, but most of our work actually in the last 10 years has been in agriculture and food, and that has been driven by our environmental concerns, and as we'll show we'll take you down this path you can't really talk about reducing emissions in New Zealand without talking about the future of ag and food.
So I'm sure most of you would view us as outsiders but we have actually made New Zealand our home and we're now residents and we're working here and we have businesses here. We fell in love with this place not just for its beautiful scenery or for its high winds but for its national spirit, its value system which is how we wanted our children to be raised. Now you know Kiwis tend to be humble so let us as semi outsiders brag about you to you just for a second. You have a very can-do spirit. You have a sense of self-reliance. You tend to be very forward-thinking and tech forward. At the same time there's a fundamental pragmatism to the way you approach things. You have a strong green consciousness and that's of course especially true in the Māori communities who are who are so deeply rooted to the land but everyone here shares that green consciousness and we believe that if you don't appreciate and love and honour nature, how are you going to fight for that which you don't love and respect. You have a relatively small population as a nation and that allows you to pivot quickly and to react rapidly to global economic trends. You're economically agile, that allows you to lead by example in the developing world and that's the developed and developing world and that's I think that's very important. Most importantly you're sane, you're sane people, unlike some other countries that we occasionally live in who are insane, especially on this issue. You know and these are the values, you know that's why we're here and you know we want to live here the rest of our lives and continue to raise our children here. This is our home.
Suzy: Yeah exactly. We started coming here, well I started coming here when Jim was working on Avatar and I trooped over here with all of the children and within a couple of days we had fallen madly in love with the place and we knew we were going to be coming back to look for a home. We went through the permanent residency process and the day that we landed when we had our permanent residency the immigration officer said welcome home. I almost burst into tears
James: You did
Suzy: Yeah pretty much and we have made New Zealand our home. It feels much more home here than in the States at this point because you're all sane.
James: So anyway we’re all in this together right and we really applaud what's happening here today but you know climate change why do we why do we care I mean I think everybody here - first of all New Zealanders are very well informed on world affairs, I'm sure you know the answer, but I do think it bears at least a minute of speaking out loud about this. You know because yes you know the glaciers are melting and yes the wild fires are out of control in the United States and Australia and across Europe and so on and heat waves, but that's not the picture of the future that scares me the most and why I'm so dedicated to this as a cause. You think about the immigrant crisis in in Europe that toppled all the liberal governments there over the last few years and set us back in the political Dark Ages. That was caused by a couple of hundred thousand refugees coming up out of Syria and Africa and they were fleeing a drought. They were fleeing drought that was caused by historically unprecedented changes to the climate. So what happens to us globally when it's millions and then tens of millions and eventually hundreds of millions of people as is being predicted. You know fleeing farms that have become deserts, fleeing coasts and rising seas that are devouring their fertile deltas and their coastal cities. You know the chaos and the human suffering will be unfathomable and the political outcome will be intolerable. It will be a ruthless future, it will be the end of democracy, it will be the end of peace, and I can't bear to think that we're not doing everything that we can do to not leave that world to our children or our grandchildren and the handwriting is on the wall, you know about the about this kind of dark you know political scenario. If you look at the U.S. not only is the government pretending you know to be pretending to be utterly dismissive of the human role in climate change and that we should do anything about it, but at the very same time they're building walls, you know to keep out they're building a mighty wall to keep out all the immigrants who are fleeing you know from civil unrest and so on down below, but you know this latest wave that set off this big crisis where they had to call out the military to defend the United States was caused by farmers coming up from Guatemala through Central America through Mexico to try to find a better life. Why? Because the farms that they had worked for 10 generations have suddenly collapsed due to unprecedented, historically unprecedented drought. It's happening, it's happening now. But this is just a glimpse of the future. So what's the solution? This is the first big challenge in human history where all the nations of the world really need to work together and historically we’re not very good at that. We don't need walls and isolation, we need cooperation and I think that this is a place where New Zealand can lead by example. I want to return to that to that theme, this is a place that can act quickly, that can act sensibly because we're sensible people here and can show the world what the solution looks like. So the Paris Accords and the and the carbon targets are very important and fortunately unlike the US, New Zealand is leaning into the problem and actively looking for solutions and that's hugely important. You know and Prime Minister mentioned the Zero Carbon Bill and there's the Climate Change Commission and so on so they're mapping a path forward and we're doing it here over the next couple of days. But how exactly do we meet these all-important emission targets? And apparently there's a remote here that will start our slides. Good. So this shows the various emissions by their various sectors, and what stands out to me is how small electricity generation is, and that's a tribute to how two New Zealand's power already and the fact that you're already, we're already at 85 percent renewable, with hydro and wind and so on, so that's fantastic, right, except that the available Delta now is so small in electricity generation that it puts a lot of pressure on the other sectors like transportation and agriculture. Transportation is actually a good place for a change, the global average is about 13.5 percent of total greenhouse forcing, here it's nineteen point seven percent, so it's a little above the global average. This is a good place to attack to electrify the vehicle fleet and maybe look at some technical innovations, some new engineering, around maybe hydrogen fuel cells for long-haul trucking and that sort of thing. And I'm going to return to innovation after after Suzy's part of all this but by far the biggest section of emissions at 48 percent is agriculture, and animal agriculture is the best majority of that. Dairy alone accounts for 22 percent which is well above all transportation combined, so the elephant in the room here, or the cow in the room here, is obviously animal agriculture. Now I just want to say that I know that there are probably a fair few people here that are that are farmers or work in the agricultural sector and the related food businesses, and I just want to say we're farmers, you know we have a large working farm in the in the Wairarapa, south of Featherston. We grow flax, corn, hemp - industrial hemp and maybe the other kind of the year so if things go well in this referendum, we have a large organic vegetable operation, and we have bees, we have 300 hives, we make some pretty good Manuka honey, and we also have organic farms in Canada and Saskatchewan and British Columbia and we grow veggies there and also yellow peas and lentils and so on. I grew up on a small family operated mixed farm in Canada and Suzy grew up on a farm in in Oklahoma that was a beef farm
Suzy: Beef and pigs
James: Beef and pigs. So trying to say you know we get it, farming is hard, it's long hours, it's uncertain financially, you can have bad harvest, markets change, weather patterns change. You know so we're very sympathetic to farmers, especially family-owned farms, and we know that here in in Taranaki especially, dairy is one of the biggest economic drivers which is why this Conclave is being hosted here at least as much as because of the oil and gas industry here. You know because there is the biggest single greenhouse gas emitter in the New Zealand economy and so this is where the rubber is going to meet the road when it comes to change and it's going to affect a lot of people so I just want to you know applaud for a moment the New Zealand way of doing things which Suzy and I so admire. Instead of hosting this Conclave and you know in Wellington or Auckland or you know very far from the farm gate you choose to do it here and the place where you know the problem the problem could hit the hardest and that shows compassion and understanding and inclusiveness and that's the Kiwi way and that's one of the value systems that we so admire. And it's a signal I think to the to the community that nobody's going to be left behind in this transition that it's going to be done sensibly, it's going to be done over time in a way that that benefits everyone. And this is pretty much the opposite of how it's done in the U.S. where you know it's all about denial and it's all about divisive party politics and all of that sort of thing, so you take a moment to be proud of yourselves and have that little bit of an outsider perspective. We can jump you know we can jump back and forth inside and outside hopefully and bring some different perspectives here.
You know the future is coming whether we like it or not and we're so we have to shift our consciousness and you know there are alternatives to how things are done now and hopefully they can be as lucrative if not more so if we're smart about it, but we have to change. So how do you make that change sensible and inclusive and just for all. You know so animal ag we acknowledge has been a huge part of the New Zealand economy since its inception, it's deeply ingrained in the very fabric of life here, and not only is it the biggest export sector but it's also kind of the basis for consumption here. New Zealanders love their meat and dairy. You know you eat what you grow. But this has come at a cost, and New Zealanders are among the most at-risk population in the world, most at-risk populations in the world for diseases that are known to be the result of eating meat dairy and Suzy has some stats on that because she's the nutritionist.
Suzy: So I don't know if you all know but New Zealand is number five in heart disease in the world, number five in diabetes, number two in osteoporosis, and number one in bowel cancer in the world.
James: Right so that's sobering but the way I look at it is it's kind of a win-win scenario if we can crack the correct code on this and we'll get to later how all of those stats which people are confronting worldwide are causing them to change their consumption habits and how meat and dairy consumption are going down, dairy especially in the U.S., so let's just go back to the emissions profile for a second. So in other countries you'd look to electrical generation, that's not going to work here as well although I think it's important transportation discuss that, but we really have to look at that agricultural sector, and the targets are quite ferocious when it comes to methane so we've got to cut methane by 2050 in half, and methane is a powerful greenhouse forcing gas so is nitrous oxide, although on a shorter timetable, time half life, than carbon dioxide, but these numbers I believe are carbon dioxide equivalent numbers so it's an apples-to-apples. So 48% of emissions from an industry that that is only generating about 5% of New Zealand's GDP and of course that ag sector also supports about another 4% from the food and beverage industries so call it a total of nine percent. So there is a disproportion there and so you know in purely objective terms, not unemotional terms, you know less ag and certainly far less animal ag is the is the best way to retool the emissions profile of the country. So now we know that GDP isn't the full story because it's you know ag and food are our 37 percent of exports so that has to be that has to be factored in. So let's see, so here are the emissions goals 5% by 2020 that's looming, 2030 30 percent below 2005 11 percent below 1990, and 2050 the current target is 50 percent below on methane but it's zero emissions in all other areas, net zero, so these are these are pretty daunting numbers. So how do we reduce these animal emissions?
Suzy: Yeah I just wanted to mention to you know the Prime Minister actually talked about urgency, the UN announced about six months ago the IPCC report, we have until 2030 to turn things around so there really is an urgency in doing something now.
James: So here's an interesting slide and Suzy could speak to this as well as I can, but if you look at the carbon emissions produced by different sectors of agriculture a quick glance shows you that if you're eating more to the right of the curve you're doing less damage and if you're eating to the to the left of the curve and by quite an order of magnitude or several orders of magnitude and in some case. So you know we can reduce methane at the animal and there's research being done on that, that's good, for with low methane production feedstocks and so on. One of the great ironies of you know dairy production and beef production is that there's significantly less methane produced when they're in a herd home you know which is such an in wonderfully inviting term that we use here - concentrated animal feeding operations - but is that what New Zealand really wants to do? You know do we want to shatter that bucolic image of the cows grazing naturally so we can lock them up in these filthy pens next to vast waste lagoons? That seems like such a huge step backwards to me and something that is really going to undermine the very very important clean green image of New Zealand's brand worldwide, which impacts the tourism industry which is another big sector of the economy, it impacts the export into foreign markets where they really perceive the New Zealand brand on food and food products as being a stamp of quality - in China for example. And we think that that brand is critically important, as growers and producers of food products ourselves here in New Zealand, we take advantage of that brand, we can quantify it in our sales, but this is going to be endangered, in fact it's being endangered by some of the other aspects of animal agriculture as well. Nutrient runoff from phosphates and nitrates and so on in the rivers and the lakes going out into the oceans and so on so that clean green brand is something that we have to fight for and a lot of our solutions to the emissions problem are also going to be co-solutions when it comes to these other negative impacts of animal ag.
Suzy: So we can look when I was working at the largest NGO in in America, no one ever mentioned a word about animal agriculture. I was there for ten years, but I learned all about the different environmental issues out there, deforestation, biodiversity loss, polluted water, dying oceans and climate change, and certainly these are all things that New Zealand is looking at and dealing with, but you can absolutely connect the dots to all of these things, there's an enormous amount of deforestation here mostly for grazing, the water is unfortunately getting polluted from the nitrogen runoff and from the slurry from the animals, the dead zones that are created from the nitrogen runoff and you know you always talk about how a lot of farmers are just growing algae because of the runoff it goes into the oceans.
James: If you ask any farmer what they're growing they'll say you know corn or flax or whatever they think they're growing but what they're mostly growing is algae, just somewhere else, because they're paying to put the inputs in the soil and it's leaching out or running off into the rivers and streams going down to the ocean and their algae farmers. They don't make any money off it though.
Suzy: So we have put plant-based diet in the middle. All of a sudden we have reforestation, we slow climate change, we clean up the oceans, we have fresh safe water for all, and we protect biodiversity. So when you're looking at moving from meat and dairy to more plants, so you use 18 times more land with animal products than you do versus plant products, ten times more water, nine times more fuel, ten times more fertilizers and pesticides, and 20 times more emissions. If you think about the same area of land, call it a hectare, you can look at getting about 550 kilos from that piece of land - it sounds like a lot but if you take the animals off of that land and you plant veggies you can get a hundred and ten thousand kilograms of veggies, so you can feed a lot more people, and take care of the land, and take care of the air, and take care of the water.
James: So we have six minutes so yes okay we're going to kick into fifth gear now.
Suzy: So you can just look at the land use for cows milk versus plant-based milk. Point 36 square miles, 43 gallons of water use and miles driven 1.20 miles - that should be in kilometres - but that you can see cashew milk is much much less. And you look at beef - beef land use is 36 square miles, water use is 570, I mean you can see, you can do the math, and see that using a plant-based alternative like beans is a much better option.
So I said earlier that we're number five in heart disease, number five in diabetes, number two and osteoporosis and number one in bowel cancer. Every day eight people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in New Zealand and three of those people die. Now there's good news though because by eating a plant-based diet you have 43 percent less cancer, twenty four percent less heart disease, it really is it's good for the planet it's good for your health it's good for the economy it's a win-win-win and yes it's good for your sex life too because if you've got good blood flow in your body you're going to have it in all of your body.
James: Well look we could spend all of our time and far more just talking about the health benefits but yeah the question is how does that impact the NZ economy which has a huge export - 37 percent of export is food and agricultural product. Well whether we can talk you guys into eating plant-based or more plant-based here today is really kind of irrelevant, because the message is out there and it's happening and in your and North America and to a lesser extent but accelerating rapidly in China. It's changing and it's changing in a very measurable way and the single largest growth sector in the food industry which is an industry that we work in at least as much as the film industry for me is the plant-based food alternatives for meat, dairy, cheese, all that all that sort of thing, so the point that we're driving toward here is that we if the future is changing that direction we need to be aware of it, we need to adjust to it, and regardless of our own internal national consumption here we need to adjust to our international markets.
Suzy: So I'm going to cruise through this. So in America we've got 40 percent dip in milk consumption and the world actually unfortunately follows what the U.S. does - that's why there's so much heart disease and diabetes and disease around the world.
So there's a 90 year old dairy in the states and they saw these trends happening and they shut down their 90 year old dairy and now they are 100% plant-based, they make all these different kinds of milks, they're transitioning into yoghurts and ice creams and things like that. It is the fastest growing sector in the food production. Alternative milks with 1.7 billion last year, just in this past year. Beyond burgers - maybe you all saw that in the news - surged 163 percent in their trading debut. Dannan invested $12.5 billion dollars in dairy alternatives. Alternative milk, cheese and dairy has been up 8% in the last year. Even the dairy icon Dean owns a 70% of Good Karma Foods. $16 billion dollars has been invested over the last 10 years in plant-based foods and 13 of those 16 were just in 17 and 18.
James: Right so I think the message here is clear. This is a place where New Zealand can lead because we're great innovators here. If we don't adapt to change then we're gonna be like Kodak, okay. Kodak refused to accept that the world was going to change away from film and here we are 20 years later with all movies being made digitally, all television being made digitally, Kodak is long dead and the movie industry is doing just fine. So the key to it is you know that the future is coming at you like a wave, coming at us like a wave, and we need to either surf that wave or it's going to crash over our heads.
So we had a whole thing on innovation and a celebration of the innovative spirit in New Zealand and I was going to talk a bit about Avatar and why we're here doing Avatar which is a very high-tech form of film production and how we make thousands of jobs in Wellington by attracting that capital to New Zealand and how successful those incentive programs have been, but I think I can sum that all up by saying that government has a role to play here in attracting capital and rewarding New Zealand innovators and inventors and start-up companies and so on, with working in these sectors, whether it's new food products, whether it's a new ag technology that feeds into these new types of alternative meat and dairy food products and other things, but innovation is a key part of how we're going to deal with this transition. So anyway change and change is inevitable and will New Zealand lead or follow? Well I think we know what's going to happen, I think we know that New Zealand is going to lead because that's the national spirit. We're great innovators here, we're inventive, and you know this is a society that grew up very very far from its parent culture at the Antipode of the world and learned how to fend for itself and solve problems, and it's a small country that that's tech forward and smart, and we can pivot fast, and we can we can take a leadership role and we can show the rest of the world what this what this looks like.
Suzy: So we've talked a lot about big innovation, but I want all of you to know as individuals you can make a difference by changing one of your meals, just one, eat whatever you want for breakfast or dinner, but changing one of your meals a day, one person for one year, saves seven hundred and forty thousand litres of water and five thousand kilometres of driving - so that's like driving from the top of a North Island to the bottom of the South Island three times - we have about 500 people in the room so if all of us decide to change one of our meals a day collectively we can save 370 million litres of water, and we can drive tip to tip we save the carbon of one thousand five hundred and sixty three times. If the New Zealand population 4.8 million decided to choose to change one meal a day we would save three trillion five hundred and fifty two billion litres of water and the carbon equivalent of driving tip to tip 14,400,000 times so we are the grown-ups who have made a big mess and its up to us to clean it up for the future of our children. So together we can make a plan, we can be persistent, we can take action and we can have fun to make the world a better place for our children to grow up in.
James: She said it best.
(Venture Taranaki's Justine Gilliland stands at a lectern on a stage with a dark background. She wears a yellow shirt and is flanked to the right by a sign language interpreter.)
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa
We're going to kick off shortly with a video which will take you through the process that we have been under to develop our draft 2050 roadmap which you have on the tables in front of you. We’ll then move through to a question format from our panel.
(Audio plays as a panel of seven people sit on a stage below a large screen displaying a silhouette of a family on a beach. There is a dark background with beams of orange light. Audience members are seated in the foreground facing the stage.)
Video: New Zealand has signed up to lowering our emissions and this will mean changes for Taranaki's economy. As a region we want to be proactive about this transition, which is why we have developed the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap, to ensure we keep Taranaki a great place to live, work, play and create. Businesses, organisations and individuals from across Taranaki have come together to share their ideas and visions for our region in a low emissions future. We held 29 workshops on key themes with over 700 participants.
“It was great to be a part of the 2050 workshop”
“The workshops were absolutely fantastic”
“Inspirational people and that's what it was”
“Come 2050, if we can see the likes of the Waiwhakaiho River like this I would be stoked.”
We surveyed more than 280 people about their personal views.
“So it's just really how we kind of get there”
“We’ll really be a vibrant place for us who live here and others who want to visit”
“Our communities to be really working together”
“The youth workshop was inspiring”
And got the creative ideas of hundreds of Taranaki schoolchildren.
“Overall I found the workshop was very worthwhile”
And here's what we have come up with together for our future.
“The future for Taranaki its gonna be really great I think”
(Justine Gilliland continues at the lectern.)
Justine: So I’ll just quickly outline a little bit about our process and also the lessons that we've learned along the way. From the video you can see that one of the key things we did was engage our youth, so they have contributed their thoughts and ideas to this roadmap. And most importantly this roadmap has been a ground-up process - so we started with a blank sheet of paper, and we asked people what it was that people would like to see in a low emissions future in 2050.
We gathered a range of diverse views, and sometimes that can be an uncomfortable space. What was also important in the process was to relinquish control - so this was about as I said the views of the community and building that ground-up view. What was also important for us was having a partnership with MBIE, and they provided a whole lot of resource which have supported us to get to where we are now. We also developed some kawa, or how we were going to go about this work, and our key principle underpinning all of our work was one of manaakitanga, and caring for each other through this process.
We also had some ground rules in terms of conversations that were for another time. So it was - our framing was very much about transitioning to a low emissions economy. Our roadmap that you have in front of you today is a draft that's now online at Taranaki2050.org.nz and we have there an interactive feedback tool. So this is now the opportunity for other people who haven't yet had an opportunity to have a say to be involved and to share their thoughts about our roadmap.
In terms of some of the lessons that we've learnt along the way, really importantly diversity of thought adds value and strength. It can be challenging, but the rewards are well worth. We didn't engage with iwi and Māori as much as we would have liked to - for a range of reasons – timing, logistics, capacity, capability, and that is something that we want to continue to grow and build further. Really importantly what was interesting across that diversity of thought is that as a community we have some really strong values that are shared and that connect and underpin our roadmap.
I talked a little bit about this being a ground-up process, and so, seeding some of that control can be a little bit scary, but it need not be. One of the other lessons that we have learnt is that people might have perceptions about these kinds of processes and it can actually be quite hard to communicate and get over those perceptions. So people may have thought that because we called some things working groups we had perceptions that people felt they had to be invited to come along - which they didn't have to be - anybody could come along. We also had some perceptions that people thought that again because they it was an open thing that then they were perhaps maybe too important to come, so they didn't come. But that's why we had a whole range of other mechanisms to try and engage people and as I said that's why we are also seeking more feedback now.
One of the other challenges we had was just around collecting the demographics of who had participated in the process so far and tracking attendance. I'd now like to hand over to Grant McQuoid who's going to take us through our panel discussion.
(Justine seats herself in the middle of the panellists. The eight panellists are, from left to right: Velocite Director Grant McQuoid, South Taranaki District Council CEO Waid Crockett, Just Transition Unit General Manager at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Gus Charteris, Justine Gilliland, Todd Energy CEO Joanna Breare, E tū Team Lead Jen Natoli, Community representative Glen Bennett, Taranaki Iwi CEO Wharewaka Wano. A sign language interpreter is standing to the right of the panellists.)
Grant: Thank You Justine. So our panel is made up of representatives of the lead group, and the panel actually represents the five pillars of the lead group - so that was business, workers, Māori, the community and local and central government. And to my left we have Waid Crockett, CEO of the South Taranaki District Council, Gus Charteris who is the General Manager of the Just Transition Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Justine Gilliland who's the CEO of Venture Taranaki, Joanna Breare who's the CEO of Todd Energy, Jen Natoli is the team lead for E tū, Glen Bennett our community representative and Wharehoka Wano who's the CEO of Taranaki Iwi.
What we're actually going to do is we've asked for some community questions prior to this and we're going to run slide oh polling both for the audience who's here today but also the online and Access Radio people who are participating, and so we encourage you to vote on those questions as we put them up. So the Q&A will actually be available for people to look at on their phones. Now because the questions are actually shrunk or only partially visible on your phone and we wanted to involve as much as the community as possible, so including people who couldn't attend today, I'm just going to read through the questions for the benefit of those who might be participating via radio. So question number one, which is actually from Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki: “How do you think this plan will support the rural farming communities in Taranaki to become sustainable and rebuild rural populations again?” Question number two is “Can we remove and rebuild smarter efficient or are we more likely to favour renovation?” - that's from Gary Whyborn of Computer Safety Systems. Question number three, from Gina Blackburn of Nau Mai tours, “What mechanisms will be put in place to ensure the core principles of the Treaty of Waitangi – partnership, protection and participation are both honoured and championed in Taranaki?” Question number four – “How can we ensure regional and national strategies are aligned and continued across consecutive governments? Julia Ord of Customer Connect. Number five - “How does opening up more oil and gas permits next year and beyond help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Stuart Bramhall of Climate Justice Taranaki. And question number six from Dion Cowley of New Plymouth District Council – “Is there currently enough of a focus on children, given they are going to drive this transition and inherit the world we create?”
So as I mentioned we encourage people to vote towards those questions and will look to answer one or two of those towards the end of our panel discussion. Now just working through what we have on the screen is the draft roadmap that's actually being created as an outcome of the process. As you can see there's been a lot captured into a single visual image, so Justine, just wondering if you could take us through how you read the roadmap.
Justine: Sure, thanks Grant. I will just try and use the pointer here so with the roadmap so if we start in the bottom left corner of the roadmap, and that represents where we are today. As a region we are a net contributor to New Zealand, in terms of GDP and prosperity, and that is something that we want to continue. We also have illustrated there Tapuae Roa which is our current regional economic development strategy, and that strategy lays some really important platforms for where we go in the future. We have our drivers of change in the little cloud on the left-hand side, and those are drivers that are going to be blowing through our region over the foreseeable future.
We then have our emerging pathways, these shaded blue lines. These are the pathways for us to get to our vision and they represent 12 topics that we think or areas that are important for Taranaki’s economy.
The rest of the picture portrays our really rich vision for Taranaki in 2050. Some of the things included in that vision are diversification of our economy to net zero, remaining a net contributor to New Zealand, having seamless pathways between education and employment in an ongoing learning framework, having a rich innovation system, and continuing to have a high-value food chain.
Grant: So Wharehoka, when you look at the roadmap what stands out for you? What do you see? Wharehoka: He tino pīataata, tuatahi e mihi ana kia tātou.
Look I suppose I was one of the few that attended the Māori economy workshops, one held down at Aotearoa Marae in South Taranaki and one up at Owae Marae, so just trying to sort of capture a lot of the values, and as I understand a lot of the values were captured and through all of the engagements, it was really good to hear the Prime Minister talk this morning about kaitiakitanga, so some of those Māori values were really surfaced and you'll see them at the top of that roadmap. Kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, and kotahitanga. So you know, they’re values that we, you know, while we may say that they’re Māori values, they're actually values we share as a whole community, they’re generic and they’re things we do, and as the Prime Minister talked rightly about, kaitiakitanga and the workshop that I was at we coined the phrase “Ora te whenua, ora te tangata.” It was often an old phrase actually, when our land was confiscated and one of our tupuna said “Mate te whenua, mate te tangata” when the whenua is gone then we become an unhealthy as a people. So we've turned it around to a positive - when the lands healthy, you know we are healthy as a people. So it's something that we are really asking and encouraging, more than just encouraging, but insisting that for us to live as people of Taranaki we must look after our environment. That kaitiakitanga, when we go to the beach, when we do those sorts of activities that we like to do, I love surfing, I love my kaimoana, and I know when I go to my different locations where I get my kai and I'm not going to tell you where I go because there's still lots of kai there [laughter] but there are at different times when the rivers run high, when algae farming kicks in and I can't go on to my reef. So you know that's that kaitiakitanga we talk about, it's something that we all need to understand, manaakitanga, it's a value that we all understand, I think it's a community value, it’s all about caring for our community, caring and not only caring for our community but serving our community. It's about it’s mana enhancing, so how do we ensure that all sectors of our community are acknowledged.
As I saw at the workshops that I went to we had a certain demographic at those workshops but not always our marae people, our people on the ground, and that's who we have to capture in terms of manaakitanga to ensure we hear their voice.
Kotahitanga, that's always an interesting one even within Māoridom, we have many tribes, we are many marae, we are many hapū, and sometimes when you engage with us you just want to go and talk to one person, good luck to you but you know we it really is important that you're engaging with all of the sectors of Māoridom and when we talk about creating a unity within Taranaki, we're diverse - we're Māori, we’re Pākehā, we're urban, we’re rural, there's even a bit of a line between North and South they tell me. So you know how do we ensure that we are a unified community and we're dealing with some of these big issues that we're going to face in terms of low-emissions. Kia kaha tātou, ki te hoi.
Grant: Thank You. Jen, when you look at the draft roadmap, what stands out for you?
Jen: Mōrena koutou, first of all tautoko your kōrero, there's a lot that stands out, that resonates for our community and working people who are here. If you look toward the bottom of the roadmap what you'll see is the thing that strikes me first, the concept of justice. This is a Just Transition to a low emissions economy. Too often working people, their whanau, their communities, have borne the cost of transitioning, whether economic or social or otherwise, and they're the least able to bear those costs, so we're building something different here and that's our vision. What we're designing is a transition that is just and fair. Where working people are at the table designing their own transition and supported through that transition, so that the entire community is successful and grows. Where no one is left behind even those currently disaffected by our current economic system. Where we can reconcile our past, grow our cultural awareness, and move on together as one.
So there's a lot packed into this roadmap and if you have a look at the top you'll see it talks about Enterprise, right next to the Sun near the top of the map. There's a lot of little pictures in the map that also demonstrate this. Just under the sun you'll see a worker holding a lollipop sign, and just to the left of that you'll see workers with a robot talking. So importantly in those images I see technology being used to augment not replace work. That means that investments in technology that economists last century predicted would result in working people maintaining their incomes but actually working less hours per week, will actually result in a greater work-life balance and lifestyle for the people who this is all about, our youth, our tamariki. And that's important for enterprise here and it means we need to diversify our economy so that we're not relying solely on high emissions so that we can move forward together.
