For a long time New Zealand has been seen by many people as a country that champions the environment. Around the world adverts declaring "100% Pure New Zealand" are seen to show case the amazing natural beauty of the country and the green view of its inhabitants. Growing up in the UK, where the environment has be degraded beyond repair in many areas and where 'Wilderness' no longer really exists, I had always had admiration for New Zealand and its people. A lot of their past conservation programs and fisheries policies have been seen as progressive, but today my illusion was shattered. I have been made aware of two things that show that the greeness, on which New Zealand reputation rests upon, is slowly slipping away: New Zealand was the country to vote against protecting the critically endangered maui's dolphin; a proposal to protect the Ross Sea was thwarted on the basis that it was "not consistent with the Government's economic growth objectives". The Ross Sea proposal was also a week one, protecting all areas except the valuable fishing grounds (which need protection the most). It saddens me that New Zealand's environmental policies may one day look like those of its Antipodean cousin, Australia. Australia may be a lot of good things, but a leader in sustainable environmental policy is not one of them.
I am a behavioural ecologist, my main interests revolve around familial conflicts and their resolutions. However, my scientific interests are fairly broad.