Category Archives: Building Regional Economies

What is Progress and How do we get There?


I have Tom Wessels’ The Myth of Progress on a shelf.  Tom has produced some wonderful books on historically continuous change across our wider landscapes.  He sees patterns in that place where people and landscapes meet.  He takes to task what we mean by … Continue reading

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Kill Creativity and March to Nowhere


This is inspired by a conversation with a dear friend who doesn’t hug much. I have a question … well, two.  First one.  Do we make room for creativity anymore – for the synthesisers? (My friend was one of the … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Thought Pieces | 1 Comment

Neoliberalism Kills Strategic Thought – and that is Killing our Future


Tactic one for changing our political environment. Hmmmmm….. How about, as the first one, we refocus on strategy, not technocratic analysis?  Strategy requires thinking qualitatively – long and broad through connections.  Where are we wanting to go?  What are the … Continue reading

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Reforming our Regional Economy – III: Never be a Colony


The South Island West Coast of New Zealand is a colony of its eastern neighbour Canterbury.  Think of all the gold, the beautiful timber, the coal, the fish.  Think of the tourism dollars flowing from that extraordinary raised coastal road … Continue reading

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Reforming our Regional Economy II – Making Magic in the Landscape


In the late 1940s my father came down from the East Coast to be a shepherd on Omakere Station in Central Hawke’s Bay.  Part of the work was removing regenerated shrublands of manuka and kanuka and turning them into pasture … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Land Use, Thought Pieces | 3 Comments

Reforming our Regional Economy I: Value over Volume


Why do we manage land the way we do?  Why does New Zealand focus on ever-more gross production over a great scale of sameness?  Why do we talk of “feeding the world” when we can at best feed 40 million … Continue reading

Posted in agricultural strategy, Building Regional Economies, Industrial Mindset, Land Use, Land use strategy, Primary Sector Strategy, Thought Pieces | 3 Comments

Expedient ‘Government’: Build the Slag Heaps of Tomorrow for New Zealand


Originally posted on Chris Perley's Blog:
Lindisfarne Monastery Is our whole New Zealand economy a bubble built on speculation, the Christchurch rebuild, the Viking-raid exploitation of society and place for short-term gain, financing expenditure out of debt, the promotion…

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Looking after Local Enterprise and Life (Part II)


This is the second part of an article looking at why do we put local government money in the big rather than the small?   Especially when the big tend to extract, while the small are so integral to a creative … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Thought Pieces | 4 Comments

Looking After Local Enterprise and Life (Part I)


The following was submitted to the local paper as an opinion piece.  It corresponds to the news that the local district council subsidised the very unpopular investment in water bottling by outside interests, utilising our very high quality aquifer water … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Thought Pieces | 4 Comments

Trust … in our Economy


They don’t think of ‘trust’ much when they talk about the economy. They split it up. They, the technocrats. They put such things as ‘trust’, ‘integrity’, ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ in the box marked ‘social’; something to deal with “after we … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Linkages, Resilience Thinking, Socio-ecological Systems, Thought Pieces | 4 Comments