I also see, if you look in the middle of the photograph, or the map, you will see workers putting installing solar panels, and what I see is inclusive, well-paid, meaningful jobs where workers are up skilled and developed and passionate about the work they do right here in Taranaki. This kind of support through a transition is a model not only for our country but also the world right now, and I see workers having benefited from what we start now in 2019 so that they can achieve an even better lifestyle and work/life balance in 2050.
Sustainability is another part that Whare already mentioned, but it's about meeting the needs of the present without compromising what our future needs will be, and our future generations. So throughout our 29 Hui around our region the Taranaki lifestyle came through extremely strongly. Our people want to have enough income to enjoy their natural environment and the outdoor activities that we all love and we all greatly value. That, if we're going to enjoy them, then we need the time with the people we love and the means to take that opportunity. That's the vision that I want to see become a reality.
Grant: Thank You Jen, and I think a really strong point was the alignment of aspiration across all of the participants, and I think that came through really loud and clear. Glen, when we look at the draft roadmap there are a number of emerging themes that came through, do you want to talk to those?
Glen: Ata mārie, thank you, I was privileged enough to be part of and running, facilitating a number of those workshops. I got to be there at the grassroots level. But in terms of what Whare and Jen have already talked about that connectedness and inclusivity, I think was a huge one that came out, and you look at the roadmap obviously it's so busy and got so much on it, but if you look under our beautiful maunga you'll see around sustainability of our environment, the flourishing flora and fauna, and also people connected around our beautiful maunga. Everyone I guess pivots towards that beautiful mountain. Also around housing, sustainable housing was one and I think very much what came out and what's on here is almost looking back to go forward in terms of papakāinga, cohousing, you know how communities live, breathe, work and share is actually going looking back at what used to be to move forward in terms of our connectedness. Education, about being more flexible in a changing environment where things are who knows what our schools will look like in 2050, but it's a fast and changing world so how can they be flexible and move with those times. Also around, as Jen’s talked about, jobs and in terms of there where people are paid a fair wage, but they’re alternative jobs and that are obviously around a low emissions economy. And I guess finally in terms of the space on there it's a region that looks out and cares for itself, and for its people, and for its environment, and I guess it comes back to the connectedness and inclusivity, but the we are actually caring. And I was part of, we had a river exercise that we ran, so at every workshop there was a piece of blue ribbon that represented the river, and people were asked to bring things and reflect on what was important to them about Taranaki about our future what is something that they hold dear and close to them about our region. And interestingly enough if you're from business, if you're from community, if you're from iwi, where ever you came from it always felt like it was the same, it was around our environment, it was around being connected, it was around fresh water and being able to eat the kaimoana, being able to be connected to nature but also being able to be paid fair wages, and so I guess it really encouraged me in terms of the process and that we all kind of have the same vision of we want to go and I guess it's the how we get there.
Grant: So this draft roadmap was about a transition for Taranaki, so when we look at this, Waid, what do you see that stands out has been uniquely Taranaki?
Waid: Kia ora tātou. Just building on the back of what Whare, Glen and Jen have already talked about, there's a whole range of things that are unique about Taranaki that are put forward in the roadmap we have in front of us. It's probably a couple of key themes though – environment, culture, our people, and the infrastructure that is already currently in place is first. In terms of the environment there's nothing more unique about Taranaki than the maunga through to the moana - mountain to the sea, and all of the ecosystems that sit around Mount Taranaki.
We also have a very rich and deep culture within Taranaki and it's really important for us then to never lose sight of that to make sure that that's carried forward in everything that we do. Our people, there are skills and talent within Taranaki that are only available and perhaps seen in this part of the world and we need to continue to develop that and also look at how that might diversify into new technologies in the future and how we train and bring people through, and so that comes to some of the things that Jen's already talked about just previously as well. And trained people get that new skills, get their new talent going and some new innovations and some new opportunities going forward.
From the infrastructure point of view, there is already a considerable amount of infrastructure within the Taranaki region. Can it be repurposed, can it be renovated, reused for other new technologies or other purposes moving forward in the future as well? I do just have one other very quickly one last point as well which is about the economy. Obviously listening to the previous presentation that James and Suzy presented, very thought-provoking concepts and things coming through in that presentation as well, we also need to recognise that Taranaki has been built on the back of some very significant agricultural and oil and gas industry over a number of years. It's really really important to not lose sight of that, but to continue to look at how we might move forward and diversify from that at a pace that's good.
Grant: Joanna, if we look at the roadmap, this process that we went through was Taranaki but it's a process that will apply across New Zealand and has relevance to the rest of the world, so how does this roadmap connect in with the rest of New Zealand?
Joanna: Mōrena, thanks Grant. Look when I look at the road map I see so much opportunity that everybody can take away from this process that we've been through, and I just draw your attention to maybe two or three areas that you could also consider for yourselves and your own regions or parts of the world. If you look over on the - towards the top left-hand corner there we've got zero waste commercial buildings. This is something that people were very passionate about, something we can all do, you know we can look to putting solar panels in, we can look to reducing the amount of waste in our offices, we can put recycling bins in, we can rebuild parts of our offices where they're not energy efficient, and we can put new energy efficient installations in, so there's plenty we can do, everybody can do it.
If we go across to the middle of the map on the same kind of horizon, we've got accessible low-cost low emissions transport. People were very passionate about this. That can mean electric buses which some regions of New Zealand have already gone into, electric scooters, we could actually take out all the car parks, we could remove the car parks here in New Plymouth, we could take them out from anywhere else in the world. That will force people to actually think of an alternative form of method to get to work - doesn't have to be in a car, you can come an electric scooter, on a bike or even walk. And then finally the diversified sustainable land use and we've talked about, well the Camerons have certainly talked about this earlier today. This is really important in the Taranaki region, but actually the whole of New Zealand, it is really really important and we can use this.
Grant: Thanks. So if we look at the roadmap and we think about being Taranaki and we were to pick a couple of topics to dive into, I guess you would look at food and fibre and energy as being cornerstones of our economy. Joanna can you talk to those topics in relation to the roadmap?
Joanna: Sure thanks Grant, well I think just building on for the sustainable land use let's talk about food and fibre. You know food and fibre is a fundamental part of the Taranaki economy - something like $1.5 billion dollars per annum comes out of the food and fibre industry and it employs over 10,000 people, we can't afford to lose it. But what people recognised through this process of building this vision was they want to really think very carefully about the land use, how we're using it, how we can keep it sustainable. Water usage, we heard about that again from the Camerons’, in fact I think they've nearly written my speech. You know water, it's really important, how we use it, where we find it, what we do with it, it's really incredibly important. And for us, you know everybody in this room, we all know about the plastic bag and plastic straw dilemma that we've been through that surrounds food packaging. That's really important and people very passionate about that and what we're going to do in the future.
And lastly you know the food processing so we require in New Zealand a lot of high heat to be able to process our food, whether it be to dehydrate milk or whether it be to sterilize products, we need some high heat and we've really got to think about you know how we can do this in the future we're going to try to be a low emissions economy, so people were very passionate about it. I think the Camerons’ will be very pleased, one of the topics that came up was the fact that in New Zealand we do generate a lot of protein through fish and meat, and people are very interested in us looking to the future of what can we do to look towards a protein based diet.
That's on the food and fibre, the other area and some of the workshops that I went to, and obviously being my background I’m very passionate about energy, again energy in Taranaki is incredibly important, it generates 28% of our GDP. Overwhelmingly people wanted to keep Taranaki as an energy based economy, but overwhelmingly people accepted that we needed to diversify from what we have today. Yes, we can continue to reduce the emissions from the existing infrastructure that we've got, but what we've got to do is look at also alternative forms. People are very passionate about solar and we know PV, so photovoltaic panels, are coming down in price, and people want to see solar panels on their buildings. Wind - New Zealand has already proven that you can generate electricity from wind without having too many subsidies from the government, which is something that's very unique, so we want to continue to build on that. Taranaki’s a huge peninsular, we're surrounded, almost on three sides anyway, by water so why can't we use wave and tide, why can't we harness the energy from water, and it will be remiss of me not to also talk about hydrogen. Now hydrogen is going to be trialled here in Taranaki and if that can be shown to be economic that could also impact on the transport industry.
People of Taranaki really want us to be an energy centre and it's great today that Jacinda has put out that we will have a New Energy Development Centre. I think it's going to be fantastic now that we can now develop these least four forms of new renewable energy to help us.
Grant: Thank you. I think if you look at it and go we've got a plan on how we're going to move forward, a really important component of this is the people, and it's something that's dear to your heart Jen, so do you want to tell us about the people and talent side of this sure?
Jen: Thank you. So if you have a look at the map that's in front of you and you look at the bottom right you'll see a river going into our moana, and you'll see people in that river, and if you look right closely you'll see to what looks like youth or young workers working right at the edge of the wetlands just there. Now I love this and I'll set the scene for you. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in my home country, my birth country, recently released a viral video, where she talks from the future about how the American green New Deal created high-paying jobs, restoring wetlands and restoring our environment for people to transition to, who were previously in higher emission jobs.
But if we're gonna make that sort of vision a reality here in Taranaki in 2050, that means we need to start transforming our education and training now in 2019. So one of the strongest drivers for Taranaki 2050 efforts has been our tamariki, our mokopuna, our future generations. That's our driver, it's our youth, it's your planet. So I see young people in the roadmap behind me learning about our natural world and getting the education and skills that they need to go into those kinds of meaningful well-paid jobs in our region. You'll also see, as Whare talked about, people locals collecting kaimoana in our clean green rivers. But they don't get there by magic.You have to actually have jobs so that people can restore our natural environment and keep it even cleaner and greener for the generations to come, which is exactly the kind of community we're starting to build. If you have a look at the roadmap right in the centre below the R.A.N. in Taranaki in the middle you'll see a bunch of idea lightbulbs coming to life. That shows Taranaki becoming a hub for new energy and innovation, so it's quite good the Prime Minister's announcement today because that matches overwhelming feedback from the people who attended our hui.
If we're going to become a hub for innovation and new energy then that means that we need to be redesigning and transforming our education system now to support those efforts. So one of the other places right by the kids in our awa you'll see a school. I see Taranaki leading New Zealand by developing tertiary education processes and programs that the rest of our country will benefit from and that will help us advance our plans for this transition. So perhaps a tertiary outpost of a New Zealand University right here in Taranaki, as well as of course supporting our existing training organisations and providers. Training and education is absolutely crucial. If we're going to retrain the workers, the working people currently in higher emissions jobs into new career pathways in a just and fair way, but it's also there to provide education and skills for our tamariki and mokopuna who will be the working people of our future generations. We want them to be able to stay here in our region and make it even better.
Grant: Thank you. I think if you look at the roadmap, and bear in mind this is a draft roadmap of where the Taranaki community has come together and said this is where we see ourselves in 2050, so I think the obvious question is what happens next Justine?
Justine: Thanks Grant. So as we talked about this is a draft, we have an interactive tool on our website where people can go in and provide feedback on the different parts of the roadmap. There is a supporting report, so for those of you who like to read a report you can go and read the report and provide feedback on that. All the feedback closes in the middle of June and then we will finalize the roadmap after that, and following that we'll be working on the detailed action plans around those emerging pathways, and then moving into projects probably in the year 2020.
Grant: Thanks Justine. The other thing we talked about the five pillars and an important component of the five pillars was central government, and where central government actually comes to the table, so Gus if you could let us know what do you see as the role of central government in the path forward for Taranaki?
Gus: Sure, Kia ora koutou. It's been a privilege partnering with Taranaki over the last year to do the roadmap work in the in the start of their transition planning. So the roadmap has been giving an opportunity for the Taranaki community to have a say in their future, and so what we've said is in the next phase of we will be looking across all of the levers, programs, the reviews and funding mechanisms that government has that might be able to support the objectives, aspirations and the pathways that have been captured in that roadmap process - so that's the really important partnership mahi ahead of us.
Grant: Thanks Gus. And then I think if you look at it and all of us who were involved in the lead group and look at the road map, a really strong values context came out from the community, and Glen, you were a strong part of that in terms of facilitating and leading, so do you want to talk to those values in the community aspect of the roadmap?
Glen: I think as a process people were quite surprised coming into the room, expecting the good old deputation or consultation, suits behind a big desk, but there were no suits, there were no desks and people were actually quite startled by that because they’re used to obviously adding their two cents worth to a decision that's already made. So the fact that they were able to co-create I was a huge part of that. I was part of four of the five community workshops and that really really came out to me. I guess the thing in terms of seeing where we are going from here, and we did have diversity in the rooms around our region, but there also were people missing in that space and I think we need to acknowledge that, and it's never a perfect process - we're doing okay but in terms of solo mum's from Stratford or yeah unemployed men from Marfell or chicken workers, but I also see that there was there was the potential and the opportunity that was there to support them as it comes back around, and I guess in terms of the next step is for us to be able to go out and consult and talk with our communities about what we want in what we dream of.
But I also think that our people have really engaged in our engaging and are stepping up in terms of social media and people being more active and their citizenship and not just waiting for government whether it be local or central government to fix our problems, but us taking it into their own hands.
But I have to say I think Gus, MBIE, the Taranaki 2050 team, you might have set yourselves up a bit because people are now engaged and people were excited and people realise that the future is in their hands, and it's not about just delivering this report and sort of being business as usual but they want to be active and want to be part of the future. And I think and the Prime Minister said it really well and her address this morning that it's about no one being left behind and I think as a community for us it's about how do we fight for this, that they're in this transition and no one is left behind.
Grant: Thank you. Apologies I was meant to move through the odd slide. So as we move towards Taranaki 2050 I guess I'd like to thank all of the panel and the lead group. The process itself has involved an incredible amount of volunteer effort by a lot of people, and that's come together to form the roadmap for Taranaki in 2050. What we'd like to do now is just look at some of the slido questions and the polling should have given us one or two of these questions that have come up has been a priority focus. Now, do we have access to which of the top… rural communities, thank you, so the rural communities aspect was around how do you think this plan will support rural farming communities in Taranaki to become sustainable and rebuild rural populations again, and that was from Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki, and I think Waid, with a South Taranaki context, strong rural community, what are your perspectives on that?
Waid: Yeah thanks Grant, the key thing here is that a plan has been made and it's really easy sometimes and that for plans to be made and the thing just goes back on the shelf and year you don't do anything more with it, so that can't be the case here. What we've got to make sure that we do is that we take this roadmap, we know that sort of very broad roadmap at the moment, there's still some more detail to come around it in terms of its development, and then there's some things that we as a council or local government will actually get involved with - I'll come to that in a moment.
The other key aspect I guess in responding to this question is that it's not something that one agency or one council or business or whatever can necessarily do on their own. It needs to be a collaborative effort - central government, local government, Local Government New Zealand are already doing quite a lot on this particular space and have climate change for instance as a key priority of work that they're looking to develop policy and that around as well. Iwi need to be clearly involved here, community groups, and even as Jen has articulated through her discussion our workforce and how we engage through that.
So perhaps just very quickly just to provide you an example of what's happening in South Taranaki District Council, we've already gone back out, got ahead of the game a little bit more in terms of resetting our long-term plan which the body of work will come up in an another 12 months or so, but we've already gone back out, started doing community visioning work for that next long term plan with our community, and there are some key themes that are already clearly coming back in relation to that – environment, people, jobs and those sorts of things are all clearly starting to come back through this so that will start to set a bit of a plan for what we're doing in South Taranaki.
On top of that we've decided to get ahead of the game ourselves as well internally, so currently we've got a position out for a new environmental sustainability management position to clearly start looking at this sort of work - climate change, waste minimisation, renewable energy, all of those sorts of things. By the way the applications are still open so people in the room you want to get onsite and line and have a look at it, it's probably a bad ad but anyway get online and have a look, it's a really cool job and we'll have a lot of change management process and that in front of it.
So those are some of the sort of the key things that we're looking at a local level, but again the key thing for us to actually make sure that we articulate what it is that we're doing at a local level, engage with the community, communicate it, get people involved because it's not something that we can clearly do on our own and we need support of others around it.
The last point of that is how's it going to be funded. There's only so much that rate payers will perhaps shell out for but we've got to look at where we're heading, where does our council want to go in the future, are there some things that we shouldn't do in the future and focus and our attention in other areas so that'll be a conversation that our community and councillors will have across the course of the coming months.
Grant: Thank you Waid. The second most voted question is the one around how can we ensure that regional and national strategies are aligned, but also that they continued across successive governments, so Gus it seems a logical question for you to pick up.
Gus: Yeah this is a really good question, it goes to my point earlier about the next phase of the work. So there are a whole bunch of reviews taking place across government that will change systems not least in education, and there are some real opportunities to make sure Taranaki's voice is heard in those reviews, and that we're ensuring that we're meeting Taranaki's objectives with any changes we make. So that's a commitment that central government has made to make sure that we are bringing Taranaki's views, and the rest of regional New Zealand's views, into those national conversations. We think by taking a systems view, in getting those systems right that will ensure that we are setting up Taranaki and other regional economies on a strong enduring basis.
Grant: Yep thank you. We'll just pick up one last question and that's question number three around the mechanisms that we've put in place to ensure the core principles of the Treaty of Waitangi partnership for teaching and participation are honoured and championed in Taranaki. Whare.
Whare: Looks like my question.
Listen, I mean, I think I know where that question's come from but right you know I think it's sort of 1990s really. You know we're mana whenua, we’re tangata whenua, we're not going anywhere. We’ve been here forever and we're going to be here forever, and you know, I know Lisa Tumahai, Ngāi Tahu CEO is in the room, and they've got, I can't remember the exact wording Lisa, but you've got a very strong kōrero down there, the idea that you know any decisions down here must involve tangata whenua, and not because we are tangata whenua or mana whenua or any of that sort of carry-on, but because we're going to add value. In this kaupapa as you know we look at the values we've talked about, where as tribal people, we have a lot of our people on the ground in those sort of rural communities, those small communities that have a voice. They’re doing things on our rivers, they’re white baiting and they’re fishing and they want to ensure that that kai and their food sources are available into the future, as everybody likes white bait, everybody likes pāua and kina and good fish, you know so I want to know that my mokopuna not just in 2050, but in in 300 years’ time, in many generations, will still be able to enjoy what we have now. So you know honouring the treaty and in all of that stuff you know there may still be some people that are still having issues around the treaty, well get on with life, get over it, and you know the treaty is what it is, we are in a partnership here, Māori and Pākehā, and also as Māori we have a responsibility to look after our other communities that choose Aotearoa, Taranaki, as a place to live. They're always welcome, we will always manaaki, because that's our role, but as tangata whenua, our voice where we're all there, probably the final point, we're all post settlement now and we've all got a little bit resourced, yes we're a little bit lacking in capacity at times, but we want to be in those big decisions, and it's a bit of a challenge for us to step into those roles but we will be in those big decisions in terms of a future for Taranaki. We're many – we are three waka, eight iwi, with many marae and pa, but we are one maunga. That’s all of us here. Kia ora tātou.
Grant: Thank you. I think just in closing, Joanna, you had the responsibility of chairing the group -the lead group and you did a fantastic job, can you just give us a view from the chair to close out?
Joanna: Thanks Grant, well I can say it was a real pleasure to share the lead group because you've all done such a fantastic job. A huge amount of hard work, not only the lead group but all the facilitators, and in particular the two people I can just see down here at the front Natalie Wiseman and Caroline Gunn from Venture Taranaki, we couldn't have done it without you. Anyway that doesn't answer my question but a huge thank you to all of you.
Look, this design process has been fantastic, we've you know engaged and tapped into the resources of around a thousand people, and we've come up with what is a draft roadmap and this draft roadmap shows the hearts and minds of the people of Taranaki and those that helped us externally of what they want to see for 2050, where we want to be at Net Zero Carbon. We want to reduce our emissions, there was nobody that came to a workshop that thought any differently. But how are we going to get there given it took us 150 years to get to where we are today, how are we going to get there in the next 30 years? And we're going to need some support from the fossil fuels to assist us to allow us to be able to use renewable energies to keep ourselves as green as we can be. Glen talked about some of the main aspects of people's desires around sustainability, having fantastic jobs, maintaining and improving for some people the lifestyle that we've got today, and we've got to keep those in the backdrop and remind ourselves as we go forward and think about what it is that our vision is.
I will say though we've got 12 work themes, this is only a vision. There is a huge amount of work that we need to do now. Some of these activities have been identified are totally aspirational, and it's great to have aspirations, some of them will be uneconomic. We need to do the hard work now, to look at the science, the data, the facts, the innovation, the technology, and very importantly the economics of doing some of this, to make sure that we can create affordable and renewable energy for a long time in New Zealand. So my challenge to you is that it starts with all of us in this room, it's not just the people up here on the stage. I really want you to think about what you can do to get us to Net Zero Carbon and it's just easily enough all you need to do is think about how you got here today. What are you going to do tomorrow? Thank you.
Grant: Thank you very much to our panel.
Lessons from international leaders
The whole world is facing these issues, our speakers discuss examples of what other nations are doing.
Lessons from international leaders #1(external link) – Developing Opportunity from Transition – Alan Thomson, Director, Global Energy Systems Business Leader
Lessons from international leaders #2(external link) – Socially acceptable restructuring of the Ruhr area – Franz-Josef Wodopia
(MC Jehan introduces a panel of four speakers. He wears a suit and is flanked on the left by a sign language interpreter)
Jehan: So I'd like to introduce Samantha Smith. Samantha is the director of the Just Transition Centre. The Centre supports communities, cities, countries and companies on their transition. Franz-Josef Wodopia is the Managing Director of Coal Importers Association from Germany. Jay Weatherill is a former South Australian premier who can tell us about the transition to renewable energy in South Australia. And Alan Thompson from Global Energy Systems, he's a leader there at ARUP and he has worked with many communities around the world which are facing this transition. So Samantha, I'll hand over to you for your 10 minutes, and we'll have a discussion following that. Thank you.
(There are a panel of four speakers seated on a stage. A sign language interpreter is on the right of the screen. There is a dark background with beams of orange light. The four speakers are, from left to right: Samantha Smith, Franz-Josef Wodopia, Jay Weatherill, and Alan Thomson.)
Samantha: Thank you very much, it's a great honour to be here and to learn from the work that you're doing here in Taranaki and in New Zealand more broadly. But I want to start by giving my greetings and acknowledgement to local iwi and ha here in Taranaki for the warmth of your welcome today. That was really a special moment for me this morning. I recognise that we are meeting on your land, I want to thank you for your welcome. And I bring you greetings from the international trade union movement, and since I live in Norway the Norwegian Trade Union Confederation, and the Labour Party's sister party in Norway, Arbeiderpartiet, so thank you very much.
I was in New Zealand last year in connection with the first Just Transition Summit which was hosted by CTU Rūnanga and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. And the co-convenor of CTU Rūnanga Laures Park started the conference with this saying which really stuck with me as a way to talk about just transition: “Without vision and foresight the people will be lost.” And that really is what we're doing here today and what we're doing in just transition globally. As your Prime Minister said this morning it's about planning for things that are happening right now, but also for things that are going to happen in the future planning for the next generation and not just the next election.
It's going to be a process, maybe over several decades as we're going to hear from some of the co-panellists, of transforming a sector, region and economy both here New Zealand and also globally. And New Zealand, I've been asked to say some things about the international perspective, and they're mostly going to reinforce what you've already heard because everything that we're hearing about the roadmap, the process for building it very bottom-up, some of the steps the government is taking, and also the attempts to have a strong role for First Nations, for indigenous people, and to recognize their sovereignty, these are all really important parts of just transition.
Globally New Zealand is a leader, you were one of the first countries to commit to just transition, and you were also the first to say that you were going to have a concrete plan with investments and new jobs for this region, for a region that is going to be affected by some of the changes we need to make in order to respond to climate change. Ah maybe more importantly though we really need this leadership internationally on climate action and just transition and inequality, and we also need leadership and good examples on recognizing the sovereignty and rights of indigenous peoples, both in this kind of process but also more generally.
I know that you've gotten some help along the way from New Zealand unions and I really want to say how much we appreciate their role in the international union movement, they have been very generous with their time with other unions explaining what you're doing here and showing what's possible when unions are working with iwi, with employers and with the government.
Now, New Zealand is not alone. So in the last year or so we have seen it almost feels like an explosion of countries and other actors who are working on just transition. Germany, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Scotland, but also states and regions in Australia - we're going to hear from Jay about that, even in the United States, the state of New York and California, and South Africa, all are committing to just transition and starting out on these same kinds of processes that you have here in New Zealand. You've got a head start but you're also not by yourselves.
Interestingly, I know we have a lot of employers in the room, and I want to say that we are also seeing employers and businesses committing to just transition both as a sort of principle but also in practice. You'll have heard of some of them - Unilever for example has committed to just transition and it's working on a plan for their employees, which will also probably include some commitments in the supply chain. But also two of the world's largest renewable energy companies – NL, which is based in Italy but is a renewable multinational, Earth Stead which was the Danish state utility is now the world's largest developer of offshore wind - they have committed to just transition, and we're now as unions turning that into collective bargaining agreements for workers in the countries where they operate. Even the International Chamber of Commerce, not necessarily the most progressive organisation of employers has also said that they too are committed to just transition. We will see what that means. These are substantial commitments at different scales. I should say for example that here in Auckland, unions, the Auckland city government, Auckland Transport, are starting discussions on just transition, and in other cities around the world, cities, major cities, are also looking at how you can have climate targets that are good for working class and poor people, that are good for the environment and that create lots of decent jobs.
But at a different scale just to mention, just to mention this commitment, commitment for the future not yet turned into law in budgets that Germany has made, Germany is the world's fourth largest economy, it's heavily industrialised, its export driven, it produces a lot of power and it's going to transform its power sector so that it is 65 percent renewable by 2035. It's also going to completely phase out coal fire power, and that commitment came out of a process that's going to sound familiar for after what you what you heard this morning. That was the process with a government Commission that included regional and federal government, it included unions, it included employers, it included environmental organisations, and together in very, very hard discussions, they crafted a plan for the energy sector, that if they're able to deliver on it, if they get through the political process, is going to create thousands and thousands of good new jobs for workers in regions that today are dominated by coal fired power, is going to transform the electricity sector and it's going to make sure that what today our energy regions will be energy regions as a future but also with zero emissions.
A big part of this plan that I want to highlight is the regional investment that's being discussed. So again if all goes as planned we're talking about 40 billion euro over 20 years in these regions that today are very dependent on coal fired power and coal mining. And a lot of that investment is going to be going into infrastructure, so high-speed rail, decent roads, public transportation, broadband. Other parts of it will be going into soft infrastructure - so that’s schools, hospitals and research institutions, vocational institutions, all of the things that make it good for people to live, stay and work in the community, and for employers to stay there too. So we're hearing some of this today in the announcements from the government and in the roadmap, and I just want to say that that is that backbone of investment in the region is going to be really, really important.
I can go through all of these examples one by one but we'd be here for a while, so I don't I'm not going to do that, but I will just try to say something about the sort of what is best practice in just transition. And I will be in some ways just reinforcing and echoing what we've heard this morning because we've already heard a lot of it. The most important thing is to put people at the centre, so as a climate activist in the trade union this, I care a lot about climate targets, but we can have climate targets that put people first and that are good for work, working class and poor people, and that includes things like affordable, accessible, reliable and safe public transportation. It includes decent jobs, skills training and education for young people, making sure the people who are today locked out of decent work get good jobs. It can include affordable, reliable, safe and clean energy, electricity for people. It can include clean air which is something that we need more and more in our major cities, and it can include energy efficient and affordable social housing, so that people have good places to live, they can move around in their communities and live good lives all while we bring down emissions.
Another backbone of just transition is social protection. So when we're going to go through these massive changes that we heard about this morning, changes not only in New Zealand but in the global economy, people need to feel secure. They need income support when they're out of work, they need pensions so they can have a dignified old age, they need good health care, they need affordable or free public services, they need good education, all of these things are part of a good social protection system, they will be critical. When making these plans, the process you've had in Taranaki seems great, right, so you have iwi, you have unions, you have employers, you have you have government, you have community leaders at the table and making a plan on the way forward. But those plans have to be more than plans. In order for people to really trust that as they move from the job and the oil and gas sector which coming from Norway and being a former oil sector worker myself it is a good job, they need to know that their new job is going to be really good.
