• 2023- NZ News & Media


    20 March, 2023


    Catherine Knight PhD


    "Let’s democratise economics and tell politicians, policymakers and economists that we want the economy to work for people and the planet, not the other way around."







    Piers Locke PhD, Hugh Ferguson, Tāne Feary




    Catherine Knight PhD


    “In spite of the name, degrowth advocates do not suggest the carte blanche reduction of economic activity. They propose the downscaling of parts of the economy that do little to contribute to human wellbeing while causing enormous harm to the environment. Examples of such sectors are industrialised meat and dairy production, fast fashion, advertising, cars and SUVs, and aviation."



    Jack Santa Barbara PhD


    ".. We need a big rethink of how we do things, how we conceive of the future, and what we regard as most important. Such a rethink can be applied not only to “rebuilding” the devastation of the past two storms. It can also be applied to redesigning any new developments we undertake. Doing the same as we did before will only make things worse.

    Perhaps discussing such redesign plans for your community now is a useful adaptation process for when a disaster strikes closer to home."



    28 Feb, 2023


    Fliss Butcher


    "It is time to move from the endless pursuit of growth to the next phase – degrowth. Time to focus on environmental and human wellbeing. Others have been leading the discussion about Degrowth on Newsroom (Jack Santa Barbara, Rod Oram, Catherine Knight, Jess Berentson-Shaw), all offering informative, solid arguments for business-not-as-usual. My focus here is a solution regarding the environment and the climate crisis."



    26 Feb, 2023


    Jennifer Wilkins


    “New Zealand’s continuing confidence in GDP growth as a necessary and sufficient indicator of national prosperity and welfare is nostalgic. It is traceable to the mid-1960s when a sharp fall in the price of wool created a major economic crisis to which the government and businesses of the day responded with a cohesive plan for multi-sector growth.


    Today, however, reliance on growth seems misplaced given that it is coupled with environmental degradation that has now reached epic proportions. Old habits are hard to break, it seems, even when they’re destructive..


    ..The nascent concept of a wellbeing economy is being squeezed out by the longstanding myth that economic growth is the best and simplest lead indicator of future national prosperity and welfare. GDP growth seems to be the enduring comfort zone for politicians, the media, business and the public. It’s almost as if it is tied to the national identity, a reflection of who we’ve been - who we’ve struggled to be – and, it seems, who we still are. But does it reflect who we want to become?”


    25 Feb, 2023


    Catherine Knight PhD


    "Amid the incomprehensible destruction and tragedy that has unfolded over the past few weeks – first the catastrophic North Island floods and then the apocalyptic scenes left after Cyclone Gabrielle – two glimmerings of a better future have bubbled up among the silt and debris-laden floodwaters.


    That is, the importance of localism and human connection.


    Only system-wide change will enable us to DOWNSCALE our economy in time to have any chance of averting catastrophe.”




    Jennifer Wilkins


    The Mana Kai Framework is a set of values,

    goals and objectives to improve the food

    provisioning system in Aotearoa New Zealand,

    developed through a round of nationwide

    consultations, with the ultimate purpose of

    informing a National Food Strategy.




    14 Feb, 2023


    Catherine Knight PhD


    "There are still many more questions around how we might design and achieve a truly wellbeing-centred economy – and the degrowth scholarship is alert to these unknowns – but isn’t now the time to be asking and exploring these questions? There are numerous bright minds in government, industry and in academia who are thinking deeply about these issues. Why not bring these people together to undertake an honest and robust examination of the pathways offered by degrowth and other postgrowth economic scholarship and how policies might be designed to guide us away from the precipice and towards a future where our economic system is in balance with the natural world?"



    The Future Must Use Less Energy

    2 Feb, 2023


    Catherine Knight PhD


    ".. For those who think degrowth sounds like a radical, subversive term that is dangerous to even contemplate – think again: Air New Zealand has among its advisers a degrowth academic – Professor Tim Jackson. Maybe Air NZ executives have seen these graphs and know what lies ahead – that it is not more exponential growth enabled by a one-off bonanza of cheap and plentiful fossil fuel.

    The sooner we grasp the reality of energy descent, the sooner we can make an ordered, just transition to a future in which we use less but have more – of the things that really matter."



    Catherine Knight PhD


    ".. At a local level, councils could be encouraging and supporting urban and peri-urban community gardens or food forests, perhaps using under-utilised council land. Community composting would mean that the valuable nutrients in organic waste can be used to grow food rather than contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in landfills. These initiatives would not only increase local resilience and improve access to fruit and vegetables among our most vulnerable communities, but also strengthen social (including intergenerational) connection, enhance ties to place/whenua and nurture an attitude of kaitiakitanga/stewardship of the land, support healthy lifestyles, and provide people with essential skills (how to grow their own food).


    Only we as New Zealanders can strengthen our country’s resilience against future shocks. Improving food security, especially at the regional level, would be a good place to start."



    Catherine Knight PhD


    ".. So, despite all the noise we are bombarded with, solving the climate and ecological crises could not in fact be any simpler – we need to consume less energy and resources and bring our economies back within planetary boundaries.


    Other than leave our car in the garage and switch lights off when we are not using them, what can you and I do? Urge our government to implement policies that put human and ecological wellbeing at their centre, not growth."