Explore as a

Share our content

The Sustainable Carrying Capacity of New Zealand

2013: The Society’s two papers published in 2013 on "The Sustainable Carrying Capacity of New Zealand" and "Constraints to New Zealand’s Sustainable Well-being" address the question of how many people, and to what standard of living, can New Zealand support sustainably? This simple question opens up a range of complex issues about well-being, living standards, thresholds, limits, and vulnerabilities.

Sustainability launch 15 March 2013 560x308

Dr Daniel Rutledge, Dr Jez Weston, Dr Suzie Greenhalgh, Ella Lawton


Download the papers here

 These papers explore recent research (and research gaps) in New Zealand and abroad that provides a perspective on the links between the economy and the environment:

  • When can we separate increasing well-being from increasing environmental impact?
  • What resources do we depend upon and which scarcities can we trade our way around?
  • When can collaborative processes be used to make trade-offs and what are the limitations of those processes?
  • How do living standards, lifestyles, income, well-being, and environmental impact interact for New Zealanders?
  • What does the concept of carrying capacity add to the multifaceted conversation about sustainability? 

These questions were addressed at a discussion seminar at the Society’s offices in Wellington on Friday 15 March 2013.

Speakers and presentations at the launch: