On Tuesday 9th September 2008 a workshop ‘Pathways to Sustainability, What Matters Most to New Zealanders’ was held at the Royal Society Lecture Theatre, co-sponsored by Anew NZ and Statistics New Zealand and facilitated by Leanne Holdsworth and Glen Lauder. Around 100 people from various organisations, NGOs and governmental structures attended this workshop. The session was divided into two main reflection times. The first was to assist Statistics New Zealand in their development of a national set of sustainable development indicators-the team working on this project is seeking public views on sustainable development and the topics that should be included in its measurements. The second was focused on a project carried out by Anew NZ to examine wealth, well-being, sustainability and progress and contribute to developing a national vision for the country through the project “What Matters Most to New Zealanders.”

In both, group reflection sessions on themes were really productive, participative and enthusiastic. Many interesting ideas came up and the outcomes surpassed what organisers could have expected. Both the teams from Statistics New Zealand and Anew NZ were delighted. This workshop was the second after the one held in Auckland the 29th August, and together with Anew NZ, attendees will now prepare an agenda to start to organise how to take action toward a sustainable New Zealand.

This workshop was a great success and showed that more and more people are interested in taking a real step toward re-building the relationship between people and the environment, improving the quality of life and taking the pathways to sustainability for New Zealand.

Text by Jean-Charles Perquin
Photo by Wendy McGuinness