So you need to have active labour market policies as well as just economic diversification. There needs to be retaining, retraining and redeployment of workers in existing enterprises, people need to be retrained, their skills mapped and matched with new jobs so that they're not just left to themselves or at the mercy of the market as we go through this transformation. It will be really, really important to make sure that the new jobs are good jobs, because another thing that we see all over the world is that the jobs that have built our prosperity including in fossil fuels, those jobs tend to be better jobs than the ones that are being created in new sectors. We must have decent labour standards, people must make a prevailing wage, we must have a living wage, they must have training, they must have workplace health and safety. For older workers who are not going to be able to reskill, people who may have started work at age 16 and are now ready for retirement, they need a bridge to pension, and for these younger workers they need a guarantee of new jobs, it's not enough to tell them that the job might be there in the future.
So I want to end with three things. First of all, we really want you to succeed here in Taranaki and in New Zealand because your leadership is important but your success is going to be even more important. We need to be able to show that this idea of just transition where we have a few examples, industrial examples, from the last few decades in different countries, that this is a real thing and this is how we're going to tackle climate change in a way that is good for people. We need to be sure that you not only diversify the economy here in Taranaki or in other parts of the country, but that workers are accompanied in this process of moving from one sector to another so that no one really is left behind, and so that people who today are marginalised, not able to access good jobs, that they get the good jobs.
The last thing I want to say is just to the employers, so as a trade unionist it might be weird that I'm reaching out to employers, but we actually depend on each other. You depend on your workforce, and we depend on you to provide good jobs, to transform your companies in time, to make good decisions with us about what the future of those companies is going to be. You have a key role in these discussions, you also need to play pay, you also need to do your part. You're going to need to invest in new technology, skills for your workforce, new business models and products in order to have prosperous enterprises in the future. We don't want you to shut down, we want you to transform and take your workers with you. We need you to retain, retrain and redeploy us and to give us good jobs in the future. We need you, also, to pay your fair share of tax. Because we also have seen in place after place now, that it's one thing when you are having a just transition for a smaller part of the economy, but to make these really big changes, government cannot pay for and execute this transformation alone, you will also need to be along with us.
So thank you very much, I'm looking forward to answering any of the questions you may have on slido or afterwards, I'll be around both days.
Franz-Josef: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for inviting me to this interesting and important Summit. I would like to present the important elements of a socially acceptable development of the Ruhr area in Germany. The Ruhr area was, at the beginning of the coal mining, a rural sparsely populated region, only at the river there were some small settlements and the city of Bochum, nowadays a city, the city was a small village. Now where the workers came from, workers were needed and they came from all over Germany, they came from all European regions, and as a result the rural area became a melting pot of cultures with a cooperative mentality. I mention this because this was one of the reasons why after the Second World War the trade unions called for greater co-determination in companies, almost simultaneously with the creation of the European Union of Steel and Coal, the participation of employees in supervisory boards and management boards of iron and steel companies was introduced. This law allowed employees to participate in investment and personal decisions as well as in decommissioning decisions. This resulted in a reliable partnership. Social peace in the regions was maintained even in difficult situations.
In 1957 over 600,000 people were still employed in the German coal mining industry. A sales crisis started in 1957 and to prevent from a collapse the government introduced subsidies and the first early retirement schemes for miners. Nevertheless in the year 1970, the number of mines had halved and the number of miners decreased to about 250,000. Subsidies were increasingly criticised and as a consequence of this massive subsidy cuts were decided in 1997, this is why I start my chart my figures of this chart in 1997. This part of this difficult situation nevertheless it was decided that young people should be hired as trainees because the coal industry was a very important provider of apprenticeship places in the region. Early retirement still was the most important instrument but education and training became more and more important. Almost 87 thousand jobs were eliminated within 20 years in a socially acceptable way.
As the coal mining industry did not become economically viable it was decided in the year 2007 to phase out the coal industry completely by the end of the year 2018, and this year had been chosen only because this was the only way to avoid redundancies. As a consequence of the decommissioning decision it was possible to transfer the assets of the mining company RHE - on the left side in the chart - to a foundation. The former owners of this company sold their shares for one symbolic euro, and the assets enabled the foundation to finance the inherited liabilities of the industry. The foundation also promotes education, science and culture in the mining regions.
The instruments of our personal policy had been continuously improved. Not every miner had the chance to work in the mining - ah sorry in the energy sector. We developed a new instrument called the job Explorer. Employees were willing to give very personal information to their company. In this way the right candidates could be found for the jobs acquired. For example, many miners who were volunteers in a fire brigade were transferred to the airport fire brigade in Dortmund so we may say we had a labour office of our own. Universities were founded in the Ruhr area from 1965, before this time there was not even one university in the Ruhr area where millions of people already lived at that times. The idea was that the educational level of the works force and to cope with the shortage of skilled workers in Germany should be solved by creating new universities. As a consequence, now the Ruhr area is developed to the densest university landscape in Europe.
The town of Bochum in the meantime also had a university found in 1965. This town was particularly hit by the shutdowns of mines. The no longer needed areas were used to offer these areas to General Motors, and they established a completely new automotive factory. But it was soon understood that we had a new bottleneck, the bottleneck where the areas where we could, which we could offer to new investors, and therefore a rehabilitation and development of new areas became an important topic. The mining company itself forty years ago founded a company with only this task. You can see on the Left how we developed a former mine site, where you can find everything from a hydrogen centre to leisure activities, and to the right you can see a former waste dump in the town of Dortmund which is now a logistics centre. So even if the development in the Ruhr area was more like a gliding flight than a nosedive, the economic development lagged behind the rest of Germany.
This is why it was decided to look for other instruments and the idea was that art and culture also could help to make the Ruhr area worth living. In former industrial areas were redesigned in the future program, and one example is that Design Centre moved in the former boiler house, and this boiler house was rebuilt by the well-known architect Sir Norman Foster. In the year 2001 this site became the UNESCO world heritage site and in the year 2010 the whole Ruhr area became a European capital of culture. During this time more than two million people visited this site.
Another idea to solve the problems of the rich was the so called Ruhr initiative round table. One of the co-founders, a Cardinal called himself the Ruhr Bishop. Important business leaders, the chairman of the mining union and others were involved in the founding. One example, they introduced the Ruhr Piano Festival. In the meantime living legends and rising stars give us the honour of participating. The current flagship project of this initiative is the so called innovation city or the town of Bottrop which is the place where the last closed mine in 2018. What was located is the conversion to a climate friendly city. They decided from the time span from 2010 to 2020 to half the CO2 emissions. 37% of reduction already had been realised within five years. This shows that our turnaround from bottom to top is possible. They started a dialogue with all the inhabitants of the town and mobilised potentials to reduce the CO2 emissions.
Despite these efforts the Ruhr region is economic is, sorry, is economically underperformed. One example in the wealthiest region Germany near Munich people earn twice as much per capita as in the Ruhr area city of Gelson-Kirchen which is the poorest town in Germany. As a consequence the North Rhine-Westphalian government decided to give a start signal to the so called Ruhr conference, but this conference is not the conference where the business leaders and the union leaders are sitting at the table, but it's rather a process of change. People are involved in this process via an online forum where they discussed 20 thematic forums and they reach from science to education and green infrastructure.
Well if I should summarise I would say there are important instruments which had been developed but key was that we introduced the coal determination system in Germany for the mining and steel industry and the spirit of cooperation in the Ruhr area. A lot still has to be done, especially training and education, and especially also we have to ensure that young people in the Ruhr area, regardless of gender, place of residence, religion and origin have the best quality possible education opportunities. Thank you very much for your attention.
Jay: Hi, my name is Jay Weatherill, I'm the former premier of South Australia. I like to call myself a recovering politician. I want to tell you a little about South Australia's journey to decarbonize its economy and what we learnt, and try and link that with hopefully some observations about what might assist a just transition here in this country.
I suppose it began in a way through some pretty existential threats. We live in the driest state in the driest inhabited continent, and just as a reminder this year on the 24th of January we had the hottest day on record – 46.6 degrees, and one of our regional cities had a 49.5 degree day, and so that that's a significant imperative. But we also had an economy which was undergoing very significant changes. The globalisation and the freeing up of product and financial markets - we saw a state economy which had been very much based around manufacturing being belted around by those international forces so we're losing lots of jobs and opportunities, and so when we surveyed what our strengths were we realised that we had an opportunity to take advantage of our excellent wind resources and solar resources, to push very deeply into a new form of energy generation. So we had zero percent renewable energy in 2002 when we came into government, and when we left last year it's 50.5% renewable energy, so a massive transformation in the course of 16 years. And that was important because we also saw that as the technology of the future, but also an opportunity to get, because we could see that the world was needing decarbonized to be a first mover there were opportunities for us to gain the economic advantages by developing those technologies. And also the other prospect of being one of, we were one of the highest cost energy producers in the nation to actually go to be the lowest cost energy producer through renewable energy, which opened up a whole range of other opportunities around the industrialization of high energy intensive industry.
So that that was why we did it, and we pushed into it also at a range of levels. We sought to work across every domain, whether it was transport, waste, energy systems, our building energy, across every domain of society, and we sought to make partnerships, with local government, with the business community and with really all of the sectors that could assist us to make that transformation. We tried to make a partnership with a federal government and for a short time we were able to when we had a federal Labour government, there was the carbon pollution reduction scheme that was then quickly repealed when a Conservative government came in. And what we found through our international advocacy is that when we lost our Commonwealth partner we realised that much of the efforts in relation to climate action were occuring at a sub-national level, so we could see that there are opportunities still to take action, in fact most of the world's action on climate change is occurring at the sub-national government level, local government and regional governments. And we wanted to project our self as a state that had a clean, green image, and this is very similar to New Zealand in the sense that this becomes a competitive advantage, come and be part of our community because we - projecting the values of a clean, green place.
But we were confronted with some very significant forces, the sectoral interests which were in the fossil fuel industry fought back very strongly, and so there was a very significant event which really caused a massive conflict, we had a statewide blackout. The statewide blackout was caused through a cyclone ripping out really the spine of our electricity transmission system, but because we had a very high penetration of renewable energy, the fossil fuel industry used their proxies to blame our renewable energy for that, and so we had everybody piling onto a social media, a federal government, that was backed up by the fossil fuel industry, and they attacked us mercilessly so as a state government we felt very vulnerable.
My message really is this. We stood up to those attacks and we resisted them, but what happened is interestingly the community ran to our defence, it was massive support for renewable energy, and we found that we were able to be sustained in that. And something else we did, we actually used the crisis associated with that to actually design and accelerate, in a sense, our push into the sector, so in a way that and it's one of the key messages I want to communicate, is that big gains can be made by involving the community in the decisions that affect their lives, and it's just not the everyday ordinary Australians, New Zealanders, but also the business community and indeed the international community. Where we were responding to this crisis associated with the statewide blackout and we were seeking to design an energy plan that was resilient, we opened up and we invited essentially people to contribute, and we received many unsolicited bids and we did something a bit unusual for governments, we went up and we stood next to the companies that were making these unsolicited bids and we showcased them. That's quite different from a procurement process that usually requires us to stand at an arm's length, but through that process it led to so much additional attention that we saw other international unsolicited bids come in to South Australia, most famously the bid from Elon Musk to create the world's biggest lithium-ion battery, which ultimately won a procurement process and is now in place and has actually revolutionized our electricity grid, not just ours but indeed the nation's.
So I suppose my message to you is that this is a really complex question this question of transition. There are many winners and losers, but involving people in decisions that affect their lives and inviting a deliberative process is critical to this, and we've in South Australia pioneered these deliberative processes where we invite really the community to be involved in a dialogue, and this involves recalibrating the relationship between experts and citizens.
And I just want to leave you with one anecdote which is not a South Australian one, it's something I picked up when we were doing some work on an international basis with the United Nations about this deliberative process and it involved Uganda. The Ugandan government decided to make a decision to remove a whole bunch of people from a high-risk area in terms of climate. The community resisted that because it was going to cause a lot of disruption and so they involved a deliberative process where they got the experts in and spoke to the community. What the community said is give us more information, give us recalibrate the data so we have very high risk, moderately high risk, and lesser high risk areas if you like. There were some mountainous regions, people had very much their communities were connected to that lifestyle, there were other parts of the community that was used for growing food and their economic well-being was connected to that, and there were some areas where they designated that there might be opportunities to still live in these areas. So the community said we'll vacate the very high-risk area, we'll farm in the moderately high-risk area, and we'll rebuild communities that are suited to the particular climactic conditions on the edge of the farming communities. This was critically important because the politics was driving this as well, if you split up communities where leaders have their constituencies in a certain area, that is always going to cause resistance to change. And through this process of dialogue between communities and experts, they came up with a more sophisticated solution than the government experts could themselves come up with.
So this process of dialogue, of recalibrating the role of the expert and make them as servants of the citizen, rather than actually as dictating and determining outcomes, is a critical element I think in the dialogue here. And the wonderful thing you've got here which we don't have in our countries, you have a consensus about the need to take action. So that's a very good starting point. The second thing that you have here is you have good commitments to deliberative processes like we've just seen discussed earlier. But I think this is the way forward, because the truth is you have to stick together a progressive coalition to change, the only way, you can't have people that want to take action on climate change here, and workers that have being disrupted through the changes over here. If you split that coalition in that way you'll never have a consensus that's capable of taking action on climate change. The politics of the situation demand that you knit those two constituencies together, and there's more I could say but I'm ran out of time, thank you.
Alan: Good morning ladies and gentlemen, it's a pleasure to be back in New Zealand, particularly to be with you today at this event so thank you. I represent ARUP which is a global engineering and management consultancy, about 60,000 people globally. Been known for things like this, the Sydney Opera House, high speed rail in the UK, but more locally we've been working with our Auckland based team and our international team with Ports of Auckland on their hydrogen pilot programs, there's some really exciting work there, learning from doing. I lead our global energy systems work at ARUP, exploring the ways that multiple energy vectors come together, be they electricity, gas, heat, and increasingly how they're becoming integrated with one another. They no longer live in glorious isolation. And just before I go on if the picture on the screen at the moment is a coal power plant called Ratcliffe on Soar in the centre of the UK, I'll touch on that little bit later but I wanted to point out the photo while we were here.Not only the energy vectors increasingly linked with one another but they're also more intertwined with the demand side of things, be that transport, or the thermal side of things or the electrical side, but also integrating increasingly with transport, and with water, and with urban systems. I think we're gradually moving to a point where we agree on 2050 targets. The UK Climate Change Commission came out last week with a 275 page report to UK government saying we need to move from 80% to 100% decarbonisation by 2050, so that's being considered at the moment, so at the moment New Zealand is ahead of that. I like to think of the challenge as not where we want to go to but actually how we get there, and I call it going loco, how do we get from the lowest cost to low carbon or low greenhouse gas emissions? In this in this sense cost is societal as well as monetary costs, they’re very much aligned with the just transitions agenda.
How can we make the journey sustainable and equitable and if we think about the UN sustainable development goals, SDG10 reduced inequalities is a key one, and of course seven in terms of affordable clean energy is also important as is 13 on climate action. So I think there's a real opportunity to flip this idea of cost to opportunity and hearing that very clearly this morning.So we've been working on a number of projects, but I was just going to illustrate three very quickly this morning. One is the Ratcliffe on Soar and the possibilities that that opens up in terms of just transition but also the strategic options that they would like to take. I'll touch on some circular economy work we did for NL looking at their assets in Italy, and then I'll touch on a thing called Prospering from the Energy Revolution which is a UK government approach.
So Ratcliffe-on-Soar is the 2,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant in in Nottinghamshire essentially in the UK. It was built in the in the early 1960s and commissioned in 1968, so just to give you a feel for how long ago that was there were still steam trains running on the tracks in the UK in 1968. And Ratcliffe’s operated consistently since then but it's now coming up to the point where it's ready for decommissioning. Actually it is a bit of a scary thought but when I was just preparing this I was thinking if I were a coal plant I would probably be coming ready for decommissioning about now. (Laughter.) So Ratcliffe has been forced by European legislation and societal demand to close down by the latest 2050, so we've been working very closely with them to understand how that might be a sensible transition. Incidentally the UK, when I made a few notes a couple of weeks ago, the UK had operated for ninety 90 hours without any coal power generation, first time for about so about 50 years, but when I looked yesterday that record had gone to 125 hours, so things are changing quite rapidly. It might seem small but actually over 50 years with continous coal generation that's quite an achievement. So we've been working with that with Uniper the German utility who own Ratcliffe looking at strategic options for the site, for the employees, for the community, and also making sure that there is a business opportunity and maximising that business opportunity at the same time. And we've been looking through a number of strands but decarbonisation, decentralization, and digitalization are key among those. We're also looking at the context of that site in terms of the energy literate staff and the supply chain that lies behind that organisation, the fantastic connectivity that the site has, it will be right next door to the high speed rail line, HS2 in the UK, it's right next door to some of the motorway network, but not only the physical interconnection, it has the digital connection or can have the digital connection and is a secure site.
So then we think of a few of the building blocks that we could bring together. Those which are aligned directly with energy are in red on this diagram, so combined cycle gas, hydrogen production and storage, solar wind and battery storage for instance, and then in the light blue we've got the large energy users – automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical for example. And then in the blue the strategically aligned, so research, university, so again what we’re hearing about this morning. Non energy activity is in the dark blue, so things like data centres, things like leisure and resorts and housing. So when we bring those together, this particular example actually is where we brought them together in an industrial context and said what would happen if we brought together a number of different blocks with the aim of being an industrial cluster, and so they can play off each other and we can get maximum advantage out of the coherent whole, if you like, and we did a number of other different scenarios.
Our work for NL in Italy was slightly different, here we were taking the circular economy principles and looking at the social side, the land use, the employment, the governance, environmental in terms of energy, water consumption, emissions, the financial, the business attractiveness, the value creation, the investment return, and the technical - material reuse, infrastructure reuse, and equipment reuse. So we're really trying to achieve the highest possible value from the community and the assets but perhaps more importantly for the people and community.
Picking up on a slightly different angle, I thought I’d just touch on prospering from the energy revolution which is part of the UK government Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. I'm fortunate to sit on the advisory board for this with UK government, and really what it's all about is looking how UK PLC can prepare itself to both create value inside the UK but also export value, and recognising that by bringing together many parts of the energy system and again learning by doing, we can we can really develop a great knowledge-based, great IP, and we can we can sell that. So this doesn't need to be a story of doom and gloom, it can be a very positive story. So maximising that economic recovery, particularly looking at scalable and replicable solutions.
So, in summary, we need to need to plan early, and clearly in Taranaki that is the case. We need to look for opportunity, we need to embrace the future, and we need to build upon the legacy that we have. So I'll leave it there for the moment and look forward to the panel discussion. Thanks.
Jehan: All right, thank you all for that, let's have a conversation based on some of the questions that have been coming through on slido. I'm going to stand up so I can actually see them, can we bring those questions up again? Okay, so we've had a range of different questions coming through, I can see them down here of course, from slido and some of them are actually being saved for other sessions so that the questions are directed to the right people. I just want to start with one of the more recent ones that has come through on the app, and this is, this is a question to Jay, and Ben asks, what would you have done differently in South Australia's transition to renewables if you had your time again?
Jay: Well I think we, I think I probably would have made the case for why more powerfully and significantly. I mean I think in government's what we tend to do too often is to get on with the what and we, whereas if you spend a little bit more time on the why, you can, I think, it can assist, because then you, in fact, usually the answers fall out pretty simply once you've got a really solid appreciation for why you're doing something. So in the case, I mean we had a powerful example where we, there was some challenges, and that was the closure of a coal-fired power station in Port Augusta, which was the last coal-fired power station in the state, and it shut. It was using very low quality coal, lignite, it was very expensive and its reserves were being depleted, but that community - and it closed suddenly because it was a private operator - that community felt very threatened about that when it happened, and I don't think we'd we prepared the groundwork. Subsequently though, we were able to make some changes which I think restored some trust in the community - there's a prospect of a solar thermal plant to use the transmission infrastructure that's there, there's the nation's largest greenhouse gas Sun Drop farms about 20 hectares of solar desalination, and a range of solar PV projects and also pumped hydro projects, so it's that ambition, that community has an ambition to still be an energy producer but a renewable energy hub. But we sort of did that off the back foot if we'd been more proactive, perhaps, that community would have felt less threatened by the very sudden and dramatic shutting of that plant.
Jehan: Let's jump into some of these questions before we move onto our next session. Samantha, how do we ensure companies go beyond green washing? This is a concern for many people.
Samantha: Yeah that's a good question. Well one way that we can ensure that companies go beyond green washing is through strong collective bargaining agreements, that include real commitments for transforming the company, having dialogue with workers in that process, and making sure that the jobs are good. So we have examples of that where we're negotiating agreements with employers that include funds for training, sometimes pooled funds from different employers that include commitments to retaining, retraining and redeploying workers, and that also have a process of dialogue with workers about how the company is going to transform. On the issue of how can you make sure that companies are actually cutting their emissions, right, there's a role there for investors in the financial sector I would say as well as for government, because a company that is again, companies that are not able to transform and bring down emissions in a relatively short period of time, they are not going to be around for the future. And so their board should hold them to account ,their investors should hold them to account, government can hold them to account, but also there are workers, employees and unions, we will hold them to account.
Jay: Can I just add something to that? And just in continuing on with from that perspective, in Australia we have very powerful industry superannuation funds, where workers are represented through their unions, and what I found fascinating recently has just been this increased interest in what's called ESG- environmental, social and governance risk, and the fact that investors are now beginning to insist that companies minimise those risks, so if you're a highly carbon exposed company, you know investors, through workers, through their superannuation funds, are going to say we don't want to be exposed to that risk, so there can be real discipline imposed you know by workers through their superannuation funds as well, so that's I think a really important emerging area.
Alan: Organisations like RE 100, global energy 100, so companies are signing up to say we will be 100% renewable energy. In fact, I was in Australia, in Sydney, in about November last year with the RE 100 team, and we had five new companies sign up on the day, RE 100. So I think there’s quite a lot of pull developing.
Jehan: Let's take a look at some more of these questions from slido. I want to acknowledge the question from Sam which I think is the most up voted question on the app, and I'm aware and we need to acknowledge that none of the four of you are from New Zealand, but it is an important question in this context. The question is Māori our treaty partners, shouldn't true partnerships be based on consensus, not consultation? Would anyone like to respond to that?
Samantha: In a previous job I worked in the Arctic where we in some countries first nations have treaty rights, sovereign rights over territories, rights to natural resources and to decisions that are being made about them. And so that's a pretty good principle also consistent with international law, with the ILO Convention on the rights of indigenous peoples, that where you have sovereignty and rights over natural resources you then also have rights about how decisions are made. I think that's all I can say without knowing more about it exactly the system here.
Jehan: In a local context. Would anyone else like to add?
Alan: I would add that, and it was mentioned in terms of Taranaki 2050, it's about bringing a range of, a range of ideas and discussing those openly. It's not about bringing a solution and saying this is the solution do you agree with it, so I think changing that narrative round is a very valuable exercise of that whole community engagement.
Jehan: So what is the spirit, then, that these parties need to bring to the table? Because I guess the fear is what you end up with is a situation where there is token consultation or there are parties that do not feel that they have an adequate stake in that conversation and therefore feeling perhaps marginalised or less likely to act consistently with the plan as it ultimately shapes up. How do we avoid that?
Franz-Josef: May I give you an example? I just mentioned that the former mining town Bochum became the so called innovation city and we realised 37% CO2 reduction within five years. How could we manage this? The easy answer is they talked to the inhabitants, so there were of course there was of the must to accept that you are involved in this process plus most of the inhabitants tell they enjoyed this consultation and as a result they invested in insulation because they were offered the best solution for their home and also for their budget, which is very important. For example elderly people are not ready to spend half of their savings, so if you really give everybody a chance to be involved, bottom up not top down, not just decide, but you really inform everybody, then you are amazed what you can achieve. 37% CO2 reduction, five years.
Jehan: And that sets us up nicely for this question about education which has just disappeared from the screen but there a couple of questions on slido around how do we actually raise a generation that has a level of competency around the stuff, not just the language but the concepts, they're able to pick it up and run with it? If we're really thinking about a long term plan here that we raise children and young people who are willing to carry this mantle forward. In your countries and in your cultural context, how important has education been?
Samantha: Education, so access to high quality, free, universal public education including vocational training, is absolutely key, right?
I live in a country, let's hear it for education, educators and teachers, but also for vocational Institutes. I live in a country where university education is free at point of service, and that has meant that you have lots of people who are today getting professional educations who couldn't other, who'd be locked out of that in other countries, for example the UK. But also, the availability of vocational training including certification of skills, so that blue-collar jobs can be decent and high-quality jobs too. Not everyone has to become a lawyer.
Right? So where you have a system that recognises the skills of workers and allows people to get upgrades to their education and skills throughout their working lives, so that they can take on board and use these new technologies, that's a system that is going to be successful, and I think when you're talking about young people entering the workforce, if the jobs that you're going to are good jobs, if you have security of contract, you don't have a zero hours contract, you're going to make a decent wage, you know that you're going to be getting skills upgrades, you're going to be in an industry where your work is valued, you're going to be a lot more likely to want to seek training for those jobs than you are if your future is in an Amazon warehouse.
Jehan: I interviewed a woman called Kalia Colbin and who many of you will know recently, she works for Boma Global and she's a social entrepreneur and a range of other things, but she says you know we really need to get back to this question of what is the purpose of Education? Is the purpose of education simply to get you into a job at the end of 13 years sitting in a classroom, or do we want to create a more well-rounded bunch of young people who have a wider set of priorities and desires and have agency to go out and create change in the world? So in Australia, Jay, how are you guys doing this? Are you doing it any better than us or how are you raising young people who have a level of literacy I guess around these really complex concepts?
Jay: Look I don't know what the situation is in New Zealand but my experience – I’ve got two young school-age children, is that they're powerfully engaged in this question of climate change, they're incredibly ethically motivated to take action on climate change, they're incredibly well informed, and modern education systems, I think really probably for decades now, have been encouraging critical thinking, so I don't think they, I don't think young people accept what is simply given to them anymore, I think they're encouraged properly so to critique information and to be to be highly sceptical about authority, which is very uncomfortable to happen to be a politician, but I think it's actually, it's actually a good thing. It makes, I think, the democracies much more demanding, but I think, you know, really this is why ultimately I come back to this point, we need deliberative processes, because there are so many people out there that want to be part of the discussion, they want to be engaged, and you know what we've heard is that so much of the action that can be taken on climate change is actually individual behavioural change, so you can actually, motivating people to take action, communities to act, to change behaviour, is a very powerful way in which we can make a contribution.
Jehan: We're out of time and we're going to hear from local leaders responding to what you've told us over the last hour, but just quickly, starting with you Samantha, just a ten second takeaway of what is the main lesson that you are, that you have brought to our country that you want the people in this room to get? Your main tip or your nugget that you would like people to take away from this?
Samantha: Put people at the centre, both in terms of your actions on climate change but also the process for getting to those actions and delivering them. Do things that are good for working class and poor people. Have iwi, unions, employers and government at the table. Make the plans and be sure that you deliver them, because, if you don't succeed on this one, if people don't get the jobs that they hope to get in this transition, it will be hard to come back and do it again.
Jehan: Thank you very much for your time, all four of you, a round of applause for them please.
How does this relate to Aotearoa New Zealand
What is Aotearoa New Zealand already doing? What changes are needed? What are the opportunities?
(MC Jehan is seated on a stage on the right of four panellists. There is a dark background with beams of orange light. The four panellists are, from left to right: NZCTU Secretary Sam Huggard, Te Atiawa Chair Liana Poutu, Forest and Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague, and Fonterra Chief Operating Officer Robert Spurway.)
Jehan: Welcome, so five minutes for each of you to react, live, to what you've just heard and then we'll take some more questions from slido. Who’d like to kick off, Liana, shall I hand over to you?
Liana: Sure, tēnā tātou, a lot has been shared this morning and I think certainly my view as a local iwi hapū perspective, and we don't need convincing about the reasons why we should transition to a lower emissions economy, and I guess I've heard a number of people say that participation is key. Participation of the communities and every sector of that community, and from my perspective specifically iwi and hapū. And I guess we are, here in Taranaki, we've been through a number of transitions, for iwi and hapū that transition, we've transitioned through settlement, we've transitioned through colonisation, we've transitioned through land loss, we've transitioned, you know in recent times through the closure of freezing works, the closure of local dairy companies in rural areas, and now we're facing another transition, so for us here in Taranaki, and I'm speaking with my iwi pōtae, my iwi hat on, we’re no strangers to transitioning, but our experience has shown us that we haven't necessarily participated in those transitions, which has meant that, we've been those of the community that are most negatively impacted. And I think the key going forward and into this new transition phase, our people, my people, have the potential to be the most negatively impacted, because there continues to be in an unacceptable level of deprivation within my communities, and so a transition process for us moving to lower, low emissions economy, we have now an opportunity to upskill our people, to be able to fill roles in the new economy. And for me, with my again with my iwi pōtae on, it's really important that we not only provide for the development or the re-education and reinvestment in alternative energies for those of our companies that are already involved in energy, and moving them to a new, a new work stream, but it's also about upskilling those that aren't currently participating in the energy sector, and allowing them and enabling them to move into whatever the future holds.
