2019 Toitū te Ao—Sustainability Week

Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington is at the forefront of tackling national and global sustainability issues.

Toitū te Ao—Sustainability Week, 9–13 September 2019, gave the public an opportunity to learn more about our researchers’ discoveries and innovative ideas towards improving the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of the world around us.

The week also featured guest speakers such as former New Zealand Prime Minister and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme the Rt Hon. Helen Clark and School Strike 4 Climate national coordinator Sophie Handford.

Speakers discussed a range of topics, including what a more sustainable economy might look like, the role of mātauranga Māori, and being a sustainable citizen in the face of climate change.

Toitū te Ao—Sustainability Week culminated in the University announcing an ambitious plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. We are the first university in New Zealand to release such a comprehensive emissions management plan integrated with teaching, learning, and research opportunities.

Whai rawa, whai whakaaro, whai oranga - Sustaining the economy: Fresh thinking for national wellbeing

Experts from Wellington’s University and beyond explore ways in which to transform New Zealand’s economy and take it into the future.

Featuring Professor Ian O. Williamson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce at the University’s Wellington School of Business and Government; Professor Girol Karacaoglu, Head of the School of Government and a former Chief Economist at the New Zealand Treasury; Stephen Cummings, Professor of Strategy and Innovation in the School of Management and Director of innovation space The Atom; Professor Sarah McLaren, Director of the New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre in the School of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University; Dawn Baggaley, Head of Sustainability at New Zealand Post and board member of the Sustainable Business Network; and Amber Nicholson (Ngāruahine), a lecturer at AUT whose research focuses on Māori notions of wellbeing.

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Newsroom: Poverty the biggest enemy of the environment

Parangia ō Tātou Raraunga 101 - Getting our heads out of the cloud: Data deletion 101

Learn about the energy cost of all that data you are storing on your computer and online accounts—and ways to reduce it.

Featuring Professor Richard Arnold, Director of the Data Science programme in the University’s School of Mathematics and Statistics, and Walter Langelaar, Director of the Media Design programme in the School of Design Innovation.

Newsroom: How to reduce your data footprint

He kōwetewete me Helen Clark - Helen Clark in conversation

Featuring the Rt Hon. Helen Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, and Gill Greer, former Chief Executive of Volunteer Service Abroad, the National Council of Women and Family Planning New Zealand, and former Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Newsroom: Helen Clark on the case for sustainability optimism

Kotahi te anga whakamua―he tiaki taiao - Mātauranga Māori and sustainability

Explore the guidance of maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar), the thinking behind the University’s Living Pā, and Māori te taiao (environmental) initiatives.

Featuring Dr Pauline Harris, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Science in Society in the University’s Wellington Faculty of Science; Professor Rawinia Higgins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori); and Dr Ocean Mercier Van Berkel, Head of Te Kawa a Māui–School of Māori Studies.:

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Kia hāpai te tangata: me aha tātou kia rerekē ai - A climate of social action: What we can do to ensure change

What does it take to be a good citizen? What are our moral duties? What is just activism? What is the media’s role? Panellists consider these and other issues.

Featuring School Strike 4 Climate national co-ordinator Sophie Handford; RNZ National Mediawatch presenter Colin Peacock; social and behavioural psychologist Dr Wokje Abrahamse from the University’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences; Professor Simon Keller from the Philosophy programme; Jonathan Oosterman from the School of Social and Cultural Studies; and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Stuart Brock.

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Newsroom: Climate change as a psychological crisis

Newsroom: Climate despair and eco anxiety

E ahu pēhea ana tātou? He kauhau matua nā Ahorangi - Where to from here? Keynote lecture by Professor James Renwick

The climate expert and 2018 Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize recipient brings Toitū te Ao—Sustainability Week to a thought- and action-provoking close.

Professor James Renwick is Head of the University’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Studies. He led the organising committee for the 2016 and 2018 Pacific Climate Change Conferences co-hosted by the University, has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which informs global agreements on climate change action, and is convening lead author for the next IPCC assessment report, due in 2021.

Newsroom: Climate change: our next 'moonshot moment'?