Academic journal article New Zealand Sociology

New Environmentalism: Managing New Zealand's Environmental Diversity

Academic journal article New Zealand Sociology

New Environmentalism: Managing New Zealand's Environmental Diversity

Article excerpt

Chris R de Freitas and Martin Perry (2012) New Environmentalism: Managing New Zealand's Environmental Diversity London: Springer

Reviewed by Raewyn Peart

New Environmentalism provides a thorough overview of environmental management in New Zealand. The book is targeted at the tertiary educational market, with each chapter commencing with a set of key questions and a list of key concepts and terms. Case studies are highlighted in text boxes. At the end of each chapter there is a useful summary of the key points and discussion questions.

Chapter one sets out the conceptual framework for the book, which is encapsulated by the term 'new environmentalism', which is also used for the book's title. As described by the authors, this concept is driven by three key trends: pressured and declining natural resources; greater transparency in the environmental performance of businesses and public agencies provided by the development of information technology; and increasing consumer expectations driving a greening of business. The chapter goes on to describe how these trends have affected New Zealand's approach to environmental management.

Chapter two describes the different tools which can be deployed by environmental managers including regulatory, economic and voluntary instruments. It usefully identifies the circumstances in which different tools might prove most effective.

Chapter three reviews the legal and policy framework, and the statutory agencies tasked with environmental management in New Zealand. It concludes with the identification of some key weaknesses in New Zealand's current environmental management system including a lack of a national urban environmental agency, lack of attention to the marine environment, and weaknesses in the allocation of natural resources.

Chapter four reviews key environmental principles such as sustainability, the precautionary principle and polluter pays. It then discusses different approaches to state of the environment reporting including using a pressure-state-response framework, composite indicators and ecological footprint analysis.

The remaining chapters in the book focus on specific environments including land, freshwater, ocean and coast, air and the urban environment. These bring together a wealth of material on the issues affecting these environments and how they are currently managed.

The final chapter of the book seeks to synthesise the previous material. …

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