One of the things that I'm interested to understand in the transition process is also remembering to plan for the legacy. The legacy of what's left behind. And often, as iwi and hapū, we are the communities that are left, in my view anyway, to pick up the pieces. And what happens in a transition process, we're planning for growth, we're planning for alternatives, we're planning for new investment, but sometimes we forget to plan for what happens with the things that are, that we're transitioning out of. So for example, what happens with structures. We've talked about ending offshore drilling and permitting, but what happens to those structures once we get to 2050, what happens to the structures that are, that are onshore and understanding what happens to the communities they actually have to live with the legacy of what we're transitioning out of. So for me a key focus is also looking at making sure that we plan for what we're leaving behind as well as what we are heading to I guess.When I talk about legacy I guess for us as iwi and hapū we're really clear we're not going anywhere, and I think Wharehoka said that earlier on, and let's be clear about iwi entities and iwi, iwi entities are not iwi per se, they are representative of our iwi. So our iwi entities might be wealthy, they might not be wealthy, but actually, the people on the ground are our iwi, and so our previous panel when they said make people the centre of any transition planning, I absolutely agree with that, because our iwi entities are absolutely nothing without our people, and so really want to support that aspect and that focus of a transition.
I guess here in Taranaki we want to be involve, and I guess what I'm saying is that, we are committed to be involved in participating at the very beginning, so from the, let’s co-design, let's co-plan so that everybody is involved right from the beginning, rather than our experience which is coming in at the back end of a planning process. So really getting stuck in in the very early stages of planning, and you know, it will take, it will take courage in my view, and I think we have to do more, and we have to challenge ourselves to do more, it will be, it will take courage, and I say that because I'm a granddaughter of a former coal miner who was, who was unfortunately killed in an estate coal mine. I'm also the granddaughter of a two-time winner of Māori farmer of the year in the dairy section, and so it will take courage for all of us to change our behaviours, and I think one of the things that I do want to end on is around education, where the last panel ended on, we have to engage in serious conversations and education around our consumer behaviours too, because we're looking at all of these alternative methods for energy, actually do we need to be consuming as much energy as we currently are, and what are we doing to reduce how we're consuming and what our consumer behaviour is, so it will take courage whānau but I think we're all up for that challenge. Kia ora.
Jehan: Which is why it's so important that the conversation can't just stay in this room, right, it's not just about industry leaders, it's about ordinary mums and dads, Kiwis and all parts of the country, and even though this concept of a just transition to some will be quite complex and controversial, it's about that literacy which also starts through education. So thank you Liana, Sam, your five minutes.
Sam: Kia ora koutou katoa. Tuatahi mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe, iwi, me ngā hapū, tēnā koutou mō o koutou manaakitanga kia mātou, i roto i tō whenua, i roto i tō rohe, mo tēnei hui i tēnei wā. Tēnā tātou katoa.Look I just wanted to give my greetings, and yep, I guess a window on what for the Council of Trade Unions a just transition looks like. And in a way it's a relatively simple premise, which is that the, that the costs which are necessary in order for us to meet the urgent change we need to do, in order to reduce the impact of climate change, those costs can't be disproportionately shared or falling on those who can least afford it, which include Māori, which include working people, which include poor people. And so if you if we take that as our foundation and work from there then a lot of the policies make sense and can flow from that sort of really important principle.
So for workers there’s two really key aspects for a just transition. The first is economic diversification, and that is well underway already with the combined weight of the Provincial Growth Fund and the Green Investment Bank, and I want to acknowledge the Prime Minister and Minister Woods announcement this morning on that, which make a fantastic contribution to getting that going in terms of clean energy. I'd also make a plug for community economic development, particularly in a region like Taranaki where there is a very proud history of Community Economic Development and part supported by the former Community Employment Group. There’s a strain of work there we need to pick up on as well.
So economic diversification is really important but alongside that, a dedicated plan to support workers through change is absolutely critical. And in policy speak we call that active labour market policies and sort of unpicking the term it's you know an active labour market policy or an active approach to workforce and to the labour market is the opposite of a passive approach, and that's what we want to avoid when we talk about a just transition, that the model for workers and jobs which are finishing, the model isn't just rock up to MSD and WINZ and put your name on a job board, actually we're mapping out the skills and expertise and talents of a workforce as a whole, and having a dedicated plan to map that over to new emerging industries, with all the support systems in place we need, including income smoothing if it's needed, including retraining while you're still on the tools, you know, a minor I spoke to last year, I said what's most important thing for you in a just transition and it was the ability to retrain and learn the new skills that they needed to get the new licenses, qualifications, while they're still on the job, without having to take that massive income drop to study to then go back into the new job, so getting that workplace learning right is really critical for that.Just a couple of examples I wanted to give you in terms of some practical recent history on good examples of transition work that's happened and locally New Zealand, both you know difficult, very difficult circumstances and ones we didn't support. But for the textile, and clothing and textile industry in Christchurch, about ten years ago suffered a major economic shock with the closure of several big employers. Lane Walker Rudkin went into receivership, Pacific Brands closed after the earthquake, and in both those instances the Union for those workers, First Union, negotiated to set up a redundancy support coordinator in those jobs, and that person was the head sight union delegate, so well known, well trusted to that workforce, and it was their job to work with the local Canterbury employers, Chamber of Commerce, the manufacturers, all the employers with work and income of course, to have a plan in place to support all the workers on those sites into new jobs, and that worked terribly successfully so it was a really good approach. Likewise the work that E tū Union did with members at Cadbury’s in Dunedin recently when Mondelez made the decision to close that site. They, working with the industry training organisation, went through all of the workers on the job and mapped out their existing skills using recognition of prior learning so they could leave that job with the confidence of the qualifications in the ticket to represent what their skills were in food manufacturing, to take on to new jobs. Many of whom had been there you know for a good couple of decades and hadn't had that formal qualifications. So dedicated plans to support workers through that change is really critical for us.
And I guess finally we need to have a really frank conversation as Sam touched on on how we fund the transition, and I guess I was dismayed with the response to that some of the proposals, the good proposals that the tax working group have put up, and we need, and that's on all of us as a society, not just our government, it's on all of us actually to come up with a frank analysis and assessment about how we support and fund this transition, because we've all got things we need, workers needs support with training, industry is looking for support from government in terms of diversification, a lot of this stuff costs money, and so at least we've got a dedicated plan to support our governing parties with the resources they need to distribute that resource to help us diversify, you know, that funding is a really key part of the mix for us. We’ll leave it there for now.
Jehan: Thanks Sam. Kevin.
Kevin: Ko te mea tuatahi, ka tautoko ngā mihi mō ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe , tēnā koutou. Kia mihi hoki ki te tupuna maunga, nō rei rā, tēnā koe, te rangatira Taranaki maunga. E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi o te motu, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
Great to be here. I want to emphasize I guess speed, and what we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment. I'll come back to that. So I've been, I guess, studying climate change since the nineteen seventies so I have a degree in atmospheric and marine physics and have been increasingly involved in all of the years since that time.
I speak today with a couple of capacities, one is the Chief Executive of Forest and Bird, and just earlier this week we saw the announcement from the UN conference about the massive extinction event that we are currently living through. And both that and the climate change crisis that we're discussing today, come from the same mindset, the mindset that sees the environment, and people, as inputs into the economy, and we need to reverse that. We need to ensure that our social and our environmental goals drive our use of economic tools. That's the way around it needs to be.
I also come from a perspective as a person who lives on the West Coast, I mean the real West Coast (laughter) and I've spent I guess the last 15 years on and off in conversation with coal miners and coal mining communities, and have some perspectives on that, which I want to share.
On timeframe, transition is going to happen anyway, so the choice that we have is whether we manage that transition and take maximum advantage of the opportunities that present itself, minimize the adverse effects, or whether we simply allow our status quo system to crash. That's the only choice. If we're if we're going to manage it, the time is very short. I said earlier what we do in the next two to three years will determine our future and this is the defining moment, those actually aren't my words. Those are the words that Rajendra Pachauri said, he was the chair of the IPCC, and he said those words in 2007. So I'm not so interested in talk about conversations and discussions starting, I'm interested in talking about actions. And there are two main reasons that we need to make the transition that we make, a just one. One of them is simply the principal, one that Sam has just been talking about, that actually if we want people to make change in the public interest, it's only reasonable that the public actually pays for and facilitates that transition. So that's the principle. The pragmatic one is that if we want to make change fast, then doing so in a just way minimizes the disruption of objection and delay.
So, some lessons from coal miners. First of all, they need a specific plan, what job is it actually that I'm going to do, because just waving your hands and saying you know, tourism, clean energy, is not enough. As Sam from the earlier panel said, they've got to be good jobs, too. We need to work both at individual and community levels, they're both important. We might need to change the extractive mind set as well, so if we are fostering a tourism sector it's got to be not okay how can we get the maximum volume, it's got to be at our quality and depth of the new industries.
I just want to make one comment about my West Coast experience, just in closing. On the West Coast transition away from coal mining has largely occurred, but if you ask the average West coaster what the main industry on the West Coast was, they would still say coal mining, because it's so fundamental to our identity and our culture. In fact coal mining is a long way down the list. We have already made that transition but we haven't made the transition in people's minds. And the result of that is that the transition we've made has not realised all of the gains that it could have done, and I urge Taranaki, and I urge the wider New Zealand community to not make that same mistake.
Jehan: Thanks Kevin.
Robert: Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Taranaki maunga, Taranaki tangata, tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Robert Spurway ahau, nō Fonterra ahau.
First I want to say it is an honour to be here with so many leaders, respected leaders, and the people and leaders of the people that are going to be required for this just transition. In particular I want to acknowledge the Prime Minister and the government's leadership of this issue. As my fellow speakers have said it is going to take courage, and it is a lot about people. We've seen in this conference many different views presented and I think one of the great things about that is those views create discussion, they create diversity of views, and that ultimately will lead to better solutions as we move through this just transition. I think what we can say though, despite the diversity of those views, is everyone and certainly from a Fonterra perspective we share the same goals and the same ambitions for New Zealand.
It's fair to say that representing the dairy sector and talking about what we do at Fonterra, we do have a lot of skin in the game, not only the investment that our cooperative but our farmers have made over many years, but also the number of people that we employ. The dairy sector employs about 47 or 48 thousand people, so this is all about people, and the great thing about that is most of those jobs, nearly all of them are in regional New Zealand. If I look at what that means for us, every day we have ten thousand farmers holding us to account on how we make the most of their milk. That's not just what we earned for them, it's not the money we bring back to the New Zealand economy, but it's also doing that in a sustainable way. And it's not only our farmers that hold us to account on that, it's also increasingly communities and our customers around the world.
I guess it's not only farmers that we're answerable to. We're very clear it's all of New Zealand that we're answerable to. I mentioned before 47 or 48 thousand people employed in the sector, 10,000 of those are in our operations team within Fonterra, people that I'm responsible for every day. Now those people get up every day, they pick up, driving tankers, milk from a farm about every nine seconds, those tankers deliver milk to a factory about every 24 seconds, and importantly we close the doors on an export container about every three minutes. So that's what's involved in bringing back something like ten or twelve billion dollars to regional New Zealand every year.
In doing that, we are a significant energy user. We acknowledge that, we use a lot of electricity, we use a lot of coal and we use a lot of gas, and we take that responsibility very seriously. I guess I'd say though that that scale not only gives us an obligation to make a difference but it gives us an opportunity to really make a difference and help lead and help the rest of New Zealand get there on our way to carbon neutral by 2050.
I want to talk for a moment about some of the things that we've done, addressing what is a significant problem and what's a problem that won't be solved by one single solution. We've worked with others, we’ve worked with the government, last year with MFE we completed a roadmap for a renewable future. And roadmaps are important because they not only set the targets but they also work out how we're going to get there and what needs to be done. As I said that's across a whole range of things that we're looking at.
We also have worked with our farmers and with communities. One of the programs that we're rolling out we call cooperative difference. It's not just about helping farmers do better and accelerating the improvements are already making, but it's about giving them the tools and the information that they need to do better and it's also about recognising the progress they're making. And I think recognising progress and celebrating along the way to a just transition is going to be critical.
Back into our operations, over the last 12 to 18 months, we've committed to electrify our Stirling site. We've converted our Brightwater site from coal to a mix of coal and biomass. That's saving 25 percent of emissions. Just last month we completed a trial at Te Awamutu allowing us to move to woodchips. That'll take the equivalent of about eighteen and a half thousand cars off the road.
We'd also like to say that we know we're not alone. I mentioned before we feel an obligation, we feel an opportunity to lead, but we're working with others, whether it's MFE and the government or communities, it's also other businesses, EECA have supported us, we've also worked with Z Energy to be a foundation customer for biodiesel in our tanker fleet.
So I guess, summing up, it is about people, transitions always are. We're proud of the fact that our industry is one of the most emissions efficient in the world. We also recognise that we need to do more, we are doing more, and we're up for that.Nō rei rā, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
Jehan: Thanks Robert
Jehan: Okay, so we've got about 15, we're a little bit over in terms of time, but we are going to take the next 10 to 15 minutes to finish the session with your questions, and to do that I'm going to take the liberty to merge some of them and to go off this script, and we will just have a conversation, because I think there are some issues that are starting to emerge as themes through those questions, and it's more important that we address the themes rather than addressing individual questions word for word. So Liana one of the main themes that's come forward, and I touched on this in the last session, what does it mean for Māori and for iwi, to genuinely be at the table in these conversations?
Liana: How long have we got? It just means a genuine engagement from the beginning.
Jehan: What does that look like?
Liana: Well it's having us at the table from the very start, it's acknowledging that while we might have different views it doesn't mean we walk away from the table, we can still stay at the table and nut things out, it means that we co-design it, so we're not the decisions made here and then we were engaged on what it is over here, it's that we're jointly developing what the decisions were and making the decision and jointly developing the plan I guess.
Jehan: Sorry to interrupt, what is your sense at the moment, and this is a very generalised question and you know you can answer it however you like, but where are we at with that? How do Māori feel? Again incredibly generalised but how do Māori feel about whether they are at the table or not?
Liana: It’s pretty tough to speak on behalf of all Māoridom
Jehan: Of course, but what is, because I think that is important, we can't actually move forward constructively unless we have a gauge as to how well we're doing on that front.
Liana: Sure, I think the feeling that, the general feeling that we have, is that we're not being engaged genuinely, and that's because a lot of things are decided or planned for us and then brought to us for feedback or comment. And so that has to change, and that's been our experience in transitions to date. So for example if I look at the freezing work closures, you know they happened in Waitara, in Patea, I mean all over but Waitara and Patea specifically were Māori communities and engagement with Māori communities may not have made the impacts on those communities felt as strong as they were, and therefore the negative impacts of those. Had we been at the table, we may have been able to foresee some of that and plan for it, and so it's easy to look in hindsight but definitely going forward we need to be at the table early, we're treaty partners, full stop. We're treaty partner, we represent those that sign the treaty, we have to be there. Wharehoka said we add value, totally believe that we add value, and actually if we look at demographics 70 percent of the Māori population are under 40. So if Māori are underperforming in 2050 then our entire country is underperforming.
Jehan: So the risk here is that if we, you know we can sit and have this conversation, but unless we bring Māori along for the ride and other groups that are marginalised in this conversation, we're not actually going to achieve the outcomes that we say we're going to achieve by 2050.
Liana: And there won't be buy in, quite frankly, and it works across the community and sectors. If you haven't got buy-in from your community, and each sector within that community, then you're setting,we're setting ourselves up to fail.
Jehan: So in a more general sense then, Sam, how do we communicate this to people who are not sitting and reading policy documents or coming to events like this? People who are actually just trying to earn a crust and provide for their families. How do we actually communicate this to them, and give them a sense of hope that there is, you know, employment opportunities for them, good opportunities?
Sam: We touched on hope and I think that’s the key thing for me, is that in climate policy there's a lot of fear, and rightly so because I'm utterly afraid about how, as Kevin's mentioned, how long we've got left to properly deal with this and New Zealand's one of, you know, many right, but one of the things which we can do is to give people hope that by acting collectively on some of these issues you've got a better chance than by acting alone, and that's you know, that's what unions are all about. We know that if you act on your own with your employer you'll get one outcome. If you pull your resources together and come together in a collective organisation, a union, hapū, whatever it is, then your ability to put forward your collective views is a lot stronger. And I think for climate where people think oh but I'm doing the plastic bags and I'm trying to do this and this, that individual stuff is at the margins, what's needed is the collective response. And so for a workforce, having a really strong sense that there's a plan and place for the whole workforce affected, that gives people hope that they can be part of it and take some of the fear away.
Jehan: And how much…
Kevin: Can I add something to that?
Jehan: Yeah sure go for it.
Kevin: I think that one of the crucial factors is actually ensuring that we're not sending mixed messages to people. Because I think one of the reasons, if we reflect on why it's taken so long and almost nothing's happened, one of the reasons is that we've continued to send, at all levels in fact, mixed messages. We've said this is really important, but because we haven't been doing anything people have been thinking, oh well is it really important to or isn't it, because if it really was then government would have been doing more about it. So I think stopping sending those mixed messages is really important, and I think also providing that a clear path forward, so providing the hope, and the opportunity in what’s available, ideally not getting into a situation where people are hedging their bets. Because it's kind of human nature, 80% of people, if you gave them a choice between, well you could keep doing this thing that you're doing now that you're familiar with and feels comfortable and you know is secure, or you could do this new thing that might well be more exciting, okay, people will choose the status quo, most people will. So, if we, you know, and we do have an example here in Taranaki with the onshore permits, we're kind of, giving a mixed message about what the future will be.Jehan: You talked earlier, and Sam you touched on this around specificity and what we're actually providing people with, because we're saying we want you to move away from this, what are you actually, if I'm sitting at home trying to work out what this job or industry is actually going to look like, what my nine-to-five is going to look like, how do we communicate that to your coal miners and you know people in industries that are more traditional?
Kevin: So what I did, so and on the West Coast there's been a series of forums at Blackpool involving environmentalists, and coal miners, and sometimes politicians, sometimes they front up, and what I tried to do was actually move beyond this, you know, tourism is going to be great, you know, there's, you could get jobs in this, in the green energy sector, and instead so to say okay here are industries that we currently have now, here is how that industry could deliver higher value jobs that paid more wages, and try to provide some specifics around that. And I think that's, you know, that's what we need to do for these people. In fact on the West Coast, the number of people involved is so small that actually government could just underwrite their wages for the rest of their lives.
Jehan: Isn’t part of the problem
Kevin: I'm not suggesting that as a general principle.
Jehan: Isn’t part of the problem, Robert, around the story that we've been telling for a long time, we have the very entrenched, very comfortable mythology I guess as a country, about who we are and what we do and our relationship with the land, and that's something we're really proud of and is a huge part of who we are, there's a question here around could Fonterra become a plant-based milk and milk product company.
Jehan: To what extent do we need to evolve the story, change the story and you know recognise that actually there are other chapters that may come that may look different to the story we've been telling for the last few decades?
Robert: I think that's something that New Zealand is famous for and the farming sector and dairy farming sector in particular, we all know what number 8 wire is, we have the mentality that New Zealanders could do anything with number 8 wire. I think we're a little more sophisticated these days, but what we’re seeing is our farmers already innovating, improving their productivity, looking at new ways to do things, rising to those challenges, and this is just a new and big challenge. And we have the opportunity not just to make a difference for New Zealand, but to lead the world. Because the reality of this sort of transition is what we do in New Zealand is kind of interesting, but it only really makes a difference when the rest of the world pick it up. And I think, I touched on the fact before that we're already one of the most efficient agriculture nations in the world, so if we can turn that into being really efficient and really sustainable, we can help the rest of the world in that space.
Jehan: So what is Fonterra’s plan on this, that question there, what is Fonterra actively doing to transition from dairy? Is that what you are doing?
Robert: I wouldn't say that we're actively looking to transition from dairy, our focus is on helping our farmers respond to this challenge and lead this challenge. We are working and we've made a small investment in research around plant-based and alternative protein.
Jehan: Is that something you're looking at?
Robert: That is something that we're doing now, not just looking, doing now. We make a range of products that have plant-based components so I think the question is a very good question and a very fair question, and the important word in there is not, this is not an or, it's an and, so how can milk be complemented by plant, and that's something that we’re looking at.
Jehan: Right can we, and if what the Camerons’ are saying, for example, is true, if these trends play out, are you expecting to see the scales tip as consumer demand changes in future decades?
Robert: Look, you need to look at the world. We are an exporting nation in New Zealand, we're a very efficient exporter of food, and at its heart food is energy, we're exporting energy to the world. So there's a conversation in the developed world and the wealthy economies, but there's also a huge and growing need for protein in the emerging economies. We trade with over 140 countries, and what we see is huge growth and consumption outstripping supply to feed a growing population around the world. So I think the challenge here is not producing less, it's actually producing more, but doing it in a more efficient, more sustainable way, because that's what the world needs to feed a growing population.
Jehan: This question from Neil around the demand-side behaviour and educating consumers, we've talked a little bit about education, I mean the plastic bag ban was an one, wasn't it, because we also had a lot of media coverage last year around things like single use straws. Now for those who are actually up to speed with this, we know what a minut contribution single use straws actually play in the greater scheme of plastic waste, so you know how do we actually bring consumers along, because I don't think anyone reasonably would expect Fonterra to make massive changes that are also going to have really poor implications for your business. I mean you're responding to the needs of consumers, so how do we then try and nudge, pull consumers in the direction that we want to go to from a policy perspective? Any of you?
Liana: Certainly, I think we talked earlier, one of the panels talked earlier about fear, not that this is my parenting style but you know fear actually drives action sometimes, and if we have the facts in front of us and we are faced with, you know, it's that whole stay or run kind of mentality, stay and fight or run, and if we're faced with that part of it as we have to confront what the actual facts are, and confront that we are in a crisis, and that we have to do something now. Yes planning is good but what other little steps that we have to achieve in the 2050 plan to take action, and fear in my view is a good thing because you either fight and you come out fighting which I know a lot of our people do, when they’re faced with fear or in a crisis situation they come out fighting, and you know, and perhaps that's one thing we actually have to confront is our fear.
Jehan: Kevin, the fear hasn't worked though has it, because your point earlier, the fact that we've been having a lot of very similar conversations for a number of decades, you've been in politics, you know what that's looked like in the media and on the legislative side, what do we need to do more strategically about how we have this conversation?
Kevin: Well absolutely strategy is a critical almost entirely missing component of our response to climate change currently. We've got a great problem definition, we're throwing tactics at it, but there’s some missing bits in the middle. I want to say, you used the word nudge, and I think unfortunately that for sort of many of our leaders they're still in the space of trying to nudge solutions. We're long past the point where that could possibly work. You know, we actually do have some examples of the world taking the kind of action that's necessary in terms of scale and urgency. Look at the way that the world geared up for the second world war for example. Well governments didn't, you know, nudge people to perhaps change their production in their factories away from what they were doing to something else. They didn’t nudge people to change the way that they were feeding their families. They actually gave leadership, strong rules, and sort of very clear consequences for non-action, and I think we have to go there.
Jehan: Okay so we're talking about compelling people?
Jehan: And Sam how do we do that in a way that actually brings perhaps the most marginalised people on the outskirts or really struggling to make things work? How do we actually bring them along without creating even more misery for them?
Sam: Giving a really strong sense that when we're making decisions to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change, that we're making conscious thoughts around mitigating some of those distributional impacts on it. So when we have policies which hit the poor, with regressive taxes, with penalties and others, with subsidies for EVs without any thought through to people for whom a $1,500 combustion engine car is the only thing that's going to go in for their whanau, we need a really strong sense from policymakers that we will take that into account, that we will leave no one behind, as we bring in these climate policies, and that it won't just be left to chance, that we won't just leave it to the market to make up those decisions to support poor people and consumers.
Jehan: Robert, how do we bring industry along?
Robert: I think it's about bringing everyone. What we’ve seen is the government’s had the courage to set ambitious targets for the country. I think the rest of the world will look to that and what we do in New Zealand. All of us have spoken about the importance of not just customers and consumers, but in a Fonterra context the work we're doing with New Zealand communities through our farmers, the work we're doing with our unions E tū and the Dairy Workers Union, in particular, but also work with government through partnerships with MFE, and I think that applies to everyone, if you bring all of your stakeholders with you in the light of strong and ambitious targets we’ll achieve more than we ever thought was possible.
Jehan: There are two interesting words - we have to wrap up - there's two interesting words that came out of that last twenty minutes which is fear and hope, and I guess everyone in this room would sit at a different end of the spectrum and have a different view on how we use those, whether we use them exclusively, whether we use them together, Liana, just to wrap up, what are your thoughts on is it fear or is it hope that actually will push people towards a just transition?
Liana: I think, I mean we're always hopeful as iwi and hapū, but I think fear drives us a lot, you know we're a lot more passionate about getting out of fearful situations and difficult situations than we respond to hope because it hasn't been our experience. And I guess, you know, one of, we talked about the offshore announcement but actually, you know, anecdotal information has us at about ten years of reserves, you know an announcement to not issue new permits on shore, you know, that pushes us into a place where we have to take action now. Because at the moment we've got no to offshore, we've got, you know, onshore that's still happening, we had a recent block offer, and I guess you know it's part of that mixed messages that Kevin was talking about, we've got one announcement but actually that just puts pressure onshore for more, you know more people tendering and so we really have to push ourselves into, I think, nothing like a good deadline to push us to achieving something and that would be my view.
Lessons from the Pacific
Case studies from two Pacific Islands that are already experiencing the impact of climate change
(Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Hon Fiame Naomi Mata'afa is speaking at a lectern. She wears a grey patterned top and has a flower in her ear. There is a dark background with occasional beams of orange light.)
Fiame: Talofa lava, good afternoon, Kia ora.
Can I first say thank you very much to Minister Megan Woods for extending the invitation for me to join you in this very significant conversation, that you are holding here in the Taranaki. Can I also acknowledge and thank the welcome from the Taranaki iwi. I wish to acknowledge the tangata whenua, and when we talk about the whenua, then that speaks to the centre of what we are all here today, because we're talking about our collective whenua and the impacts of climate change.
This invitation to come to this meeting has also given me the opportunity as a Minister from Samoa to also meet with some of my counterparts in the New Zealand Government and it has been a very useful visit. I was able to discuss with Minister Shaw, who will be addressing the Summit later on, mostly around the legislative infrastructure that is warranted for the work that we are here to talk about and to undertake. And of course it was also an opportunity to talk with your Minister of Foreign Affairs to talk about the New Zealand ODA, the Overseas Development Assistance Program of all you New Zealand taxpayers contribute to, to assist amongst many others, your neighbours in the Pacific.
I was very interested not only when I got the invitation but I also got given the documentation about the purpose and objectives of this Summit. And it's quite funny you know how it is when people are, other people are having conversations and you're sitting nearby and there's an element of eavesdropping so I'm really happy I got an official invitation to come and listen to the conversation here.
I would have to say that, you know, I'm a politician, MC kindly introduced me as the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, but I'm also the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, and of course those key elements at the centre of the climate change work and agenda. So I'm very happy to have been invited to come.
I will talk a little bit about our renewable energies because that's our main mitigation efforts, not only for Samoa but for the Pacific region. But I just wanted to talk about the politics, the geopolitics, that surround these issues. And you will of course be aware that the Pacific Islands were at the forefront of advocating for the 1.5 degree target as opposed to the 2 degrees, and I'm not going to give you the talk about, you know, the difference between those degrees because you know, but this was one thing that the Pacific Islands were able to agree upon, advocate for, and we are so thrilled that the New Zealand Government has shifted its policy, it's now declared its targets, and for us, from the neighbourhood so to speak, this is a very significant development, that we have one of the leader countries within our region take that step. We just have to persuade the fellows in the west of us that that's also a good direction for them to go and to join the Pacific Coalition in its advocacy and its work towards climate change.
