7 Apr 2014

Planners grapple with 100% Pure NZ

12:07 pm on 7 April 2014

The next 10 years are critical if New Zealand wants to preserve its 100 percent pure branding image, say planners at a major conference.

They have been gathering in Queenstown to address the major issues threatening the pure image, as part of the 2014 New Zealand Planning Institute conference.

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New Zealand has defined itself on the back of the "100% Pure New Zealand" tourism campaign for more than a decade.

But Professor Peter Newman, from Curtin University in Western Australia, wonders whether that's stopped many in this country from looking at the areas where New Zealand doesn't match up to the image.

Institute chairman Bryce Julyan says planners have a major responsibility to ensure a balance is struck between environmental impact and the economy.

He says one of the major sore points will be water quality. With the intensification of dairy farming many rivers and streams are coming under enormous pressure and how to mitigate the effects is proving difficult.

Mr Julyan says it's time all New Zealanders analysed how far to take the 100 percent pure branding and how much that might change the way they live and work.

He says it's quite a responsibility, which may mean some parts of New Zealand are allowed to be more intensively farmed so that other areas can be kept pristine.

Parliamentary commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, says protecting the image may mean farming practices have to radically change.

Mr Newman has commended Auckland on the work it's doing on the central city rail loop and says Christchurch represents New Zealand's best shot for showing what future cities will be like.