Population Growth Model

From my submission on the 2007 Draft Annual Plan & LTCCP Review…

Recommendations:

– That GDC Population Growth Model include the anticipated net impacts(including anticipated level and impact of mitigation strategies) of climate change over the next 20-50 years on populations in each locality in its Population Growth Model.

That GDC Population Growth Model include the anticipated net impacts of Maori migration over the next 20-50 years on the populations in each locality in its population.

That GDC support investigations into opportunities for supporting a de-urbanisation movement that would result in more people moving to rural lifestyles that increase self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on resources being transported into the region from other parts of the planet and other parts the country (often back into the region after being grown here and shipped to a distribution centre outside the region only to return to shops here).

 That GDC do not include the text on page 313 “However, even if the older segment of the population increases, putting pressure on accommodation suitable for senior citizens, the Council will not necessarily provide accommodation.”

That GDC policies and decisions are made on the basis of ‘human scale’ design and arrive at creative solutions that challenge and discredit the unsustainable mantra of ‘growth is good’

That GDC monitor income, health, education and justice disparities in the region as well as ‘connectedness’ indicators to measure progress toward a more or less inclusive society.

Rationale:

The Population Growth Model included in the Annual Plan and Amendments to the Community Plan do not seem to take account of the body of knowledge around the impacts of climate change on the region (such as the recent UNIPCC Report that predicts collapse of East Coast forestry and farming industries due to massive droughts that make human habitation on the Coast increasingly marginal).

Neither does the Model include reference to the likely net increase in Maori returning to the region as to be ‘Maori’ becomes increasingly connected with a tangible and regular connection to ancestral marae and hapu.

Social housing should not be ruled out as an activity GDC will be remain involved with and potentially increase involvement with. This, along with a range of related social issues needs to be debated much more widely and cannot be adequately addressed until an acceptable Social Policy is adopted by GDC.

Popular economic growth models based on ‘growth is good’ philosophies are championed by people who want to accumulate surplus value (capital) at the expense of other people and finite natural resources. The social and political and environmental downsides of globalisation are becoming increasingly apparent cannot be offset by economic considerations, the economic story is not a good one either. “National governments have found the going tough and internationally the economy has grown quite slowly since globalisation and has been marked by tremendous inequities and uncertainties and instabilities.
If we’re drawing up a balance sheet, and we can show that it’s not very strong on the economic side, that then frees us to look at the political and environmental and social consequences that I think are inimical to the kind of world economy we’re trying to develop.
It’s not surprising that people have on the whole been persuaded that globalisation has meant better times because for some people it has. What you have to ask is, but which people? It turns out that those who have done well, both globally and within national economies, have been the top ten or twenty per cent. They are able to develop the myth of better times for all by virtue of their ability to influence the way the media treats these issues. The facts show that many people – certainly those below the median point and some of those even above it – have not done well out of globalisation, and that’s true in strictly economic terms as well as in terms of controlling their own lives and influencing events close to home.”
– Bryan Gould, The Democracy Sham (interview on National Radio, 10/09/06)

Existing indicators associated with Community Outcomes are arbitrary and measuring levels of equality and residents sense of connectedness to their family members, neighbours and community are more important and meaningful indicators that the measures currently in the Community Plan.

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