When I was talking with Minister Shaw he said to me, are there other ways that New Zealand can better work with the Pacific countries? Now, Samoa, we were, if you didn't know, we were previously administered by the New Zealand government up until 1962 when we became independent. And we are the only country that New Zealand has a treaty of friendship with. So it's very interested with the comments from the iwi here today, when they talk about their partnership in a treaty sense. Treaties, other instruments of the like, you know, they are instruments by which we've evolved or developed throughout the years, and you know we can work treaties in the strictest constitutional sense, but I think, let me speak about the Samoan and New Zealand Treaty of Friendship. We should really look to what was the spirit of that treaty. And friendship, if that is the basis of a relationship, is that we look out for each other and we tell each other the truth.
Just coming back to the geopolitics thing, when I was having this discussion with Minister Shaw and also Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, is that there are so many distractions for us, with this work of climate change and that is a focus that we have in the Pacific and obviously is becoming a focus for you in New Zealand, as you're transitioning your economy, because the geopolitical distractions that are there really do take us away from the important work. And sometimes it may also take up more space and more time than we should be spending on it. For us in the Pacific, I have the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands here, you know the whole China Taiwan thing has become such a heated issue within the Pacific Islands that it's making it difficult for us to move forward, and it's not because of our interests, but it's because of the interests of other people. And what if there's a lesson to be learnt from that, we in the Pacific have to be able to stand up and say, you know we have our relationships, if you have a problem with each other that's your problem you know, let's get on with what we're supposed to be getting on. But for small countries, geopolitical situations and conditions makes our lives so much difficult than it already is. And the other, you know, one sort of political type comment I want to make, is you know we're often invited to go to forums like this, and they say to us, well what can you tell us about what we should be doing. Well to be quite frank, and I think this is where friendly conversations are at, the experience of the Pacific is that we don't actually tell anyone what to do, our experience has been we have to navigate our way through the stakes that other people have put on the ground and we accept that. We accepted as our lot, what we fall back on is multilateralism, we cling strongly to UN and the conventions that are there, because for small island states therein lies a level of security that we would expect as you know members of the of the human race.
So I thought you know making a contribution to the conversation that you're having here, it can all be very much looking in, what our problems are, but it's also being aware of what is around us and the impacts that we do that have on other people, whether they be in New Zealand, in our region of the Pacific, and the world. But I do want to acknowledge in the Summit and say congratulations to this New Zealand administration for what is considered a very brave and courageous move to set targets and to begin to have conversations, which has been expressed here today, inclusive conversations. That inclusiveness has been challenged, I hear this morning the iwi saying no, we haven't really been consulted, we've been presented. Quite often for small countries, that's also our lot when we are supposedly being consulted, so I think we need to rethink when we're really talking about inclusiveness what that looks like, what that means and mind shifts that actually need to happen.
So can I, my one last comment on governance and leadership, talking about brave and courageous leadership, I think one of the interesting documentations more recently around leadership and bravery and courage, and they say it's about rumbling with your vulnerabilities. Rumbling with your vulnerabilities. Showing your soft belly. And that's a real measure, I think, of people willing to step in, to have that conversation, and to share that vulnerability with their communities and partners and development.
So coming back to the main subject of our forum, the focus for Samoa and the Pacific is on renewable energy, that's our main commitment to the climate change convention. Of course I don't need to explain to you because New Zealand is far ahead in the renewable energies, but for us the high dependence on fuel has been such that most of our money has been taken up by the dependence on fuel. So the move for us to renewable energy is not only climatically the thing to do, but it is saving on very limited resources that we have. And of course connected to energy, we're looking at not only, and the target that we have set in Samoa is to be a hundred percent renewable energy for the electricity sector. We are then looking to the transport sector because that is another significant area that we need to address, mostly for general use vehicles, moving on to commercial and mostly public transport. So you know these are the things that we need to plan for. Small countries have very limited resources, we have to be a lot more strategic about how we use our resources, almost it's an almost automatic response that we have to be a lot more integrated in our approaches to anything, including climate change, because we have to utilise that very limited resource whether it be financial, or you know the more significant one, which is our human resource. And, you know, that is the challenge for the Pacific, the limited resources that we have, and, you know, it's one thing to be doing our work in mitigation and adaptation, but more often than not, we're having to do what everyone else in the world is doing, which is responding to natural disasters which are happening more frequently, and at much more devastating rates.
So, we've had some, part of my brief is to talk about some of the challenges and some of the opportunities. So our challenges, you know, is the smallness, the limited resources we have, but the opportunities we have, especially in the energy sector, is that more often and not in those small Pacific countries, the government or government agencies, the sole provider of energy or electricity, you know, I think one of the opportunities arising out of the work in climate change and renewables is that we can have a lot more actors within this particular sector and not necessarily just the government being the sole provider. And of course the best outcome that we look for, that we all look for, is that we're having these energy at much cheaper rates than we're facing at the moment. I'm advised by Minister Woods that wind energy is a cheaper option and the government, as an example here, have also particularly tax incentives that can encourage that.
So one of the useful things about us all getting together for these forums is how much we can learn off each other. There's one thing I was wondering whether I might just brush lightly over and not be impolite as a invited guest to your conversation, but it struck me as very interesting that this is an economic transition, as many other transitions have been. You know, sometimes the background changes but it's still the same thing. What is our economy based on, and if we're making these transitions to make it really work, does the basis of our economies have to change? I'm sort of hearing it, peripherally, in some of the earlier conversations, but I think for all of us, if we're talking about transitions, just transitions premised upon our respective economies, then I think the conversation needs to be a lot deeper. Because if our economies are premised on profit, then I don't think anything is going to seriously change.
I had a very interesting trip to New Plymouth. I had to fly from Wellington to Auckland to come down here, but it gave me the opportunity to sit next to a gentleman, and as you do when you are on the aeroplane you introduce each other and sort of say oh why are you going to the New Plymouth - oh going to the just transition summit and both of us were going – Peter, are you here? Bryant? I think he's in the next session. Oh there you are. And he's the business guy.
So we're having this interesting conversation, you know, about how businesses need to adjust, how we all need to adjust, so, and he said, well, you know one good thing about capitalism is that it usually finds a way. And the only other thing I've heard that sort of expression come is with water, you know, water will always find a way. But the thing is usually in our experience when the water usually finds a way it's about flooding.
So I think, you know, using the business analogy, that might be some of things we need to think about. The controls of that flow. Is it going to be a small flow, who controls the flow, where does the flow go and so forth.
So coming back to the Pacific, I've talked about the renewable energies as the prioritised mitigation commitment of the Pacific, but I would have to be quite honest with you and say that most of the Pacific is now focusing on adaptation, because the impacts of climate change is such upon us in the Pacific Islands that we do a bit to mitigate, I mean we don't emit that much or it's very negligible, so quite frankly we're about adaptation. And I think we share the message that I'm hearing around the room, in that, you know, all the different participating partners here government, business, communities, iwi, I think we all play a particular role at particular levels, you know, and in different places, and it was quite interesting that polling exercise that we had, the first one, the first one was about local, right, I mean it was about rural communities but it just spoke to the local situation and how people respond, and then the second question was about the alignment of government in that they can actually continue from one government to another government given that you have three year cycles, right, three year cycles. We have five year cycles where I come from.
But if there's one last thing I would like to share with the Summit, it’s about partnership. It's very important, partnership. We had a big SIDS conference in Samoa a few years back, and the whole concept of partnering for development, you know was the main flag of that meeting. But following that SIDS meeting and the development of the Samoa pathway which is the roadmap or the blueprint on how we progress a small island developing states, the experience for us to say more about this partnering thing, is that, when people come together and it doesn't work out, it's usually been because there were assumptions that people came in with, there was no clarity around what each party brought to the table, and for sure there was no clarity around the benefits accruing from that particular partnership. Where it has been successful is where there was clarity in all those areas, and more importantly, from a government, you know, person, was when we had true investor interests from the private sector. Now these were committed private sector individuals, private sector organisations. They weren't just there to look for a quick buck, but they wanted to assist, to reach the mutual goals of the party sitting at the table.
How am I doing for time? Okay, he tells me I'm out of time. So thank you very much for the invitation, I hope I haven't been too rude as an invited observer to your conversation, but sincerely, we wanted to make the contribution as you move forward in your journey in New Zealand. Fa’afetai.
(Applause as Fiame leaves the frame. MC Jehan enters the frame and thanks Fiame from the lectern.)
Jehan: Thank you very much for your insights and your observations, you certainly weren't rude and I think one of the key challenges in your address was for us to see this not just as an economic transition but a social one, and one that is about people, so we appreciate you making the trip here. I welcome the Honourable Henry Puna.
(Cook Islands Prime Minister Hon Henry Puna enters from the left and stands at the lectern.)
Prime Minister Hon Henry Puna: To the Honourable Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, to the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, the Honourable Fiame Mata’afa, cabinet ministers of the New Zealand government, Honourable Dr. Megan Woods, Honourable James Shaw, Honourable Grant Robertson, to the tangata whenua, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I bring in warm greetings from the government of people of the Cook Islands.
Kia Orana tātou kātoatoa ī te aro’a ma’ata ō te Atua.
To the tangata whenua, can I say meitaki ma’ata nō te ‘aro’a mā’ana’ana tā kōtou ī ‘o’ora mai kia mātou īna kōnei.
I also would like to thank the Honourable Dr. Megan Woods for the kind invitation and the opportunity to participate in this national conversation about shaping New Zealand's transition pathway. I must say that I have a soft spot for Taranaki and for New Plymouth in particular, having spent the final two years of my secondary education at New Plymouth Boys High School. Kia ora, some old boys from New Plymouth Boys High, congratulations to us for winning our rugby game yesterday.
I saw that on TV when I checked into the hotel. So you know for me this is a bit like a homecoming, after so many years, please don't ask me how long ago I was here.
I also would like to commend the New Zealand government for this excellent initiative of bringing together a broad range of stakeholders to have this important conversation on how New Zealand will adapt and address the challenges that it faces, to give New Zealanders the future they want and they deserve. If I may share this truth with you, what New Zealand is doing will not only impact on New Zealand but also on your Pacific neighbours and in fact on the entire world. You are definitely showing leadership to the rest of the world, by recognising that the business-as-usual approach has never worked, is not working, and will not work. As your Pacific neighbour and special friend, I sincerely congratulate New Zealand.
This country's aspiration to be a zero carbon emissions economy is definitely something to celebrate for our small island states who have for many decades called for action on climate change. I recall in 2014 the UN envoy for climate change Mary Robinson stated that climate change is a development issue. It is a financial issue. It is a moral issue. It is a political issue. And it is all of those issues. Essentially, it is an issue of people, and about people. In this connection I'm reminded of the Māori proverb, “He aha te mea nui o te ao nei, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.” It is people, people and people. For my people in the Cook Islands, living meaningful lives in our low-lying atolls especially in the northern group will not be possible in the future if global attitudes and behaviours do not change. As landmasses condenses with the rising tide, where we decide to build our homes will have to change. Where we decide to grow our crops must change. As traditional planting grounds are inundated by the sea. Where we decide to bury our loved ones must also change. In fact where we decide to conduct and build businesses must change to take into consideration the threat of more intense storms, floods, droughts and cyclones. And as the oceans and seas acidification intensifies, our major food supply sources must also change.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is already changing. In fact our entire natural world is changing. Flora and fauna no longer follow the traditionally accepted norms or patterns. For us living on small islands, we have no choice but to adapt to change, to undergo transition. The sad reality is that small island states have less room to manoeuvre. This is our reality. Our islands are already feeling the impacts of climate change. But while we must continue to remind the world of our vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change, we are also demonstrating that we are leaders in the world in taking action. We have already begun this process of change, this process of transformation; because the truth is we have no other option. I don't like being labelled a victim I'd like to be a leader. Before I became Prime Minister, I was living on Manihiki in the northern Cook Islands. Electricity on Manahiki was only available for a certain number of hours, normally from 6 a.m. to 12 noon, and from 6 p.m. to midnight. This was at the best of times, because you could be certain that sometimes diesel would run out, either because of shipping problems, or hurricane season, or that the island administration could not afford the diesel.
I came to realise that there needed to be a better way to guarantee reliable electricity supply, and I came to the conclusion that there was only one option, renewable energy. The truth is we had a significant supply of sunlight, and that we made, it made sense for us to harness this to provide for our energy needs. Therefore when I entered the national elections in 2010, I made the deliberate decision for the policy stance that by 2015 we would have 50% of our islands powered by renewable energy and 100% by next year. You know we are already 80 percent of the way there.
Ahh, here is the most important part. We couldn't have done it without New Zealand's help, so thank you New Zealand government, and thank you New Zealand taxpayers.
(Some of the audience laugh)
The generous support from New Zealand has been fundamental in allowing us to meet our ambitions of electricity as I just outlined before, and this is deeply appreciated, thank you very much. We have since 2015 transformed the electricity supply of four other islands in the southern group to solar energy from a blend of grant funds from Japan, the European Union, and our own borrowings from the Asian Development Bank. Our main island of Rarotonga, the last one to be yet converted, now has 16 percent of its electricity provided by grid tied net metering, gross metering and independent power agreements between households, the private sector and the power utility.
Our greatest challenge in Rarotonga is storage. This month, we anticipate the completion of installation of a 1 megawatt battery storage located at the airport. For some of you who've been to Rarotonga you would have seen those plants at the airport, just before the plane is parked when you pull in. And by the end of this year we hope to complete an additional 1 megawatt battery storage and 2 megawatt of load shifting capability installations. This will enable many more households and private sector investment in renewable energy.
We're currently implementing the first phase of energy rollout on the island of a Aitutaki. We have been joined in this venture by a new partner, Nia Tero from the United States. Phase one is scheduled for completion in a couple of weeks and it will be commissioned as well.
We acknowledge that in the entire scene of things the Cook Islands carbon emissions are negligible, however we believe that every little bit of carbon emissions reduction counts and we have to do our part. While we fully support the need for international recognition to be given of the special needs and vulnerability of our islands as small island states, hey, we also think of ourselves as large ocean island states. Our Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on earth, plays a key role in regulating global climate. Amongst its other significant features of sustaining and connecting all of us in the region. The Cook Islands in 2017 passed the Marae Moana Act, legally designating our entire EEZ of almost 2 million square kilometres as a Marine Park. We believe that not only is this critical for enhanced management of our marine resources, but that our conversation and management efforts will also contribute to the common good of the whole of mankind.
In March this year we held our very first climate change roundtable in Rarotonga. I thank the New Zealand government and the Honourable Minister Aupito William Sio for actively participating at this important dialogue. This roundtable provided us with the opportunity to discuss with partners our mitigation aspirations for a paradigm shift to low emission development, and to build our community's resilience to the impacts of climate change with appropriate adaptation actions.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are committed to a development voyage that is green and blue, and in harmony with our environment and our culture. The destination on this voyage to not only include renewable energy and marine management, but also transformation in waste management, ecotourism, infrastructure development, climate resilient agriculture and so forth. Like you, we are transitioning. We have been having our conversations about how economy must change, how we must manage change, to ensure that we maintain environmental integrity and our cultural values, and how we should not leave anybody behind on this important journey. Although we have the relevant plans and strategies in place, if we are going to adapt to current challenges and those of the future we have to ensure that we are dynamic and that we are nimble. We have no doubt that we will learn many lessons along that journey.
Therefore, as you shape your transition towards zero carbon emissions pathway, I wish you all the very best. You, New Zealand, will be leading the way for larger countries to follow. I can guarantee you that the rest of your Pacific family will be following your progress very closely and we will all be cheering you on. All the best New Zealand, kia orana and thank you for being part of this important conversation. Thank you.
Changing the Model
How businesses are changing their business models to meet sustainability challenges – and what it means for their shareholders
Changing the Model(external link) – Peter Bryant
(Discussion facilitator Peter Bryant, Managing Partner at Clareo, stands on a stage to the right of three panellists. There is a dark background with beams of orange light shining vertically up the wall every metre or so. Peter wears a navy suit jacket and shirt with no tie. The backs of the first few rows of the audience can be seen in the foreground.)
Peter: Good afternoon everyone, it's great to be here. I've been called many things, the business guy is probably one of the more polite ones. It's always an honour and a privilege to be here, I left New Zealand in 1980, just aging myself, and it's always a real privilege to be invited back to speak, particularly about something that's very passionate. I want to acknowledge the New Zealand government.t especially the Prime Minister and Minister Wood, for showing the courage and vision to convene this Summit. Don't underestimate the power and uniqueness of having something like this occur.
(The camera zooms in on Peter so only he is in shot. We see his waist up.)
What we're going to talk about, I'm going to, we're going to thread a few things together in my talk and then on the panel, and I think the tremendous challenge that faces us is the need to act on the urgency of climate change whilst at the same time transitioning our energy and agricultural economy, and as stewards and guardians of our natural resources how do we develop those responsibly, all at the same time delivering economic, social and environmental prosperity to all New Zealanders? This is complicated and doing one thing over here can have a negative consequence over here. And I think it's very important that all stakeholders are involved and I think New Zealand has some unique traits of pragmatism, innovation, collaboration, and I kind of trait of wanting to buck the status quo to really co-create a vision and roadmap to achieve the target that's been set us. And I'm a person that's very optimistic, and again in our talk we'll go through some different things.
I think it's helpful though to look at some basic first principles. As consumers of energy and products and services we want them to be reliable, accessible, affordable and delivered in a sustainable manner. But the consumers that are doing that are generally not willing to sacrifice the first three in service of the fourth. I think one of the fundamental shifts that we've seen in the last couple of years is that it's not an or statement anymore, I think increasingly in New York and Europe and the companies we work this is definitely becoming an “and”, and I think that's really important. So we can deliver affordable, reliable and accessible products, services and energy and do it in a sustainable way, and companies increasingly have recognised that they can deliver superior shareholder returns, at the same time driving social and environmental impact.
It's also good to have a little bit of a reality check because New Zealand does live in a global context, so we live in a world, we have one and a half billion people, yes one and a half billion people that have zero electricity, no electricity. We have another two billion people on the way between now and 2050, most of them going to the same geography where those one and a half billion people are. We have hundreds of millions of people moving from poverty to middle-class, from rural to urban, and those people's eating habits are changing. So people that are doing grain based diets, may be eating chicken and pork, are moving increasingly towards a beef and dairy based diet. And The Economist did an article recently estimating that the increase in cattle and cows and dairy will increase by 30 percent over the next 20 years, so this is the context of the world that we live in.
And this chart shows the, because of economic growth, that the use of coal, oil and gas the trend line has increased use of those products. And the EIA estimates that'll continue for the next 30 years. So in the US and Europe for example in the last two years, the development of renewable energy has exceeded that of all other energy combined, yet the increase is still persistent. So we've kind of flattened that increased curve but we haven't got it into the dip. So we've got to think accelerate the transition and that's where business plays an important part, so very critical.
And I think there's one fact I'd like to, because facts are important, that for oil, I don't know if you knew this there only 47% of oil is used for transportation fuel, 53% of oil is used for plastic, medicine, cosmetics and other materials. So this is a tremendous innovation opportunity for countries in terms of you know finding replacement products etcetera replacement materials.
So this is, there's a set of irresistible forces that I think it's good to understand. This is the world that business lives in. We all, I live in California and where we're seeing an increasing frequency of climatic incidents both in their frequency and their severity, we lived just lived through some very severe wildfires and at the same time we just had record rainfall and snowfall that has caused a once in 50 year wildflower bloom which is beautiful, so this all happened in six months, which kind of crazy. That's led to more societal activism, societal concern, that's now translating into investor activism, and I think fundamentally you know a lot of people like talking about companies are greenwashing and are greedy capitalists but the increase in corporate consciousness about they have to do something has risen and it's fundamentally changed in the last two years. And so this is kind of creating the urgency, but also the means of how we're going to do this is happening with the rate and pace of innovation, which is really at a pace that's never seen before in the world.
So let's talk about capital for a moment. Capital markets play a really important part in making this happen. So we have three types of capital, we have venture capital, and today the Prime Minister announced some funds to accelerate that, so that's where the entrepreneurs get their money to do their stuff, equity, which is how the shareholders kind of drive their companies, talk a bit about that, and then debt, debt is used to fund projects, not equity, and I think what we're seeing in venture capital and equity is shift and we're starting to see where debt is starting to look for projects that are sustainable and are driving positive environmental change. And the challenge for the New Zealand government and New Zealand business is how do we attract capital into this country to fund the kind of innovations that we want. A little bit like what we did with the movie industry. If I said 15 years ago in New Zealand was going to be a hotbed for digital and movies people would have said we're all crazy and we were able to attract the projects and the capital in this country with sensible policy to encourage that.
So on the equity side, you know we're seeing exciting things. You know, the assets under management growth of sustainable assets that's on the rise, shareholder resolutions around the environment etc is on the rise, and we're seeing corporations like BP increase their disclosures and tying bonuses to climate change. I was speaking to the chief investment officer for CalSTRS, so CalSTRS is the Californian Teachers Pension Fund, so they have $250 billion dollars under management, they pay the pensions 950,000 educators in California, and his view is they invest in oil companies and mining companies, and a lot of their teachers are about you should divest, and he said no we’re long-term investors, we work with these companies to embed in their plans, plans to migrate their energies to become energy companies in a move away from oil and gas because there's no interest in cratering these companies that not only employ hundreds of thousands of people but also underpin the pensions of many many people. So I think, you know, so again their model is about engagement and working with organisations to move the ball down the field.
So how do we do this in a world where there's very low trust. I don't know how many of you follow there's a trust index called the Edelman trust index which fundamentally says people have lost faith and have low trust in their governments, and I probably say that in New Zealand our trust is maybe a little bit higher, but we've also lost trust in corporations, capitalism etc. And whilst I always say trust is important amongst everybody there's a triangle of trust that I think is fundamental, and the work we do through my nonprofit and working with communities around driving better social environmental economic outcomes around resource projects in Latin America and Africa, is the triangle of trust between communities including the indigenous people, companies and government is absolutely vital. And trust is not easy, we all know in our personal relationships there's no magic to this. Trust is hard to earn and trust is easy to lose and we have to work every single day to nurture it, and in these kind of conversations we need to trust each other, and trust requires radical transparency and enormous vulnerability, you need to expose yourself as a corporation, as a government, as iwi or whoever you are to in a way that allows people to trust you irrespective of what the consequences might be as a result of that.
So that brings me to we've done a lot of work with the First Nations in Canada and a good friend of mine Matthew Coon Come, who's just retired as the grand chief of the Cree Nation which is the largest First Nations in Canada, he said indigenous people want participation, not consultation, and I've heard those words flip-flop this morning, and what he means by that is actually says First Nations find consultation is insulting. So consultation implies I have a plan, I'm going to come to you and tell you about the plan, I'm going listen to your then I'm going to go away. Whereas participation is you are having a conversation and you’re co-creating the plan with me, and I think New Zealand has a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to participate in that and co-create the path forward to zero emissions, and that way you reduce the risk of failing because everybody's in, everybody has their thumbprint, this is very very powerful.
Very quickly we've developed this approach with First Nation faith leaders including the Vatican Capital, Oxfam and some resource companies, the development pattern approach is really an approach that's principles based to drive a conversation to foster sustainable development, ongoing collaboration amongst people and drive shared purpose. And the thing that I'm reminded about overseas and this is not just the U.S., is increasingly people have lost the art of conversation, of getting into a room together, listening respectfully and understanding why people have their points of view and trying to find common ground. This is an we all crave it yet we can't do it, so this approach is really trying to weave that way. Couple of anecdotes about America, yes America is crazy right now, the politics is mad, but peel it away, right now the U.S. electricity grid, this is just kind of a sidebar, by next year will be 40 percent non fossil fuel based, the entire electricity generation, natural gas 35, in coal in five years has gone from 50 percent to 25, and in five years will be zero, and this is bottom-up change. And I'm a firm believer the change happens from the bottom up, by every person an organisation doing their bit to make a difference.
So what the company's doing? So one of the frameworks that I like is what Dow is doing for its sustainability strategy, it thinks in three ways – footprint, handprint, blueprint. This is a deliberate 10 year strategy, they're in the third phase. The first phase was my footprint, how do I reduce my environmental footprint within my operations? Then the second phase is then how do I with my products they offer in the back, how do I reduce their impact on the environment when they're in the hands of their customers. In the third phase which they've just embarked on is recognising climate change, access to water is tremendously difficult, is how do I work with everybody else, all the other stakeholders using the power of my brand and the resources we have to develop a blueprint of action to change the world as we know it. And I think this is a really good framing for organisations. But the only way it's going to be authentic is if it's anchored in the values of a company and I think one of the big challenges for organisations is to do those things that are consistent with the values I have, otherwise you'll seem disingenuous.
Huge opportunity, everybody talks about products that are developed sustainably are better performers, so Stern Business School out of the I think Columbia in New York did a boil of the ocean study and they found products that are marketed as sustainable outperform those other products by a factor of six times. Okay and we have examples, there's a wonderful New Zealand brand, I know Tim well, Tim Brown, All Birds, even though California-based company is a New Zealand company, it has started off with a strong sustainable message. Beyond meat, one of the best IPOs this year, and Impossible Foods have just announced with Burger King a plant-based burger and trust me the beef looks like, acts like, smells like, tastes like and literally bleeds like real beef, okay, and I think New Zealand has an opportunity, how do you kind of get into that stream of activity, because people aren’t, you're not going to persuade people not to eat beef, it just ain't going to happen around the world, so how do you give them substitutes that enable us not to have to use cattle to do that?
I'm going pretty fast here, so last what's government's role in all this? I think it's really important, I used this kind of concept of sandboxes and guardrails and we've kind of touched on that and springboards. A good friend of mine who was, I lived in Denver for 17 years and gained good friends with the governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper who's now running for the Democratic nomination for the President of the United States, and he said government's role is to create the environment for business to create value. Governments are often become too prescriptive and the rate of innovation is such that government needs to just create an environment where business can thrive and I think the Deputy Prime Minister from Samoa said it well, is capitalism and markets do work but the government's got to provide the guardrails so it doesn't go haywire, okay, that makes sense for the country, and then provide the springboards that allow that kind of innovation and attract capital into the country. This is quite a complex and balancing act for government, and we see all around the world where government tries to be too prescriptive versus principles and really let innovation outstrips it so it's always behind the eight ball.
My clock says one minute three, I'm doing quite well, I'll skip the summary and then just go to our last is a call to action for companies. You really develop a mission and strategy if you're an organisation that's anchored in your values, and I think the participation, companies often forget about their employees and I think the panel, we're going to talk about that. You talk about all this external messaging, how about engaging your employees in a conversation understanding who they are cause they are your best representatives. Do it in a way that's trustworthy and authentic, if you don't have trust, and we can see with the likes of Boeing and other companies you know trust vanishes really quickly one incident and maybe you'll never get it back, and the role of innovation is vital. I'm an innovation junkie, innovation is about not new technology, it's about things that create new value - business models, approaches, this innovations, this Summit is actually an innovative approach to creating a conversation in New Zealand. And we can't do this by ourselves, I think we have to do it as a collective partnership, businesses together with all other organisations, not only in New Zealand but internationally, because you know this is a global problem. If New Zealand just changes itself there's a tremendous opportunity to take that leadership to the rest of the world in that innovation, but we have to engage with the rest of the world just and make New Zealand be seen as Israel is or as New Zealanders for the digital film industry as a hotbed of innovation and a place to go and that'll drive economic value in New Zealand as well as a path to zero emissions. And that is right on time, so 32 seconds, I did pretty well, so thank you very much, I'm just going to go and sit down now and we'll have a conversation with the panel and hopefully have opportunity to take some questions from the audience. Thank you.
(Audience applauses. Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists. The three other panellists are, from left to right: Ports of Auckland Deputy CEO Wayne Thompson, Synlait CEO Leon Clement, and Ngāi Tahi Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai.)
Peter: All right, just got to put my glasses on, so Wayne we're going to start with you. You happen to be at the end too, that's really fortuitous, so can you talk about in the Port of Auckland as you know how your business model has evolved and what were the drivers for that over time?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Wayne and Leon are in frame.)
