Steve Kilgallon at Stuff reports:
Rather proving Ballingall’s assertion that politicians have steered clear of population debate because it touches upon such sensitivities as immigration, the Greens remain the only party with a population policy.
Theirs is based on New Zealand’s “ecological carrying capacity”, basically how many people per hectare the environment can sustain. Kennedy Graham says 5.7 million has been suggested as a possible population limit.
Graham says the world’s ecological footprint is already 50 per cent over-capacity; New Zealand requires 4.9 hectares per person when we should need only 1.8, making us the 32nd worst country in the world. Therefore, says Graham, you could argue there are already enough of us.
Graham seems to be suggesting we should ideally have 2.8 million fewer New Zealanders. That’s an even more ambitious popullation reduction target than their climate change policy which is to shoot one in five cows to reduce their methane emissions.
The Greens official population policy states we should have an upper limit for NZ’s population and “The population cannot be increased beyond its capacity to offset its greenhouse gas emissions“.
They also are worried not about NZers going to Australia but vice-versa:
With predictions of continuing drought and water shortages it is possible that there could be an increase in immigrants from Australia, who are not covered by the immigration quota.The ability of the environment to sustain the present and future population is not a consideration in current immigration policies. A surge in population could see the population pushed beyond a sustainable level.
No, no, the invasion of the Australians must be stopped!
But the Greens do have hope for us:
By reducing our ecological footprint through means such as more densely clustered housing and a simpler (low meat/ low dairy) diet, we may be able to increase our population levels while remaining within the carrying capacity of the land.
Yes, if we all become vegans and give up dairy then you may be allowed to have children!