New Zealand’s original settlers — the Māori— learned that, to thrive on a small island nation with limited resources, they needed to treasure what they had.
New Zealand is so isolated by our South Pacific geography that the first inhabitants had no choice but to learn to live sustainably, generation after generation.
In the world view of these people, natures resources belonged to the earth, and people were welcome to use of these gifts, as long as they did so respectfully.
This custodial responsibility is enshrined in the Maori concept of kaitiakitanga (pron. kay-tee-AH-key-tung-uh — transl. guardianship). It’s a concept that has become mainstream throughout New Zealand government and the business community.
By international standards our commitment to sustainability is high; for example, almost one third of New Zealand land is under the protection of the central government’s Department of Conservation, with over 70% of our electricity generated from renewable resources.