Wayne: Yeah you know it's really interesting and quite a big question and we are representative I think of most business, facing technology, social-licence issues, community issues. I’ll talk about our journey for a little bit, it really began for us back in 2015 when we decided to try and increase our footprint in the Auckland harbour. And that forced, we lost a lot of trust with the local community, and that forced us into some very serious soul-searching about the sort of company we were, how we were behaving and how we operating externally. And then we, that took us down the route of thinking about sustainability in a full sense, both from an environmental point of view, a social point of view and an economic point of view. So we did do some work with consultants from Singapore, Future Forum who are NGO, they took us through a program and we have moved to a full sustainability program. We've moved to afull integrated reporting program and integrated thinking into the business, so we're trying to be much more open, much more transparent. It's that sustainability that then, sorry can we just backtrack, so our social licence is about our right to occupy what is a pretty special piece of land in the middle of Auckland and if we don't maintain that license with our stakeholders in our community then we come under pressure. And you know there's a lot of people who think maybe we shouldn't be there anyway one day or we might move one day, I think from our point of view our job is to look after that piece of land and make sure we run that business the best we can depending what happens in the future.
It drove us to look at our fuel usage, so we use a lot of heavy equipment, it's all diesel based, so we set a target that we felt was aggressive which was our 2040 carbon zero target. We're no way, we had no pathway to get there but that target has driven us to think about how we might get there. It's challenged us from an innovation point of view, it's forced us to talk to our suppliers how we might be able to do something different, and this is where the genesis of that hydrogen project came from. If we need to run our equipment on alternative fuel, maybe that's hydrogen. We're also investing heavily in supply chain, you know, better supply chain outcomes from an environmental freight point of view.
I just want to move over, just a few learnings, and what we had to learn is stop the talking, we got caught up in the discussion, how we're going about it go about it, and we've, it's come through you know today as well, we hit start and as someone said this morning start small, change your lightbulbs, change recycling, and what we found that really engaged a lot of our staff and we hadn’t understood the power of releasing our people into this space. My other comment, if you haven't got that full commitment from the top don't bother, I wouldn’t even start, and because I'm also CFO so you know, background is finance, it's forced us to look at the way we behave from a finance point of view. You need to change the way you think about your capital investment. You have to accept it might cost more to buy equipment that's environmentally friendly. You've got to change your way of thinking about that to an integrated approach from an environmental social point of view as well as a pure finance point of view. You need to change the way you do your business cases. You need to change the way you look at your capex. And importantly and we've struggled with this a little bit is change your risk appetite, you know, to go down the route of a hydrogen plant is a different risk profile than we were used to as a business before. So don't underestimate some of the challenges just in your normal processes that come down as you sort of move through this journey. I might just leave it at that.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: Thanks very much, that’s very insightful. Lisa
Lisa: Kia ora
Peter: Iwi enterprise amongst other things, so how have your stakeholders outside shareholders really influenced how you do your business, particularly communities, employees and other stakeholders?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
Lisa: Kia ora, tēnā koe ngā iwi o Taranaki, ngā mihi mahana kia koutou, kia ora tātou.
Our stakeholders and shareholders are one in the same. Ngāi Tahu is 22 years old post settlement and we have 64,000 shareholders, tribal members, who have huge expectations. So they very much influence and assist to set the direction that we go in. They are represented in a decision-making table by 18 hapū authorities. So what drives that decision-making outlook. Our commercial model has probably been no different to anyone elses, drive and grow that shareholder wealth, however over the last probably 10 years as we've matured as an iwi, we've very much got greater expectations and our business model has had to adapt and evolve. And our shareholders, our stakeholders, our people have very much influenced that through determining what those values are and also our core purpose. Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ake nei. As our decisions are made in mind of us, the generation today, the generation tomorrow and the generation after us, so all of our decisions must take into account the impact on future generations. Those are what drives, those are the things that drive us, but most recently we launched our iwi climate change strategy. Now in there there's a strategic direction for assets and investments in our future, the economic arm of our organisation. When you're an iwi in fishing, farming, transport, tourism etc., climate change is a significant strategy that we need to get our ducks lined up for future generations.
So we require from our commercial guys a climate action plan that responds to the iwi strategy. That is going to require them to either diversify, adapt, transition, whatever you want to call it, or it requires an exit strategy. Now that's in our climate strategy. For example if we remain in transport, what are we going to do to meet the iwi targets. We have expectations and measures of our corporate guys which require continual lowering of their emissions to a net zero organisation. Now that's a challenging situation for our commercial guys. So, do we remain in transport, and if we remain in transport what's the model? Are we prepared to invest what we need to invest to change our Ngāi Tahu footprint in transport?
Peter: Fantastic, pretty progressive.
Lisa: Very progressive.
Peter: Something for other organisations to follow.
Lisa: Yeah and I think out of the 64,000 tribal members I've got the largest carbon footprint. So that's a real concern and another measure we've put across our organisation, your individual carbon footprint and how you're going to lower that.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: And thank you for disclosing that as well, that shows true transparency.
Lisa: Yeah I’m not that proud of it actually.
Peter: Thank You. Leon, you've got a great, you're in the dairy industry which seems to be buffeting winds but a very innovative organisation, so people often talk about the triple bottom line so how are you thinking about beyond shareholder returns and then how do you communicate that internally and externally in an authentic way?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
Leon: Kia ora tātou, it's great to be here, and I think what's implied in your question Peter is kind of how do you use purpose and the way of designing your strategy to fundamentally change business models so you get different outcomes, both for your stakeholders, your investors and your communities. And Synlait has been through quite a fundamental repurposing of the organisation quite recently, and the first thing I'd say around how we got some traction there was it took us some time, it took us a good six months to really get to something that was meaningful and authentic for both our people and our stakeholders, and it came from us starting to think about and changing our mindset. As an organisation we had to put people and planet at the same level as profit, and once we started to do that we were able to have conversations to get us to an outcome around the purpose that we wanted to live by. And I think Lisa mentioned their purpose in terms of how it's driven their outcomes. Synlait's core purpose is doing milk differently for a healthier world, and we only got to that point because of the mindset shift that we made, but our purpose reflects the fact that Synlait has always been open to innovation, we've been disruptive to an extent, we're open to alternative milks by definition of that core purpose, but it also reflects our role in providing essential nutrition and our desire to live within the boundaries of the planet's resources and run our business that way.
So that fundamentally started the conversation for us, but the other thing that I think was really important was purpose is really trendy at the moment and you can go through this process and stick it on your wall and kind of walk away and say right we've done that, so how do you make sure that it goes all the way through your organisation and gets traction.
Leon: And we used a model which I think is worth sharing, it's around head, heart and hands and making sure that all three are in alignment to create action. We talk about the heart being our emotional driver and that's connected to purpose, it's our why, so our purpose, doing milk differently for a healthier world, that's our heart, it drives emotional change and gives people the energy to move forward. The second thing we started to look at was what is their ambition and an ambition is our head, that's where we start to set goals and set ourselves targets for where we want to go and actually to create effective change we feel that we need both, the emotional aspect of our heart to drive our forward and the aspirational aspects of setting goals within our head. But it comes to nothing unless we actually take some action, and so this is where the strategy comes into play, and forming our strategy is where we take actions with our hands. So by designing from the core purpose out to our strategy we got to a point where across our eight strategic pathways we have three of them that balance really strong focus on people and communities, a focus on the environment and what we're going to do in those spaces, and how we build an enterprise that creates an economic glow for all New Zealanders. And that's now helping us create decisions, a bit like what Wayne was talking about, where it's not an or anymore, we're not sitting there within our management meetings saying it's either make a decision for the planet or for our investors around profit, we're finding ways to do both.
Leon: And if I can just share an example of that we just installed New Zealand's first large-scale electrode boiler. Now that came at a capital cost that was much much higher than was affordable,
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
to Wayne’s point we looked at the business case and said it doesn't stack up, and when we looked at it in two different lenses we said actually
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
why don't we discount the cost of carbon and the way in the same way that we discount the cost of cash in our business models, and so when we modelled the cost of carbon at $40 a tonne and it's currently at about 425 dollars a tonne, actually the things started to make sense. So that's an example where following through from our core purpose, taking our heart head hands approach all the way through to strategy, we find we’re in a space now where we're making decisions that allow us not just to make trade-offs but to make and based decisions that are both good for the planet, for our people and for profit.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: Fantastic and I think a key point there is it's an and now, yeah, and I think that's a change in the conversation in the last few years. So let's take some questions. The number one hit for questions is anonymous actually, is: to ensure that none are left behind in the transition, we really need to start to bring those who are already being left behind forward. That's great. When do we start to do that? Who'd like to tackle that one? Wayne?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Wayne and Leon are in frame.)
Wayne: I can only really talk about it from a business point of view, rather than a full society point of view, but we are embarking on what we will call a full future of work program, and that's about taking our staff with us, and that's about dealing with a technology disruption that we've got fundamentally, and that program will roll out over time but it's about support, it is about skill base, we work with futurists, we want to work with families to try and open up people's views of what skills might be needed and what jobs might be look like as well, through educational supports and through to educational support if people actually leave the organisation as well, so I think as a business I can only influence it from our point of view, but it’s a start.
Peter: Sure, it’s a great start. Leon were you going to jump in there?
Leon: I'm not sure anybody needs to get left behind. What was I was sitting with in the question was I'm looking at this panel here and actually we're all connected across the value chain, and you know Lisa's organisation is a supplier to ours and we make product and it probably goes through our transport network into some ports, so my sense is one of the big opportunities in this space is we have to collaborate more across the value chain.
We're really guilty even in policy setting of trying to find a point of obligation for someone to carry the cost of this, and I think that's kind of quite 20th century thinking really. We've actually got to start to cooperate across the value chain and a good example of that is last year we came out with an incentive for our farmers to remove PK from their feed system. We said we'll pay you eight cents a kilo of milk solids to do it. Now what happened was that many of our suppliers came to us and said actually Leon, or Synlait, it's costing us 20 cents a kilo of milk solids if we're going to make this decision, but you know what, we're going to do it anyway, because we believe it's the right thing to do.
So part of the discussion here is how do we meet halfway in the middle, how do we share this cost across the value chain, not just upstream but down streams, consumers are really willing to pay for a greener product. And so by starting to think about how we build resilience through our value chain by making these decisions I think it's a really good way to bring people along the journey with us.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Lisa: Can I just add I'm from the West Coast, South Island, I was challenged by Kevin earlier so I'm going to pick up a conversation with him later on,
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
and I attended a community meeting at Blackball on the weekend and you know you're in the heart of the West Coast where your economy's been driven by agriculture, mining, forestry ,and you’re either left or right, I really was quite surprised with the community, and people will get left behind if we don't have quality engagement and if we set policy and legislate across the top without ensuring we've done some really good work on the ground. And those people that usually get left behind are our smaller communities, our rural communities that get impacted on by big industry, and iwi/hapū.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: I think it's important insight because you know we want to avoid what I call the yellow vest syndrome which is you know what happened in France, so good intentioned policy that's directed at climate change,
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Lisa and Peter are in frame.)
affects the people that feel they've already been left behind, and generally anything that puts cost back into the system always affects the people at the lower end of the socio-economic factor.
So the next question, actually it was third now it's risen in popularity, there's lots of talk about ag but you know transportation is the greatest contributor after ag to greenhouse gases, we've been told we're not actually nobody so far has talked much about it, either transport or transport infrastructure.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
So what's next for this one, so obviously you touched on hydrogen a little bit Wayne.
Wayne: Yeah so you know we are looking at alternative fuels to try and help in this space, but we're also doing a lot of work in the supply chain.
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Wayne and Leon are in frame.)
There's a lot of inefficiency in the New Zealand supply chain, we move the - we say we move a lot of air around, we move a lot of empty containers around Auckland is the import market boxes come in, they're emptied, they’re then relocated for export throughout the country. So we're looking at what we can do to use that empty box better, we're looking at rail options, rail is very important to our future service strategy.
So someone mentioned water before and our supply chain GM talks about water as well, it will find the fastest route, and that's what we're sort of trying to apply to our supply chain, don't move stuff if you don't have to and move at the shortest distance. But infrastructure then becomes really important, so rail infrastructure, roading infrastructure, you know it is a whole package there.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: I might add a little, so the work we do in Europe and I mean if you look at it Norway's got to, I think, with a very concentrated effort of subsidies and policy, about 30 percent penetration of EV's, and you know the juries out - electrical vehicles, lithium, hydrogen vehicles, I mean you know at an affordable level, so there's a lot of promise and then the charging infrastructure for consumer transportation and then freight, this is complex it's not an easy path. New Zealand with a more tight geography probably has an opportunity.
Wayne: And our high jump road, we're partnered with Kiwi Rail, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport who have trialled buses. It'll be interesting to see
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Wayne and Leon are in frame.)
where it does go with heavy equipment and time in the rail environment.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: Lisa you have a big carbon footprint you told us, no doubt transports part of that?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Lisa and Peter are in frame.)
Lisa: Can I defer it to David Prentice? I'm sure he’d love to answer it.
Peter: David where are you? No he’s not going to put his hand up.
Lisa: He’s disappeared, he’s hidden. Look it’s sensitive right, we do have investments in transport in the industry and we haven't yet received our climate action plan from our holding company in terms of how they're going to respond to that, but what I will say is that we're realistic as an iwi about the need to give time for change. So our tourism industry are slowly transitioning all of our jet boats to electric, so I think we've got three or four now that have been transitioned. So it will take some time and it will take some planning, and in the transport sector we can't do that alone, we need to be hand-in-hand with local and central government and with industry.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: Have you got anything to add in to the world of electrification for transport?
Leon: Yeah look I think probably more broadly and both Wayne mentioned infrastructure,
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
I think infrastructure in general is quite a challenge for business to engage with, we're a fair way behind in this country I think in terms of trying to tap that, so one of the projects we're trying to work on at the moment is to build a rail siding so we can go straight to Lyttelton port from our Dunsandel site and that will take 16,000 trucks off the road a year if we can achieve that, but you know a lot of the other areas that we're trying to do is trying to integrate with regional councils and utilities companies, and we speak to them a lot, but it's really important that we're thinking about this in terms of how we partner with them and those bodies making it easy for us to engage with them, to be able to run at the pace that we want to run, to be able to make progress in this space, because a lot of it is about sometimes having to front up and fund that even though it should be coming from a public purse, so you know it's a bit of a challenge but I think you know we are finding ways to get through it.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: And I think California's probably the most aggressive part of the world on electrification of transport and the challenge around building the right infrastructure, putting on the utilities, are struggling with that. It's different models and I think only 4% of our fleet is electric so kind of interesting. Next one, that's a challenging question. Climate change cannot be separated from social justice. Thank you for that question.
Leon: Let's take the next one
Peter: We'll park that one, okay, well we're done. Changing models is something that big business can spend time and money on, how do we support small business owners which is important working in their business not on it to adapt their business practice? I think that's really important you know because I mean small business is usually a positive employer, big business is usually always going for efficiency, so how does a small business play in this, how can we help them? Lisa maybe?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
Lisa: You know what we're learning, well coming from a community that's driven by small business, what we're learning is that we've got to collaborate together and work can partnership across the coast. As Kevin mentioned we've got a very small population, so the only way we're going to do it is by collaborating and working together to transition as a community. And if you take on that philosophy of not leaving anyone behind, there we go, you know. We've got to be forced into the room, we shouldn't be forced into the room, but at the moment we kind of have to be forced into the room to look and find local solutions.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: I think you know Walmart's model and other companies as they look back on their supply chain and say, you know, we want you to all be renewable energy, zero footprint, want you to be organic, but they actually provide services back to those small businesses to enable them to get there because it's a cost to them but at the end of the day they feel it's better if their supply chain meets those goals, if they help them, and they’re not left on their own. I think that's important. Leon are you working on your supply chain in any way, shape or form?
Leon: Can I go back to that question on small businesses?
Peter: You can that’s the small business one
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
Leon: I wouldn't mind flipping it because I actually think small businesses are a huge opportunity in this space. They're nimble, they’re agile, they’re often run by young, enthusiastic and energetic entrepreneurs that are world thinkers in terms of you know sustainability space. But the second thing is you know that they are bringing a way of thinking that is 21st century, and this was a 21st century problem and we need to be bringing 21st century models to think about it. I come from a generation where we're very linear in the way that we think about solving problems, we say well we've got the problem, what are all the solutions, and we need to know what those answers are before start doing anything about it. Young businesses that are disrupting all of our industries are using very iterative models, their design leaders, they're coming up with a Minimum Viable Product in two months and getting it to market and learning by failure, and I think that that kind of approach is really important for the environment and we should be tapping a lot of our small businesses and learning from them, so that we can take this forward.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: I agree totally, that’s a great insight. Wayne?
Wayne: Yeah I agree 100%, all I can add is that I think small businesses are actually teaching us and supporting us.
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Wayne and Leon are in frame.)
So we have collaborated with a number of entrepreneurs, I’m not sure our board knows this - we have invested in a couple of start-ups.
Wayne: So we could actually learn from them, so by being involved with them we're learning to think and behave differently.
Peter: That's fantastic
Wayne: So the other thing I’d add there is our environmental goals, they only work when you do expand outside of your organisation, it's no good us being carbon neutral, so we're going to share that with the people we do partner with and I think that is a role we can play with small business as well to bring some knowledge. And you know part of our hydrogen project is just about the IP, we are happy to share that IP with people.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: That’s fantastic, time for one more question then we'll wrap this one. Ah it's a long question so it's hard to read but to what extent can publicly held companies, businesses, take action on climate when having to report quarterly and naturally be more short-term, kind of the markets, do we need to disrupt the stock market shareholder ownership systems in service of this just transition? Great question, the short termism of the stock market, although I'd argue that we’re seeing through Sovereign funds and other shareholders actually asking for a different approach, but anyway.
Wayne: Yeah I think a real issue for some listed companies and maybe for some international listed companies as well but, you know, you talked about it before.
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Wayne and Leon are in frame.)
Investment models are changing, and I think that is the key, and you do have Sovereign funds out there, Super funds, major venture capitalists, who are looking to invest in the right places, for the right returns, and taking that integrated sustainable, economic, environment and social considerations into play now. It's going to take time but it's changing.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: And you can be courageous too, I mean Unilever took a bold step, it was very courageous, told the markets basically take a hike, we're going to do this and you know it's paid for them, and I think that’s a good sort of guiding light. Leon, any thoughts on this?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Wayne are in frame.)
Leon: I think, I don't know that they need to be disrupted but I do think they're working through the similar sort of journey as business, so share markets are starting to think about how they integrate you know ESG into their thinking
Leon: I see it more in offshore funds, even working back through Australia than perhaps I do in New Zealand at the moment, in terms of my experience, but I think we're evolving in that space and, you know, I think it's we're also seeing it not just in the shareholder markets but in terms of access to debt around banking systems and being able to access lower rates because of your environmental philosophy, so I think it's moving in the right direction, I'm not sure it needs disruption but, you know, it’s positive.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: I think the pressure there is you start to accelerate that as well, especially the sovereign wealth funds and pension funds are really pushing hard on this investment framework. Lisa, I know you’re not public but
Lisa: Yeah I’m not sure what I can add
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Lisa and Peter are in frame.)
other than our tribal investment framework requires us to partner with others who have the same values as what we do, so we're very choosy about who we invest with, but I think there are more and more opportunities than what I've ever seen for iwi to partner, invest with others who have similar well-being outcomes.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: I think alignment of values are really important in partnerships. So to wrap up we're going to ask each of us actually to have one important takeaway for everyone that they can take from us, so Wayne, what’s you’re one big takeaway?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Wayne and Leon are in frame.)
Wayne: I think I’ll probably just repeat one of the points I made, and I agree, get your vision right, get your planning right, get your strategy right, but move from that, stop the talking and start doing something would be my key message.
Peter: Great I think that’s tremendous, Leon?
(Cuts to a tighter shot where only Leon and Lisa are in frame.)
Leon: I think today is as much a cultural conversation as it is an environmental one, and culture changes one conversation at a time.
Peter: Fantastic, Lisa?
Lisa: One big takeaway, it’s easy because we, our behaviours within our business model are driven by our tribal values and our core purpose, so if you've got good sound values, and a purpose that ensures there's a well-being outcome, then you'll have greater success. Particularly heading into the future that we know we're going to head into.
(Cuts to wide shot of all four panellists.)
Peter: Fantastic. My takeaway is, it builds on everyone's, which is really under the theory of change. Change happens one person, one organisation at a time, so I challenge everyone, Suzy did that about your eating habits, so I challenge everyone here, what's the one thing you'll do different when you leave this Summit that will help move the ball down the field. And don't wait for someone else, and don't say it's someone else's problem, what can you do in a positive way to move the ball down the field? So please join me in thanking Wayne, Leon and Lisa for a great panel discussion, thank you.
Navigating the Future of Work
How companies can support their employees and communities in the transition
(Facilitator and Minister of Finance Rt Hon Grant Robertson stands at a lectern with a dark background.)
Grant: Kia ora, ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe tēnā koutou katoa, rau rangatira mā, e ngā hau e whā, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
Greetings everybody, well done for making it to the final session of the day, I think you should actually give yourself a round of applause for that, well done.
We aim to make this session as enlightening and as interactive as possible and so I'm going to try and make like, unlike any politician ever, and speak for less than my mandated time at the start before I take on my role as facilitator of this session.
For me there's really three main points that I just wanted to make in my introductory comments. The theme of today's conference obviously, or the title of today's conference, is the Just Transition Summit. And traditionally we've applied the phrase Just Transition very closely to the low-carbon economy and the Just Transition that's required as we face up to the effects of climate change, but it's been very clear to me for some time that the phrase Just Transition can and should be equally applied to all of the big changes occurring in our economy, especially those that affect the nature of work. And in 2015 and 2016 as part of the opposition Labour Party in New Zealand we undertook a piece of work called the future of work commission. And out of the future of work commission we have developed a set of policies and themes, one of which is around the question of a Just Transition. Because a focus on climate change in a low-carbon economy is absolutely essential but it cannot in my view be separated from a focus on a Just Transition that ensures fairness in the workplace in fairness across the rest of society. So that framing of a Just Transition very much applies for this government to the overall future of work.
The second point that I want to make is there has been a lot of our material written in recent years about what the future of work will look like, and we've had studies from around the world that as Christopher Luxon likes to say the robots are coming, at one end of the spectrum, through to the other end of the spectrum that we've always seen change in the world of work - when the motorcar was invented thousands of blacksmiths in London had to find a new job and they did and why should we worry. And as even the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Certainly the period of technological change that we are going through at the moment is to a greater extent and considerably faster than many of the other changes we've seen. If we compare the fourth so-called fourth Industrial Revolution to the in the original Industrial Revolution we're talking about hundreds of times the scale and ten times the pace at least. So that means that while there has always been change in the workplace, now is the time for us to get ahead of that change to ensure that there are equitable outcomes.
Most recently in New Zealand, in terms of studies, the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council which Christopher chairs, have had a report for them done by McKinsey's that's estimated that in New Zealand up to 21% of current workforce tasks may be automated by 2030, and while there are a few jobs that can be completely automated, many individuals, if not most individuals in the workplace, will need to transition parts of their job as a result of automation. So the impacts of the changing nature of work if just from technology are significant and therefore need to be faced up to.
The approach that this government has taken is to establish what we think is the foundation of a new social partnership for meeting the issues raised by the future of work, and so upon going coming into government we took the themes from our future of work commission and put them in place as the themes for the future of work tripartite forum. And as Jehan mentioned I co-chair that with Kirk and Richard. And the four themes of that future of work tripartite forum are the Just Transition to a low-carbon economy, you've heard a lot about that today, but it clearly is a critical element of the future of work and I know that Minister Woods will speak in a little bit detail about that straight after this session.
The second main work stream and a critical one in any conversation about the future of work is the concept of learning for life. We know now as we probably have known for some years that we cannot expect to be in one job for all of our lives. We have to accept that there will be training and retraining throughout our lives, and that that retraining and training needs to be supported by employers and government alongside employees, and I know that Christopher will talk a little bit about some of the work that has been done by the Business Advisory Council in that regard, as well.
From the point of view of the future of work tripartite forum, we've undertaken a pilot project with the manufacturers network on a skills shift initiative for the manufacturing sector, to identify the skill needs for the manufacturing sector by talking to the employees, employers, industry training organisations and other training providers, about the skill needs for the next two and three decades for the manufacturing sector, so that we can begin the training and retraining process now. We see that as a pilot for sectors right across the economy, and we look forward to being able to share the results of that pilot soon.
We also have a range of other active labour market policy interventions that are about establishing the framework for learning for life, such as He Poutama Rangatahi, mana and mahi in the sector workforce engagement program, all of which are designed to ensure that all groups are able to benefit from learning for life.
The third stream of work for the future of work tripartite forum is around the adaptation and adoption of technology. A couple of years ago there was a survey done as part of the CEO forum that said that 75% of CEOs in New Zealand said adaptation and adoption of technology was their biggest issue but less than a third had a plan for actually how they would do that, so that piece of work is vitally important.
And the fourth and final stream of work for our tripartite forum is around the question of workplace productivity and how we lift work place productivity in New Zealand, using technology, but also using obvious changes around how we involve, to a greater extent, workers in decisions in the workplace, and certainly the panel here have had significant involvement in programs like high performance, high engagement, which actually work on the basis that those closest to the problems, closest to the issues should be involved in finding the solutions for them. And the government is finally coming to the party on high performance, high engagement with three public sector agencies, the Ministry for Social Development, the Department of Conservation and the Department of Corrections now all agreeing to be part of the high performance, high engagement pilot initiatives.
So those are the four main themes of our future of work tripartite forum, but as much as anything for me the important part of that forum is that we are developing a new social partnership. That we are saying that the responsibility for how we get ahead of the trends in the future of work is a shared one, it is not just government, it is not just businesses, and we are not just going to leave workers to fend for themselves. We will do this together. Because I believe there are huge opportunities in the future of work, just as there are huge opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy, but if we simply step back and try to believe that market forces will solve this for us, we will see inequality rise. There is the opportunity for us to stop that trend, to turn that around and give opportunity to everybody. I've seen it a number of times on the screen today. No one must be left behind. Well the only way of ensuring that is a new social partnership where employers, employees and government all take responsibility for that and ensure that the future of work is one where there are opportunities for good, meaningful, well-paid work that is available to everybody.
Thank you very much.
(Applause as Grant takes a seat on the right of the five panellists. Everyone is seated on a stage, there is a dark background with beams of orange light shining vertically up the wall every metre or so. The backs of the first few rows of the audience can be seen in the foreground. The panellists are, from left to right: Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, DairyNZ Sustainability Manager Jenny Cameron, CFMEU National President Tony Maher, Business New Zealand Chief Executive Kirk Hope, and Rt Hon Grant Robertson.)
So, it's my job now to our corral the panel that's in front of us here and I'm going to start at the far end with Christopher, and Christopher, you are the chair of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council. You've been giving a lot of thought to this question of the future of work, and particularly the balance between how we view the opportunities and the challenges. I wonder if you want to start us off on that.
Christopher: Yeah well I think the biggest fear when you hit the topic of automation
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Christopher and Richard are in shot.)
is that people fundamentally think the robots are coming, it's going to be doom and gloom, we're all going to have be sitting around doing nothing because the robots are doing all the work, and the reality for us is there are three big opportunities around automation if we can adopt quickly, and the first is that we actually could improve our productivity a lot. Now productivity is the value of our sectors divided by the number of people working in them, and essentially New Zealand has a Productivity disease across every sector that we essentially operate within. We're a third lower than the OECD average and we've been declining for some time, and if you look at things like manufacturing against the US, we're only fifty four percent as productive as US manufacturing, and if we could adopt automation faster we think we can improve that to 83 percent of the US productivity in manufacturing alone. So there's some real benefits in productivity, there's some real benefits and certainly around competitiveness, and all in all, you know if we get actually on the right curve, we could actually improve incomes from our research by two and a half thousand, eight and a half thousand dollars per person annually through getting that bet right.
There's actually probably 200,000 new jobs to be created or net new jobs to be created off the back of adopting automation quickly, and that is pretty exciting, and it is a lot of what Grant was just saying before, and I can tell you at Air New Zealand, you know we've got six different new jobs that didn't exist six months ago that's all about robotic process automation, and that's around this automation coming into our business. Those jobs didn't even exist six months ago, so I think there's better quality work and more interesting work that's quite possible off the back of automation. We introduced at Air New Zealand kiosks, and a lot of people said to me at the time oh Chris you're going to get rid of all those people that are at the front of airports, we want those people, we've kept them, we've added to them, because we want them doing their engagement with people stuff not just the processing of checking you in and out of your flight.
So three big opportunities, three big challenges, is you identify which is really around the skills that were going to need, we're going to need people with technology skills, cognitive skills, collaboration skills, emotional skills, and those people will be in huge demand. If they have those skills obviously that can drive the risk of inequality and as we go through that transition we're going to need to support people through it.
So the first recommendation off the back of that report was actually a skills pledge and what it was saying was, we as employers, whether you're in the public sector or private sector, should be making a commitment to reskilling and retraining our people. Why? Because if we actually exit someone out of a business because they don't have the skills to do the new job that's emerging and we go exit them and then go rehire someone new, that process is two-and-a-half times more expensive than if we could actually take the existing employee and retrain them. And so last week we launched the pledge, already I'm pleased to say I've had 14 companies, one iwi organisation Ngati Porou have come on board, we've got over a hundred thousand workers represented by these organisations already that are committing to doubling the level of reskilling training hours, publicly reporting them each year between now and 2025. So I think retraining and re-skilling becomes the key way we mitigate those risks but if we can get through the transition there's a huge prize at the other side of it.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Grant: Yeah thanks Christopher and that is a huge commitment from those organisations to do that so a lot of credit to you and the business advisory council for driving that. I'm sure there'll be other businesses in the room and elsewhere
Christoper: And we'd love public sector too Grant, because there’s 400,000 workers sitting there
Grant: That's right, that's right and the challenge that’s laid down to us in the public to get alongside them. Turning to Richard Wagstaff from New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Richard, from a worker perspective, clearly there is opportunity here but there's obviously risk. For you, what's the, what's the balance here between looking at this from an individual worker point of view or more from a cross-industry cross-sector point of view?
Richard: Yeah, Kia ora and thanks Grant.
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Richard and Jenny are in frame.)
Well it's certainly in the front of many workers minds, what the future holds in terms of climate, in terms of technology, in terms of demographics, globalisation, and what we're inspired by is the kind of notion that we hear from the International Labour Organisation who put out a book earlier this year or a publication called Working for a Brighter Future, which said, you know, let’s aim to make week better, safer, cleaner, more interesting, more secure, higher incomes and so on. But we're very realistic that won't happen by accident, as I think in your opening remarks we don't think, while we think capitalism might find a way it can be brutal, and we need to rein it in and we need to organise it effectively so that it works for people.
And I think one of the things here is no one is in this on their own, we’re all in this together and so for us it's important that we actually coordinate voices, obviously workers need to coordinate their voice collectively whereas effectively they're in a very paternalistic process and bound to feel disempowered, and I also think business needs to coordinate as well, because actually this isn't industry by industry, this is this is region by region, this is nation by nation, this is a global issue, so we need to pull it all together and we'll figure out how we're going to make, to make progress and I think you know how we get there is incredibly important because if people can't see themselves in the how, if they can't see that at the end of this is going to be a bright future, they'll bail on it and people will resist change, they'll resist it so it’s sort of like a political equation, both in the workplace as a union but I think also more broadly and ultimately at the ballot box, we can't create a process where people feel genuinely engaged and there's been a lot of discussion about the lack of genuine engagement, we can't create a process where people can see, they can see the future, they can see the bridge to getting there, they can see it'll be safe for them and an opportunity for them, I think they will resist change and ultimately though they'll be in denial about the change that needs to happen. And we've seen globally the you know, the politics around denial and populism and I think we really that's why it's so important we do the how well, because if we don't do the how well we won't get far at all and we'll be living in it, they'll be people attracting you know real resistance and leading resistance so that's absolutely vital. But I see we’re in this together, I think we need to act like we're in this together and that means giving people real voice on the way through and an agreed shared ownership of what the future looks like. If we can start with where we are going and hold each other's hands on the way through we have a much better chance than just leaving it to beaming into the market.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Grant: Thanks Richard, Jenny Cameron from Dairy NZ, I think when a lot of people think about the future of work and these changes, they have in mind somebody in an urban setting and you know maybe in a factory losing their job, but obviously this has got huge impact in the rural sector as well.
Jenny: Thank you, yes,
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Jenny and Tony are in frame.)
and I think I've been looking at it in terms of there’s two ways - there's the mindset around future work and how work is going to change and then there's the jobs themselves. In terms of that mindset, I think when people think of farming, tend to think of just the farmers on the farm but for every on-farm job there are four jobs in rural communities and in the wider economy that are impacted. So when we're going through the future of work and thinking of change it's about thinking of all those other jobs that are also needing to help the farming sector transition, the rural professionals, the business advisors the banks, the manufacturing suppliers and all of the other related industries that will help them support transition.
In terms of the jobs themselves, it’s certainly something at Dairy NZ we've been doing a lot of work and thinking on, of looking at how robotics might come into the sector. I mean New Zealand's already, where we use a lot of automation that people might not be aware of already in the farming sector, we were big adopters of the motorised rotating milking platform that was hugely innovative in it's time, and all the tags in the cows ears can be used to help identify if an animal is sick or is needing extra attention, and the gates will automatically move them so that they can go out, all of those things are saving time and resource and energy for the farmer to be able to be really efficient. But the one thing that we do need is to get really smart and clever people into the farming sector, because there's a lots of challenges but also huge opportunities with the challenges that we're facing to meet a low emissions economy future, and so we want to make sure that we keep getting really good and smart clever people coming into our rural economies and rural sectors, because the way we farm now is not the way we found 30 years ago and we're very sure it's not going to be the way that we found in 30 years time. And that there's a lot of technology being used and we want to make sure that it's keeping honest the future of work comes through.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Grant: Thanks, Tony, obviously welcome, thanks for coming over the ditch to see us. From a CFMEU point of view or even your own, obviously the mining sector is one that experiences these changes in to two ways, one is around the transition to a low-carbon economy and the impact that it has on your members, your workforce, but also in automation as well, clearly both of those are there, so I wonder if you could share a bit of your experience with, I guess your lived experience with how those two factors have impacted the sector?
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Tony and Kirk are in frame.)
Tony: So thanks for inviting me. Look the electricity industry, the transition is already underway. It's only a question of whether or not it will be a just transition, and that's where we all need to work together to make that happen. I mean we actually love the sound of the German system that was outlined this morning, where no one is left behind, they literally all get to retirement or near retirement or get bridging finance or they’re placed in decent work. So that's the way to do it, with long term planning.
In the electricity sector it's happening, in Australia it's happening haphazardly, there's already been eight stations closed and associated mines, inevitably when they're privately owned the decisions are made with about three months’ notice and they're a disaster. A third get decent jobs, a third get insecure low paid jobs, and the third never work again. That's the experience in Australia. What we did with the last big Power Station closure which was Hazelwood owned by the French giant Engie, they gave us four months notice, they made a decision in Paris, a thousand people were affected, I went to the Victorian Government, it was a Labour government, and they agreed to have a worker transfer scheme to the remaining three power or four power stations and three mines, but it had to be voluntary, and to get the companies to participate they insisted on controlling the employment arrangement. So we had an expression of interest for workers in those mines and power stations who wanted to take a voluntary redundancy package that the Victorian Government was paying half of and that would have taken all the Hazelwood workers that wanted a job, but the companies for their own reasons only allowed about 100 to go. So that was a good step forward, but not exactly the German model.
So in November last year a bloke called Bill Shorten who you may be hearing more of shortly
Announced the energy policy for labour and in it he will set up a statutory authority for just transition in the coal-fired electricity sector. And there’s about 8,000 employees in that sector and that'll have two tasks. One is to oversee pooled redundancy schemes and it will be compulsory to participate, none of this voluntary stuff, and the other thing is that it will recommend the government investments for economic diversification. Because the truth is that just transition and economic diversification is the only way you can share the burde,n don't let anyone tell you that there’s not a cost to transition, there is, and we can either lump it all in the regions that are exposed to emissions intensive industries, where you will destroy communities with crashing housing prices, all sorts of social dysfunction, you take all that income out of community, multi-generational unemployment. You can have that, or society can step in and spread the costs, and that's actually what we mean by just transition.
On the question of, I should say the next Power Station that closed in 2022 is owned by AGL in the Hunter Valley, they've already agreed on those forced redundancies, they've got a neighbouring power station, they're going to employ people in the battery park, in the gas turbine, so you know business is there, this is about making all businesses step up to the mark, but it's in that sector considering a pilot program.
On automation, Rio Tinto in the iron ore mines employ about 8,000 people in eight different mines they've had for 10 years an automation and remote operations program. A number of their big trucks, really big trucks, are operated not at the mine but from remote operations centre near Perth Airport 1,500 kilometres away, with joysticks and computer screens instead of steering wheels and cabins, and they've been doing that for a fair time. They've got about a thousand people employed down there, some of them are the workers transferred from the trucks themselves, others were people that come in with a new skill set. The challenge there is to get through it again with no forced redundancies and the smart companies like Rio and they are a smart company, we've had plenty of fights with them, they're very smart company
They get their social license to operate is actually dependent on producing royalties for governments and regional employment for communities, so they don't want a reputation where they kick out all the old-school miners. They're committed to that sort of retraining that you're talking about. So automation is a challenge. Can I just make one other example, they've also introduced, after ten years and a billion dollars of investment, autonomous trades, so these 2.4 kilometre trains carrying iron ore to the port, they're operated without any group. Now it took them two years to perfect it, we used to have 450 workers in the rail crew because it’s a big operation, we've still got 400 when there's no crew required. The crews, the 400, and we got there without forced redundancies, are dotted along the line because in the early stages of automation they will break down, you know, when you get a train that long going up a hill and yeah and it's pushing and the other lines broken going down the hill, it creates some technical problems. So that will, over time, less people will be required. But consider this, some people say 30% less jobs will be available in those mines after they finally roll out all these automation and road operations plans, you know what, there's two hundred and fifty four thousand jobs direct jobs in Australia in mining alone, many more indirect jobs, they're still going, it's still going to be a big employer, the question is getting an existing workforce and the future workforce aligned with the skills necessary. It's a challenge for business, a challenge for government, so it's challenge for unions.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Grant: Very good, thanks Tony. Kirk Hope from Business New Zealand. Kirk, you, I know, as part of the work you've done you've been off to Singapore and had a look at what's going on over there, and particularly the issue around the importance of lifelong learning and industry planning, do you want to tell us a bit about the business perspective on that?
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Kirk and Grant are in frame.)
Kirk: Yeah sure, and it sort of covers a couple of things that Tony and Christopher already talked about actually. The cost for, you know, making workers redundant versus re-skilling and retraining them is significant so and you'll build considerable loyalty within your workforce by having a very effective mechanism for re-skilling and retraining. One of the challenges that we kind of we have in New Zealand, what's being faced all over the globe actually, is that we've got an education system that's really built been built for an industrial economy and everyone across the world is grappling with how they can transition this education system to enable much quicker recognition of, much quicker development of and recognition of skills, but also the ability to record those skills that are translatable into other environments. So just to sort of use a live example, what Tony was talking about, someone who has been working at a mine has a particular set of skills, what you want to be able to do is reflect what those skills are, how many of those are translatable into a new particular type of job, and then figure out what additional skills that person will need for the new type of job.
In Singapore, just to give you an idea and a sense of the scale of financial investment they've made in it, sorry mate
(touches Grant on the shoulder)
Grant: It’s a social partnership
Kirk: Yeah that’s exactly right. They’ve spent about four and a half billion dollars mapping 20, providing industry maps for 23 industries. That will be a skills assessment across those industries and how those skills will change over time, and how those workers effectively can be, if you like, tagged in terms of the skills that they have and the skills that they'll need within a specific time frame. It's an incredibly systematic approach. It's not necessarily going to be the way for New Zealand, but you know what, it's a really good example that we can we can start to build more on and think more about. One of the big gaps in it and I think in our process in terms of lifelong learning is understanding what learning has happened in the workplace. We know that that's not very well recorded or reflected and our current education system though it is happening, some would say it's not happening enough and you know I’d probably agree with that, but what we have to do is get more systematic about that so that we can have a very clear picture of what will be needed, what skills will be needed for people as they transition.
Grant: I've just, we'll come to some slido questions in a second but I just want to follow up a couple of points and I might just start Kirk with you, I certainly know from having worked with you and Richard as we've gone through the future of work tripartite forum, you've got a real commitment to this. I just wonder from an individual business perspective, people are busy in their own lives, they're just you know trying to make ends meet, they're worried about the monthly bills, what is it that's going to help employers get ahead of this, recognise that they've got a role and responsibility and that they'll benefit from it? Is if something that we're missing here, is there support? I often hear that it's time, time is the biggest issue, particularly in smaller businesses I guess as well, but what is it that's going to help employers get over the line to be part of things like Christopher's pledge, or that, what will it take?
Kirk: Yeah actually, it won't take a huge amount but one thing I would commend the government for is in terms of the review of vocational education at the moment, one is actually the accessibility for businesses into vocation, it's specifically vocational education, and that system, and even into schools really, having a more systematic approach to that, because we haven't, it really falls on you know individual business owners and principals of schools, and you know, account managers within polytechnics for example, we need to kind of have a much more systematized approach to it, and it's possible in the current environment we have it with the technologies that are available, so that it's really easy for that business owner to say, have a very clear pathway about what their business looks like from a strategic perspective and then say, right I know, I know and two or six or ten months time I’m going to need these skills and here's where I'm going to be able to access those skills, or how, here's how I'm going to help my people be able to access those skills.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Christopher: Grant, I think the incentives for businesses, often there’s lots of other co-benefits but one of the big benefits around financial success,
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Christopher and Richard are in frame.)
so if I look at small medium enterprises it's seventy three percent of the New Zealand business environment, but we can see in the research that small medium enterprises that actually use, you know, three or more cloud-based apps to run their business and embrace automation more have 30% greater profitability than those that don't. So even, it's a big compelling case even for SMEs, let alone for big large employers like us with twelve and a half thousand workers where the two and a half times extra cost of you know getting rid of these people and hiring these people just doesn't make a lot of sense, right? So yes I think that’s some of the motivation in incentives.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Grant: I just want to get you and Richard if you don't mind have it do your double act on the high performance high engagement because we talk a lot about learning for life and skills, and that's obviously a huge part of the future of work, but so is how work place productivity can be improved and also giving people more of a stake in their workforce, so I just wonder for the people who don't know a lot about HPHE if we could do the sort of 90 seconds each on, on what it is?
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Christopher and Richard are in frame.)
Richard: Well perhaps I'll make a start and it's highly relevant actually to all change, it's effectively a method for truly engaging people in the change process, and it's a way of rather than asking, we’ve heard this earlier today, rather than saying and from our point of view the employer saying, here's a problem, what do you think of the solutions, or here's a problem, this is my idea to fix it, what do you think, it actually engages everyone in what is the problem or what is the issue we're dealing with at the very beginning so it's taking a step back, and it uses, you know, sort of methods of root cause analysis, problem solving, metro space bargaining, whatever, all these kinds of methods or possibly even lean, whatever people think themselves will actually solve this problem here, so there's a lot of training in it so people understand how to apply it and then the point is to try to reach as far as possible consensus on the solutions, and it's done within an environment where there shouldn't be people worried about their jobs and also there should be a commitment to sharing the benefits of the outcomes. From our point of view that if we create a culture of work, where there is truly a lot more voice of working people, there are massive improvements in efficiency and safety and all those things to be gained, as opposed to the command and control kind of approach to work and I think it goes but more broadly, you know, as a society or a community facing change we need that kind of culture.
Christopher: Yeah I mean from my point of view as a CEO of a larger company, I mean, when we started eight years ago and Richard and I started talking about this, was that you know we had written probably 30% of the industrial relations law in this country between punch ups between in New Zealand and it's respective unions and that punch and duty sure is very interesting and curious for a while but you get a bit sick of it after a while because it's quite tactical and transactional and you don't actually get to any of the strategic challenges that you're facing as a business. So rather than sort of sitting there in your office and dreaming up the solution and dropping the blueprint on workers, we've realised actually the workers closest to the problem actually have the solution. We were just meeting yesterday with the Union heads, weren't we, and we were just saying it's a big commitment though in terms of how you have to engage, collaborate, talk, you go forward, you go backwards, a lot of it's about trust, but now certainly where we sit Air New Zealand has culture scores in the top quartile of the best companies globally, you know 62 percent of this country want to work here, we have really high levels of you know staff engagement as a consequence, so we would say that's highly valuable to us in a business sense. We want to deliver superior commercial returns and outstanding customer outcomes but also really have high cultural outcomes and so those 3 bits work together for us, and HPs been a bit part of it.
Richard: And I think just to add to that too, you can't just put email and say start talking to each other well or read a book, it actually has to be learned, and I think in terms of us more broadly at transitioning justly to a good future, I actually think it's a big role for the state to play in coordinating and insisting on a proper method, where everyone really feels talked to, not just go look at the website but we really provide the genuine discussions and genuine engagement with people, you know, face-to-face as well as in all the other ways.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Grant: Sorry Jenny did you want to add something to that?
Jenny: Ah yes, I just, something to add in terms of from the rural sector in what Kirk was saying around
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Jenny and Tony are in frame.)
lifelong learning and the model of education, it doesn't necessarily work so well when you do lots of on-the-job training, and at Dairy NZ we've been doing a lot of talking with our farmers around what their needs are in terms of that lifelong learning, and looking more and more at how you can slot in recognising and appreciating the work, sorry the knowledge, that you gained through work and then looking at what modules or other needs have and then how you can access those. So we're very supportive of this review of vocational education because we think this is a really good time to push the reset button on what our needs in the primary sector are, and not just looking at right, you've got to be dairy, you've got to be beef, you've got to be hort, but very much looking as farmers farm the land, and the land use can change, land use will change, we’re very much that diversification of land use will be part of our future, so what are the skills that they need, that they currently have, because farmers have got a lot of, they get up in the morning, they work with animals, they have to manage people, and they have to be environmental managers more and more now, and work with the technology they've got, so what are the skills that they've got and then how they can then use that into other areas as they go.
And the other point is we've heard a lot about that social justice, I think equity around not all farmers are the same, obvious point but needs to be said, and so you've got people at different end of the bell curve, but also different ends, different grades of land and so the needs will be very different depending on what type of land you've got and
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
that's a really important thing as we go through how we're going to manage the skills that are needed.
Grant: All right, we might come to some of the slido questions and happily for me the first one is for me,
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Kirk and Grant are in frame.)
and it asks whether the government is going to commit to replacing every lost job with another decent paying job on at least a one to one ratio. Targets and setting targets is a topic of great interest to the government right at the moment so I'm not going to sit on the stage today and commit absolutely to that, what I would say though is I do think the government has an obligation to be supporting every worker in the transition to future jobs, and the development and obtaining of new skills. That's why in part the government introduced the fees free program which is about making sure that everyone as a school level or as somebody who has never been in post-secondary school training in education before has that opportunity, and our goal is to expand on that to make sure that we are developing the skills and the attributes for people, so that they can transition from one job to another. But one of the other reasons why I don't like to commit to something like there is that I think if you look one and two decades ahead into the future of work, we need to have a rethink about the way work is organised, and the extent to which people at different times in their lives will work for somebody else, will work for themselves, will work in a cooperative, those different forms and styles of work means that I think as time goes on making those sort of one-to-one comparisons isn't probably going to be reflective of the world of work that we're entering into, so the absolute commitment from the government is to support the creation of decent high paying jobs, to make sure that we give people the skills and attributes they need to move through transition and to make sure that we're supporting businesses to be able to create that, but unfortunately for Sam, today I'm not going to commit to another target for the government.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Moving swiftly on, the second question we've got is really, it says what role can targeted workforce training and capability enhancement at entry trades and professional levels play, and I'll open this one up for anyone, this is really the question of the balance between specific workplace based training and getting the skills that are transferable, and the way that we balance those two together. I think there's a legitimate question to be asked here, we know that workplace based training can be important and useful not only for workers but for the productivity of the other workplace, but clearly in rapidly evolving working environment, workers need skills that are transferable, so anyone want to comment on the balance of those two things? Richard?
Richard: I’ll make a couple of comments, one is, just about in every conversation education we always get education and training
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Richard and Jenny are in frame.)
all roads lead to this Rome, and for us workplace training is extremely important and because if we’re talking about a constantly changing world it's about ever long life learning, and that's partly why we're really keen that industry’s coordinate and don't sort of selfishly think of themselves and their own stuff and people say if I trained people and then leave you know I've lost them, although we tend to say what if you don't train people and they don't leave, you've got them, so we really need to get our head around that. One of the things about training that we're keen to inject into it too is not just the supply of training and the availability of training, but actually the demand for training, that is, really working with unions and workers about being hungry for training and understanding the opportunity and providing it in paid time and for people to understand to want to have it, there's no point in producing it in there being nobody wants to consume it, and so it's a whole system as many people have said, we really need to think at both ends of the system, not just the pushing it out, but the consuming it at the other end, and I think it's really important workers are part of the thinking about how you do that best.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
Grant: Thank you
Kirk: Yeah, I mean, I think the critical thing is clearly workplace based training is an important part of skilling,
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Kirk and Grant are in frame.)
as I said earlier what we haven't really been good at is understanding, reflecting and recording what those skills are and making them or enabling them to be portable and I think that's a really critical feature of any nimble lifelong learning system, so that anyone can really have a very clear picture of what some of the skills are in what they aren’t.
Grant: Tony I just want to throw to you an element of this question, which is you talked about you know some of the, some of the attempts to find ways of getting ahead of closures of mines.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
What's the balance here between being aware that you're in a sector that's changing completely and actually getting the training as a regularized thing rather than a response to closure?
Tony: Yeah it is a challenge,
(Cuts to a tighter shot on Tony.)
if you take what happened in Germany, a lot of the people got jobs at other mines and they already had the skills for them. Challenge really became when they were starting to get employment in airports and nursing home and needed additional training, but what I understand they did was they made sure that training was done before they finished their time at the mine, so I think that's where as the traditional English speaking world approach, let's be frank, is sake ‘em and forget ‘em, and they can do, will provide a few million dollars for training after you've been sacked.
(Cuts to wider shot of all panellists.)
That’s what we do, you know, and it's broken
Grant: Yeah, and the lesson there is that there's some concepts that got a bad name a few decades ago like Workforce Planning and active labour market policies,
(Cuts to tighter shot where only Kirk and Grant are in frame.)
and it seems to me that one of the major lessons from any conversation about the future of workers, none of us know exactly what their future is, but what we can do is get ahead of the curve, bring together all of the people who are in a sector and start making the plans, as you say, before someone gets sacked but is actually in a position to get ahead of it.
The clocks counting right down on us now so I just want to thank all of you for being part of this discussion. There are a lot of new and innovative ideas that are out there in the future of work space, but every conversation about the future of work ends up back at the question of Education, Skills, training and making sure that we actually give people the confidence to face the changes that are in front of you and I hope you’ve heard today from a group of people who are all are committed to that so please join me in thanking our panel.
Day 1 wrap-up
Hon Dr Megan Woods
(Minister for Energy Hon Dr Megan Woods speaks at a lectern with a dark background behind her. She wears a black cardigan and patterned red top.)
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. And look it's an absolute privilege to have the graveyard shift in day one of this conference. I'm aware that everybody has been inundated with wonderful talks today and some really stimulating thinking, so, I'm just going to attempt to try and draw some of it together but I think one of the things that we can take great comfort from, there has been so many stimulating thoughts and so much information, is that we get to come back and continue this important conversation tomorrow. But can I before I begin acknowledge our international guests that are here, in particular, the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa. When we initially begin planning this Summit, it was so important to us that we had some of our Pacific brothers and sisters here with us, because this is a conversation about our place in the world, and this is about Aotearoa working with our neighbours in the Pacific region. And I also want to acknowledge the contribution to the day from our Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, and for her leadership on climate change here in New Zealand. Also I'd like to acknowledge Neil Holdom, the mayor of New Plymouth. Neil, it's been a real pleasure working with you and I want to thank you, also, for the leadership that you've shown on behalf of your community.
I was talking to Neil earlier today and I did note to him that it does strike me how far we've come in this conversation in the just over 12 months since we announced our decision to end the issuing of new exploration permits for offshore oil and gas in the last year. I think we can congratulate ourselves on how far we've progressed to the fact that today we have over 500 people in this room from such a diverse group of organisations, to have a mature and world leading conversation about this. I've also been struck throughout the day by the optimism that is in this room and the excitement for the opportunities that lie ahead for us - the New Energy Centre, the research funding that's going to sit alongside that, we've got research organisations here that have just been waiting for the opportunity to be able to do more. The MacDiarmid Institute even bought some toys along to have out in the other room to demonstrate some of the possibilities that lie out there, and I encourage you to visit all the stalls out there.
And Neil, last night you told me that you were going to ask the government to bring you a pony. Well I'm sorry we couldn't deliver you a pony but I think the New Energy Centre here in Taranaki is a very good start. And I'd also like to acknowledge the other mayors of this region, Ross Dunlop and Neil Volzke for your leadership also. And local MP Jonathan Young who has been with us today.
But I just now want to give you a brief overview of some of my thoughts and bring together some of what we've been talking about today. And I want to tell you, as the Minister for Energy and as the Minister that is leading the Just Transition work for our government how I think about this challenge, and how I think we go about tackling it together.
First let's start with the challenge we face. As I see it it's actually pretty simple. The way our economy is working is putting the survival of our planet at risk, so things are changing, and they need to change. There is a transition underway. Now let me be very clear about my thinking. A transition is not just treading water, it is not about the maintenance of the status quo into the never never, it is about change, and we need to change our economy in a faster pace than that of any economic transformation than we have seen in human history. As Tony said in the last session, and I thought this was a really telling comment, the transition is underway there is no debate about that, the only question left is whether or not it will be a just transition. We know that this change we need to make is unprecedented, no one has ever attempted it on this scale at this pace before in terms of what we face as a globe, because no one else has ever had to at this scale, and this means there's no precedent, there's no guidebook, there's no manual, so we have to write it, and we have to write it together. And that's why I believe that this Summit is so important, to get our collective wisdoms into this room today, to work together, to write this next chapter.
I think it is also important that we take pause and reflect and remind ourselves of what our international guests have reminded us of today. That what we are doing here in this region, in this room, is world leading, and it will be something that the rest of the world will look to as they go through their own transitions. Because what we have begun charting is a guide, is a map that will guide New Zealand in the coming years and decades as our country embarks on one of the most important journeys that we've been on.
And my own thinking on this issue is shaped probably fundamentally by two events and groups of people. The first was the community that I grew up in and that was South Christchurch during the 1980s, so while the Prime Minister was watching reruns of Who's the Boss, I was a huge moon Madonna fan, but I have vivid memories of also being glued to the royal wedding around that time as well, but what I also have vivid memories of were the rapid and unplanned economic changes of their era that happened around me to people in my community. I remember the Addington railway workshops closing seemingly overnight, and many of my friends parents and other people in my community losing their jobs overnight. I remember watching how hard that was for them, how so many of them felt that they just hadn't lost their jobs but their standing in their community, the way they provided for their families, the source of their own dignity was ripped away, and they felt powerless. And these memories have stayed with me and have made me determined that economic change must be well planned, must be fair, and must treat people with dignity and respect.
And there's another group of people I met a few years ago who have also been important to shaping my thinking. Was in December 2015 when I was lucky enough to attend COP21 in Paris. This was the COP of Hope, the Climate Change Conference where change was going to occur, hope that we could finally achieve that consensus around taking climate change seriously as a globe. Amid all the toing and froing of two degrees versus 1.5 degrees and how the nationally determined contributions added up, I attended the Just Transition stream organised by the International Trade Union Confederation. Here I observed something remarkable, Mining Union delegates banging the table demanding more ambitious climate action. Now this was somewhat different to the jobs and economy rhetoric. The jobs or the economy rhetoric that I had previously been exposed to. The groove in the record where we seemed to be stuck in some kind of classic hits round and round. This was an entirely different frame. Workers realising their world was changing, that fundamental economic transformation was taking place, and was set to accelerate, and if they stood back and let that transformation roll out unabated, this would be yet another chapter of economic change in our history that saw workers as wit bit players with no control over the way that the story ended. Instead, in that room, people were arguing that we start planning for the future, for their family's futures, and their community's futures. New industries would be coming in this transition, they needed the opportunity to be trained and the skills, and they needed the opportunity to take part in the conversation about their future.
Here was a group of people determined that history was not just going to happen to them. They were determined to achieve a managed transition, where the dignity of work and communities were considered, a Just Transition. And here in New Zealand, that is what we must deliver. Living when we do at this point in our history it begins on all of us collectively in this room to begin that transition, and we won't be the ones that have to see it all the way through. This is a long-term transition that is going to take place. The job of continuing that transition will fall on those who come after us, and there is so much at stake for those who do come after us. Jobs, homes, industries, quality of life of New Zealanders, prosperity, for decades to come, is what is in the balance when we talk about this change. As we’ve heard today, if this transition is not well planned, if it is rushed, the costs of the change will fall on those who are least able to bear it, so for me the question is, what can we leave to help guide our country in this journey? What is this chapter that we are writing today? In each of our own areas of responsibility, what is our role in this transition and what can we do to ensure it’s a Just and well-managed one?
There's a concept in Māoridom that I think is appropriate here, and it was used in the very early local discussions about the Summit and the work that was leading up to it, and that's the idea of pou whenua, the marker poles. Carved wooden posts used to mark major landmarks and territorial boundaries. It's also a concept that can mean the leaders or key figures pushing a project forward. So what then are the pou that can guide us and those who come after us on New Zealand's journey to a low-carbon economy? Internationally, as you will have heard, the just transition framework is tripartite, a three way compact between government, business and working people and their representatives. But our transition in New Zealand will need its own thinking, its own unique path forward. To my mind in New Zealand, and this is something that I'm wanting to discuss further with people, there are five pou here in New Zealand that support this transition. Five groups that have a vital role to play in the decades to come.
The first so I'm going to say is central government and that's not because I think we're the most important but I'll start there. But it is our role to make sure our transition is well planned and managed instead of rushed and haphazard. In order to protect against economic shocks in disruptions as we do decarbonise, it's government's role to set the direction for transition planning, that is well connected to business and the workforce. This planning needs to address the challenges posed by a changing climate while also seeking to create new opportunities for business and industry, and importantly, creating good secure jobs in the future. Central government needs to be providing the leadership and impetus, so that region by region we can have robust economic development plans that chart out the pathway to carbon neutrality.
Thinking about how energy decisions link up with regional economic development decisions, how that links up with innovation investments, how these in turn link with education decisions, and the need for Workforce Planning. We need to be thinking about the qualifications and skills this economic transformation will require and the new jobs that will be produced. We then need to ensure that those qualifications and skills are being offered in the regions where they are required, and this is work that our government has begun. We've seen here in Taranaki, we've made the bold decision to call time on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, we've invested in the region through the provincial growth fund, we've put the just transition unit on the ground to work with local leaders.
And I really do want to emphasize that point about being on the ground. In this digital age we can never forget the real power of those face to face conversations, of getting in the room together and nutting out the tough issues. But that's not all we've done, we've baked new energy projects like hydrogen and today we've seen the further investment in new energy and the launch of the region's 2050 roadmap, and that's just a start.
It will take successive governments committed to making sure no one is left behind as our economy changes, but central government cannot do this alone. It takes leadership in the local community and that's why the second pou that is so important is local government. They must ensure that this transition is well-planned at the grassroots, and what we've seen happen here in Taranaki is enduring regional economic development plans that have been started at the grassroots level. It's taken local leadership to bring together the vision, experience and skills from different parts of the country. And I genuinely believe that what we've seen in Taranaki’s 2050 roadmap is world-leading work. Everyone involved in that piece of work should take immense pride in what they have accomplished, and I would like to thank everybody who has done that work. It is a best in class example of grassroots development work in response to the reality of change. To do this well around the country, we must ensure that local government can build buy in amongst local stakeholders and ensure that local people's voices are at the centre of it.
But to ensure that economic transformation works we need our third pou, and that is the business sector. It’s private businesses who will mobilise the innovations, knowledge and skills and the investment we need to transform our economy. It will be for business to spot and seize the new opportunities that come from decarbonisation. Doing this properly will ensure our economy can continue to deliver good living standards and rising incomes as it changes.
And our transition cannot be considered just without our fourth pou, and that is iwi. There is a quote from the CTU's Rūnanga in their just transition report that I think is very apt. They say, indigenous people want to be part of the change, not have change hoisted upon them. For this to be a just transition, it needs to be based on treaty principles, with Māori and iwi as real partners, involved every step of the way, with specific planning that acknowledges the unique circumstances and role and status of tangata whenua. And if we are to have a real partnership, this transition will be so much better for it.
I recently was talking with an American clean energy expert who told me he was so impressed with the just transition work our country had been doing, and he said to me that in no other country in the world were they lucky enough to have been imbued with the Māori values of kaitiakitanga, that is so critical to the values of the transition that we are undertaking here in New Zealand. This will help us progress a just transition in the context of all of our unique circumstances. This isn't a one-size-fits-all country's approach that will work here.
But for this change to be fair, to be really just, for it to work for working people, we need our final pou, workers and their representatives, their unions. If these huge changes in our economy are going to be beneficial for most Kiwis, we need to accept that a decarbonised economy is not magically one that will lead to better working lives for people. Green jobs are not automatically good jobs if they do not come with good incomes and dignity in the workplace. We owe our future workers the opportunities of meaningful work that provides adequate income and social protections, safe working conditions, respect for rights at work, and effective social dialogues.
So here we have the 5 pou of the just transitions process. These are our markers, the leaders that will take us forward. Today, we are all representing one of those pou, and we've begun the most challenging and exciting journey in our economic history, and this is a journey we can only do well in if we take that journey together.
I hope you've enjoyed this first day of the summit and I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the dinner tonight and back bright and early for day two of the summit tomorrow morning. Enjoy the rest of your evening. Thank you very much.
Keynote speech at the Summit dinner
Peter Garrett- Midnight Oil musician, environmentalist and former Australia Minister for the Environment.
(Midnight Oil musician, environmentalist and former Australian Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett stands at a lectern in front of a dark background.)
Thanks very much Megan and to all the attendees, thank you for staying out for this keynote address. My guess is that all of the appropriate recognitions and acknowledgments of Māori and of other guests have already been made, but I do like the idea of a gathering that's intended to shape rather than be shaped by events. Because getting on the front foot with this issue for governments and nations is now, I think, literally one of the most important issues that we face globally.
I also very much like the idea that you're looking for fairness, you say that the transition must be equitable and it must be inclusive, and without trying to talk you up too much I think this is quite sensible because in other countries where they haven't done that they've really struggled to come up with solutions and none more so than the place that I love over the ditch. And I will tell you a little bit about what we've learned in Australia further on in my address and share some of that with you. But first I do want to set the scene, at least from both my perspective and from an Australian perspective. And I want to begin by reflecting on what Megan said in terms of, where are you at as a person, when you come into adult life and you're participating in whatever it is that is your calling or your passion, and so a lot of us are people that did grow up at an earlier time and now you find yourself with these responsibilities. It comes around pretty quickly in my experience, and in my experience you don't have that long, so you got to make the most of it. And there's, I think, and I'm only speaking personally, a bit of a tendency to look back on what you've done, the methodologies, the values and the practices that you used and apply them to the problems that are in front of you. And often that's pretty useful because you learn stuff along the way, but in other ways it's easy for you to lose your sense of taking a big step or being braver and bolder at that time. And if I have any regrets from my period of time in federal politics it’s that I wasn't brave and bold enough and so I want to I want to encourage, share that with you and also encourage you to be like that when you go through this transition.
Anyway I came of age in a time which I would describe as optimism mixed with fear. On the plus side, I grew up with the moon landings, there were no major wars, or economic depressions at least in Australia. And on the negative side we had the buildup of nuclear weapons, something that New Zealand has played a very powerful and important role in beginning to abate in the 80s, in particular, there was a cold war there with the potential to go hot, we saw emerging environmental degradation, and of course significant widespread poverty in many developing countries. Some of these issues have been partly or fully resolved, a number are still works in progress, but now of course we have the climate crisis or climate chaos as I prefer to call it. I don't like calling it climate change, it sounds way too benign. And this issue, as all of you here will know, particularly if you've listened to the scientists or read the reports, really can put the foundations of what we do into a tailspin, and critically I think, make it even harder for local and national and global communities to prevail over the challenges that are in front of them. And I was talking about this last night in Melbourne and the reference there I made isn't one which is going to ring much of a bell here but I do want to just talk about it in one way, because whilst there are other examples that appertain, this one for me was very pungent.
So I had a lot of experience in politics and music, and you know, you get a lot of confronting things that go on and you know some of them you care to remember and some of them you don't. And I served in the Australian Parliament for nearly 10 years and in when we were in opposition I was actually the shadow Climate Change Minister so I had responsibilities with my colleagues for actually drawing up the first raft of climate change policy including the first emissions trading scheme, which founded in difficult ideological politics later on, and then I had time in government as Environment Minister and then later as Education Minister. But the most confronting thing that I ever experienced, we'd been talking about signing the Kyoto Protocol, how important it was, and our political opponents really were saying that there was no such thing as climate change, and even if there was it wasn't that bad, and even if it was that bad we didn't need to sign the protocol. And we were saying well be that as it may the world's getting warmer and we're going to see, you know, tough things happening with extreme weather like bush fires of greater intensity.
And as it had happened we had a terrible bushfire outside of Melbourne in 2009 which was called the Black Saturday bushfires and I was one of the first politicians to visit. And I was, I've grown up both in the city and in the bush in Australia so I thought I was ready for what I was about to see, but of course nothing prepared me for it. There was a terrible loss of life 173 people perished. Nearly about another 500 were injured and certainly those losses have felt very strongly as you can imagine, particularly after what you've been through in Christchurch, those losses and that kind of hit when something terrible happens continues to ripple down both through families and friends and community, and that's still a case. I went back for the 10-year anniversary and people were still raw, terribly raw. The bush, our Australian bush, some of you will know had gone quiet. Tens of thousands, actually over 900,000 to a million native species obliterated. And the hills were like a moonscape, they were just, as far as the eye could see, just these black sticks up in the air, just standing there, nothing on them at all, just shaking like that, and a sea of white ash that stretched out as far as the eye could see. And as I was looking at this, I was confronted by the loss, but equally by the thought, and it must have occurred to others, that this was a taste of things to come. Yes, bush fires are a part of Australian life to be sure, but it was obvious how much more vulnerable we were as days grew hotter and summers grew longer. And that was part of our rationale for wanting to get an emissions trading scheme in place.
Now that's ten years ago, ten years later we've emerged from another record-breaking hotter than hell summer, our single most important river system, the Murray-Darling river system which runs down through Queensland and New South Wales and then along the New South Wales Victorian border and down into South Australia, is on its knees. The river has stopped flowing in parts. And again, bushfire activity is off the scale and emergency services, the firies, the emergency service people that go out, civil defence and others are really battling to keep up with it. So that's why I say climate change is not remotely adequate to describe what we're seeing around us. A more accurate description is climate chaos and we see it in other parts of the globe, not so much here but in other parts of the globe. Now I'm hopeful that we'll get on top of it, but I think we need to face up to the reality of what the science is telling us in order to do that. And I've got hope because I can look through the smoky haze of history, and I can see that over time, there are movements, communities, and sometimes nations that do lift up and get on top of a really big and difficult problem. And I can see it now in our schools and in the boardrooms, on farms, and around the dinner table when families are talking at night. People can, people will organise, they'll galvanize others and they'll bring forward solutions. But it's not going to be easy, and one of the things that makes it hard is delay. And the other thing that makes it hard is a lack of faith in the capacity for ingenuity and innovation.
What isn't often recognised and known is that eventually the Labor government, of which I was a part, did introduce a price on carbon. Not quite like your neutered down ETS that's been limping along a little pathetically for a few years, hope I'm not being too harsh
(laughs and some of the audience applauses)
I'm talking about a real one. Anyway, eventually it did come into the parliament. The first iteration having essentially been torpedoed from both the Greens party on the left and the ideological wing of the Conservatives on the right, actual emissions reduced. That's the holy grail of climate policy. We started to reduce emissions. Not only that but compliance from the emitters ran at close to 100 percent. The sky did not fall in, businesses did not go broke, people were not thrown out of work. In actual fact the country kept ticking along pretty much as the Treasury projections had told us that it would. It was a brief but successful interregnum, even though it did have limited ambition. And it can work again and it will work again provided you have the right signals going into the marketplace and you're resolute about wanting to see it happen, not a little bit iffy about whether it's a good idea or not.
Now there will always be voices that speak against making change of this kind, there’s always recalcitrant, nation-states, Saudi Arabia's consistently trying to undermine the negotiations internationally because they produce such a lot of oil, corporations and individuals, all those that have a threatened business model, sometimes, not always, will just simply be recalcitrant. In our country at least some actually just choose to literally deny the facts, they'll grab a conspiracy theory to justify their superstition even though they're actually in government at the time. Then there are others that persist in thinking that there'll be a major technology pill which is going to emerge that can instantly cure the warmer planet disease. They even get excited about people, maybe America's rich lister's, settling on Mars. It's only a matter of time where conditions are so conducive to fertility, growing vegetables is going to be a doddle up there for those millionaires. But seriously others I think seem a bit afraid of humanity actually coming together. You might remember that Nelson Mandela expression, that quote, about the deepest fears that people have is actually being powerful beyond measure. There's something in that and for parts of the political span that we all fall on, sometimes for those, let's just call it crudely on the right side of politics, a little bit of apprehension about the fact that we can take a collective step. It's the idea of collectivism doesn't always resonate strongly with them. But we should recognise that none of these fanciful arguments or any others that are manufactured are really worth spending any more time on, other than not to treat them with contempt, but just simply to do the u-turn that's necessary and come back to what we know.
And you will have heard presentations here, so forgive me if I'm telling you what you already know. So there's too much CO2 in the system already, and concentrations are increasing. And you may have seen that we passed four hundred and fifteen parts per million, which is an unthinkable statistic when we were first alerted to global warming. And that was measured in Hawaii only three days ago. So the global economic business model is unsustainable, and any business as usual expectations, and particularly things like ramped up air travel or projected GDP increases and so on and so forth, absolutely fanciful. Unless drastic steps are taken now to reach the mandatory goal, the one that you've set now, of zero net emissions by 2050. If you don't take those steps now, and big ones, then that business model is gone for all money.
We're only just starting to see, incidentally, the extent and effective cumulative and nonlinear impacts around climate chaos, and again it's probably more obvious in places of higher vulnerability, let's take northern Australia. We get a storm surge in Northern Australia, we get the spread of disease which immediately puts pressure upon our medical services. We'll get social unrest as a consequence if it happens too many times. When you get mega droughts and super storms they put very very strong pressures on local government and emergency services and they feed into political discontent. It's about eight billion of us on earth now, a little less than that, most in the major emitting nations are pouring around 37 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, that was last year's figure, and that's the highest amount ever. And I know that there are people who say, well, I accept that we can't go on pumping vast qualities of quantities of greenhouse gases out, we have to do something, and this is all about the so-called orderly transition to a low or zero carbon economy, harnessing the market, creating new values, utilising innovation, advancing renewables and the like. And I certainly agree that market forces and redirected capital investment will and should accelerate emission reductions. In fact they're essential. But any approach that's simply fixated on risk management, on existing market frameworks or incremental steps, and I'll come to your agriculture issue in just a tick, won't by itself be enough. And my message to business communities both in Australia and here and in other places where I speak, it's pretty straightforward, that might have been an option in 1997 when the Kyoto Protocol was agreed, it's not an option today. The ambitious transformations that we require won't be without pain, and not without losses for some sectors and their investors. And it should be noted that those industries have been duly warned and were well informed, and they chose to deny and delay rather than to act, and they are the ones that will reap a bitter harvest.
Now you would know about the most recent IPCC report, working through the data again, but it really challenges some assumptions that we had previously, essentially about speed and scale. So the tipping point that scientists very cautiously refer to, when we actually lose control of the world's climate, is closer than most people think. And of course we now know that really halving emissions by 2030 and reaching that Net Zero goal limits warming potentially to 1.5 degrees past which point we've got a runaway climate. Now we won't have the human race extinct in 11 years, because that's far away, 2030. As you get older things seem to move a little bit quicker, it's just around the corner. But whether it’s rising seas, whether it's spreading deserts, whether its economic dysfunction and collapse, whether its nations warring over scarce resources, whether its ecosystem breakdown, in a longer time frame, that's the endgame. After all we're at the top of the food chain, not the bottom, and in a global world, even in Aotearoa, New Zealand, Kiwi land, you're still either going to be affected or will have those affected coming to you.
In Australia we're seeing a welcome increase in concern about this and we may even be in the last throes of a climate election. It's young people who bear the burden of a failure to act that are coming out onto the streets, and civil disobedience, the type of activism that defined my early days as a campaigner against nuclear weapons, has emerged again, courtesy of the extinction rebellion and, in our country, school strikes for climate, and I applaud that activism. And we're seeing increased momentum in the business community.Internationally there is a lot on the go, it's been on the go for some time. The European nations, I think, well not all of them but some of them are on the front foot. China and India are out of the blocks. And we're seeing countries step up how it is they want to actually approach the issue, in other words bringing it from the margins right into the centre. The announcement by the UK government that it would phase out coal fired power, in fact I think today or yesterday they may have had a day completely running their electricity system on renewables, and you do a fair bit on renewables but obviously can and want to go a lot further, and then that recent parliamentary declaration of a climate emergency which was driven by the Labor opposition, it's happening in other places as well, a sign of things to come, the green new deal at all. And now here, your government's made an important announcement which is what this summit is about, and you're really on the way as well.
Let me have a look at what I think coming to grips with the crisis might entail. In this economy, some of my comments are contained because of the large amount of methane that your cows produce. But the approach that I'm taking is that it's really a matter of national defence and security, and what you do when you're addressing those sorts of issues, where there are risks that threaten your peace and stability, is you look at the facts. And once you understand the facts then you work out how your best going to take decisive action to respond to them. So a lot of stuff has to happen within the Parliament, and it's important for Parliament to play and across the parliament a proactive role, and the fact that you're seeking a bipartisan approach on this issue, Nationals and others in the tent, I think is a greater guarantee of success than you do see in many countries. I strongly, strongly endorse and applaud that approach. You have to look for all of the opportunities within your economy and the way in which you deploy resources to make savings, and that's not only on the hard things, where you have made some decisions, but that's on everything. And you need to get your good scientists in a room, and your practical people, and I can't remove them the name of the expression but I think it was three bail wire or four bail wire, have I got that wrong, do you know what I'm talking about? Probably not.
Someone in audience: Number eight wire
Peter: That's the one. You invented it! New businesses are going to come through with that attitude and that approach, operating both at small and at macro levels. And they will profit greatly from the old leadership, and they'll replace the old businesses, and we want to celebrate their success when they come through. Always, there will be a group that will be saying it's too hard, it can't happen that quickly, the issue is not maybe quite as serious as we all think, they're going to be left literally behind in the ashes.
You probably need to think about some significant Public Work schemes to make the country more resilient to the kind of impacts that you're going to face, and certainly that would have a substantial participation by Māori and others. And of course you've got to get quickly out of coal and oil and gas, and I understand the government's policies on those at this particular point in time. Just have a look at the jobs growth ratcheting on renewables, just about anywhere really, and the speed of deployment, absolutely staggering. When I was first working up policy for, hopefully the incoming government on climate change, and when you're in politics you tend to moderate everything, you have to and it's sensible to do it, you don't want to overreach. And we took the advice of the government departments and the scientists and I'm thinking about the deployment of solar for example but there are there are other examples. And we made the appropriate adjustments to the economy to provide some incentives in the first instance to get the thing up and running. It so far out ran our projections it was scary, and we have now a runaway renewable industry happening notwithstanding the fact that we've had a climate denying government for five and a half years, and very few signals in the marketplace to assist. It has just happened.
You need more information to be provided to your public, in an accessible and a clear way and regularly. Not to freak them out but to inform them. I think you're going to have five year carbon budget reporting, five years is good, maybe it could be quicker. A natural set of accounts alongside the normal budget, so that you know how your fisheries are going, so you know how your Biodiversity is going, so you know how your air quality in your cities is going, and so you understand what's happening for the external forces and pressures that you're going to face. And there are many other things that governments can do, particularly if they've got the support both within the parliament across the chamber and also from the community at large. So it's really now a case of what else is going to happen, and what are the values that we need to have in place to enable us to deal with that both in our own country and abroad.
So let's quickly recognise that globally the shifts and changes that we're going to see will be immense. We're entering into a period of turbulence equivalent to world war two. Some countries that are rich and powerful today will face considerable economic hardships, big societal blowback and that's because of the loss of their oil income. Regionally we'll see food and climate crises driving climate refugees towards us on a scale beyond anything that we've faced and that will certainly require a big rethink in Australian politics and across our culture about that issue. That's not implausible, I mean even the best-case scenarios for managing climate change at this point in time show that we've got worse impacts coming because of the heat that's in the system. We've got to suck some of that out as well, we need big carbon sinks. And of course, as I said earlier, the climate emergency approach needs to come into planning about future security and defence planning. And particularly for a country like New Zealand where you've already got a strong and credible and respected engagement with your Pacific neighbours and neighbours in your region, an amplification of that approach, that will be really important.
Most of this requires strong government, and around the world in liberal democracies we can see that governments are a little bit on the nose. Maybe not so much here, but certainly it's out there, particularly when you consider the sort of stuff that's happening across the internet. So governments, their bureaucracies, panels, committees, companies, organisations, communities, unions, they're only ever as capable and responsible as the people that make them up and that's all of you in this room. And as effective as the people who vote for them and hold them to account, either as voters or as shareholders. And we certainly can learn something from you, and from our perspective we need to strengthen our value set in order to make sure that that process happens in a way which is really productive. So from my perspective it's important that we reprioritise that old medical saying of doing no harm, I think, for all the ones amongst us, if you'll forgive me for generalisations, we've got to try and peel away some of the cynicism, and a little bit of the greed that can creep in, note to self, of course. And we're still very subject to manipulation by the marketing and advertising industries even if we don't think we are.
Climate science is in its infancy, manipulating people's behaviours is a very mature science at this point in time in world history, let me tell you. And we've really got to nurture our capacity for empathy, something again I don't really need to tell this audience, but it is important. But it’s not only empathy for suffering, it's empathy for the way amazing thing called earth actually works for us. We do most definitely have to be serious about intergenerational equity. I remember as a Minister and even when I was ACF president, it was quite common for someone to finish an address or a speech by saying, you know, and now we must get on with the job for our children our children's children, you know, and then they'd walk off the stage, and it was absolutely genuine and right, but we have to be deeply serious about that, in our own actions and those in the institutions that we're a part of. It's not an empty Proclamation, it's not a bit of a facile PR, it's actually real. You can't in all conscience be a part of an economic system or a business or a community or a government that actually leaves the place that much worse that a generation comes through and goes how the hell are we going to manage this.
And of course we've got to remind ourselves about how interconnected the natural world is. I mean we saw that report a couple of days ago, a million species now threatened with extinction, a million. It's both almost overwhelming, anger making, and hopefully will engender a great sense of urgency amongst us. I mean the point is no one can escape from global warming in a gated housing complex can they, so whether its water and soil, whether its oceans and forests, many of which in a parlous state, they have to be made healthy. And we can't continually deplete, even bit-by-bit, niggle by niggle, healthy ecosystems because the pressures that extreme weather bring on them are great, and this notion that, you know, it'll just be a little bit worse, well, I don't want to see some kind of wasteland emerge as the final framed photograph that sums up our era. It would be a snapshot of missed opportunities on the one hand, but on the other, there would actually be a snapshot of life's candle dimming and there'd be a waste ridden rutted road heading off to nowhere.
So for those who aren't there, it's important not to think that it has to be addressed, of course it must. So I happen to believe we can succeed, having said all of that, after all what's the alternative to not succeeding? I've just laid some of it out and I've really gone light tonight, and I think there's plenty of reasons as to why we can succeed, but let just me run through a few of them. The first is that whilst the task seems overwhelming it's not that difficult. Our small example of having a carbon tax in place for 15 months, and it worked, in fact it worked really well. Electric cars look like they're going to work very well. The solar panels on my roof seem to work very well. So multiple job creation, innovation, don't socialise those industries that haven't got on board too quickly, government Institute's the right settings, the world's an exciting place to be. And then look at your, what I would describe as societal or cultural assets and see what sort of state they're in for managing a transformation of this order. I think you've got a really good chance of managing the transformation. To begin with, you have a government that's leading and deciding this is where you're going to go, and you're good at working together, and unlike Australia you haven't got the additional issue of the states here, although I should quickly say when it comes to the states I just do want to acknowledge my colleague, the former premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill who's with you tonight and I think has been on one of the panels, and amongst other things Jay's to be applauded for standing against the torrent of political pressure and right-wing abuse, and actually taking some incredible steps including putting a one massive battery or was it two? One massive battery with Elon Musk in in South Australia so that they could start producing all of their energy from renewables and I think history will judge it very kindly on that one my friend. But you've got a relatively high standard.
(Applause from the audience)
Peter: Yeah, come on, give it up for Jay.
You've got a high standard of living relatively, you've got a wide knowledge base, you've got significant peace and stability, which are terrific foundations for doing this work. And whilst agriculture is a big challenge for you, around methane, it is one that can be met. So long as those that don't want to meet it aren’t allowed to dig in and frustrate the process.
The third and important reason I think why it can be done is because this is really the spirit of the age. I mean climate crisis or climate chaos, it's like a meta issue. It sits above the others. As I said in my introductory remarks it's not necessarily an importance per se but in urgency and most critically in irreversibility. So to be part of the good fight in bringing the mother earth ship back into balance, actually will empower and help people grow and feel good about what they're doing.
I just wanted to close by making some general marks about Kiwi and about the task ahead, and I want to do it from quite a personal perspective so I hope that you'll forgive me for that. I came here first in a period of time, and some of you weren't even born. 1978. And there I found myself with my Midnight Oil colleagues in towns like Napier, and Palmerston, (a couple of cheers from the audience) here, I could keep, I'll go through the whole lot and everyone can cheer, and you know we were pretty rough and ready Aussie rockers with massive PA and speakers and with tattoos and the whole thing, and we came into town and blasted the daylights out of everybody and then walked out into an open street and found that the whole of the country, you remember that little cuckoo clock that used to come out and say good night at about 11:30 or 12, we were just we were just peaking at that point, we
didn't know what to do, and we were in you know one and a half star-ers. There I was actually, but I denied the frankness, you know, of New Zealanders and their down to earthness. We played in that tiny little hotel in Napier, I think the woman that ran it was a woman called lady larges or something like that, she'd definitely done time in a bordello.
(Slight laughter from audience)
And it was tiny and it was packed, you know, a lot of people came and it was hot and you know we worked hard and I was sweating and I got off stage and I said to one of the bar people “is there any chance of me having a shower or bath?” “Yeah yeah, go upstairs Pete, upstairs, have a bath.” I thought oh great, so I went upstairs, a little hotel, up the rickety stairs, timber, built in the 1900s or whatever, found the bath, claw tooth bath, bit of bubbles, oh I was just in heaven, I couldn't believe I'd lucked out. Filled it up with hot water, I'm lying there, she bursts in, oh she said, I've seen it all before.
(Some of the audience laugh with Peter)
Just came to ask me whether I wanted a beer which for an Australian was very welcome. I'm digressing a little, but really, we spent a good deal of time playing our music here, and then of course later on was lucky enough to be back when I stood for the Senate for the nuclear disarmament party in 1984, and it was there I think that New Zealand in some ways, particularly on the world stage, came of age, and you displayed a impressive independence of mind and a very strong moral perspective on what was really and still remains slightly less so but I won't go into that tonight, one of the important global issues. Now you didn't have a nuclear weapons industry here in New Zealand, unless I'm mistaken, and I'm not sure that that many nuclear weapons were pointing at you if I think about it now either, and certainly once you got kicked out of ANZUS, so-called (Peter laughing), put in the put in the freezer for about ten years, you really, no one really cared.
(Some of the audience laugh).
But you cared and the role that was taken both by the country and also by non-government organisations here had incredibly important influence and impact on global affairs, and on the beginning of the start reductions, and now of course, as we have significantly less nuclear weapons around, I'm not going to go into Trump land here, but as well as that of course support for a new nuclear weapons-free treaty. And there are many Australians, and I know I'm speaking for a number of my fellow country men and women, who really felt that you were leading us at that point in time, and you were showing something to us of real importance in the world, that those sorts of decisions and actions can make a difference, and you were prepared to stand your ground. And I want to take this opportunity even though I'm talking about something else to acknowledge that tonight.
But there's a link, and I'm sure you see it and you feel it. Because we've got to sidestep this thing and we've got to get on top of it and every country, every company, every community, every person has a role to play. And if you're able to do it in concert with one another, the likelihood that you will succeed here and that your influence will be felt far and wide is that much greater. So may I commend the Just Transitions Summit and its attendees, may I wish you every success in the not altogether easy times ahead, but the most important and necessary times of all, your own community, your kids and your grandkids will depend upon it, but the world will too, so go for it my friends and thank you for listening.
(Loud applause from the audience).