Keeping it Pure: could New Zealand be an eco paradise?

I Yeoman, M Palomino-Schalscha, Una McMahon-Beattie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AbstractPurpose – The world is changing and key change agents include climate change and scarcity of resources. This research paper aims to explore how New Zealand and tourism could address the future and generate appropriate strategic responses.Design/methodology/approach – Using the process of scenario analysis and drawing on recent research from the project, this paper describes the circumstances, drivers, economic consequences and key decisions that New Zealand would have to take in order to position itself as an eco paradise. The background to the scenario presumes over-arching behaviours in a co-operative world in which resources are scarce.Findings – The scenario portrays a future of collective individualism, where a high degree of personal freedom exists, but within the constraints of a world in which there is a scarcity of resources. A communitarian ethos drives policy-making, with an emphasis on efficient resource use and waste minimisation. New Zealand is a nation favoured by climate change. Environmental intellectual property is one of the nation’s key resources and in the spirit of achieving a global environmental equilibrium these technologies are shared with the rest of the world. Life is simple. Competitive individualism is equated with excess and resource waste, while cooperation, harmony, and the continuation of a global co-operative psyche are seen as the foundation stones of the continued, relatively comfortable survivalof humanity. Tourism is a luxury and activities are environmentally ethical. Visitors are well off, purposeful, highly respectful and careful to prove their worth.Originality/value – Eco paradise represents the classic tale of a prisoner’s dilemma in which decision-makers and consumers ponder the betterment of humankind against individualism. The scenario concludes with a strategic map of the core decisions which New Zealand’s tourism industry would have to take. The significance of the paper is its portrayal of a possible future to industry leaders, researchers and stakeholders, thereby facilitating decision-making in order to adapt to this future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-36
JournalJournal of Tourism Futures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Bleasdale, S. (2006), ‘‘Connecting paradise, culture and tourism in Tunisia’’, Journal of Intercultural
Studies, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 447-460.
Bergman, A., Karlsson, J.C. and Axelsson, J. (2010), ‘‘Truth claims and explanatory claims –
an ontological typology of future studies’’, Futures, Vol. 42 No. 8, pp. 857-865.
Bose, S. and Muthukumar, R. (2011), ‘‘‘100% Pure New Zealand’ Destination Branding Campaign:
Marketing New Zealand to the World’’, IBS Center for Management Research, Hyderabad.
Brown, G. (2009), ‘‘Utopian cities’’, in Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (Eds), International Encyclopedia of
Human Geography, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 125-130.
Clemons, E.K. and Schimmelbusch, H. (2007), ‘‘The Environmental Prisoners Dilemma or We’re All in
This Together: Can I Trust You to Figure it Out?’’, available at:,clemons/
blogs/prisonersblog.pdf (accessed 15 July 2012).
Connell, J. (2003), ‘‘Island dreaming: the contemplation of Polynesian paradise’’, Journal of Historical
Geography, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 554-581.
Connell, J., Page, S. and Bentley, S. (2009), ‘‘Towards sustainable tourism planning in New Zealand:
monitoring local government planning under the Resource Management Act’’, Tourism Management,
Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 867-877.
Costa, J.A. (1998), ‘‘Paradisal discourse: a critical analysis of marketing and consuming Hawaii’’,
Consumption Markets & Culture, Vol. 1 No. 4, pp. 303-346.
Coyle, F. and Fairweather, J. (2005), ‘‘Challenging a place myth: New Zealand’s clean green image
meets the biotechnology revolution’’, Area, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 148-158.
Department of Conservation (2014), ‘‘General Policy for National Parks – The Purpose of National
Parks’’, available at:
general-policy-for-national-parks/introduction/the-purpose-of-national-parks/ (accessed 7 April).
Diamond, J. (2005), Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive: How Societies Choose to Fail or
Succeed, Penguin, London.
Dredge, D. and Jenkins, J. (2007), Tourism Planning and Policy, Wiley, Milton.
Echtner, C. (2010), ‘‘Paradise without people: exclusive destination promotion’’, Tourism Culture
& Communication, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 83-99.
Eden, C. and Ackerman, F. (1998), Strategy Making, Sage, London.
Food Agricultural Organization (2012), The State of Food and Agriculture 2012, Food and Agricultural
Organization of the United Nations, Paris.
Hall, M. (2010), ‘‘Tourism destination branding and its effects on national branding strategies: brand
New Zealand, clean and green but is it smart?’’, European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and
Recreation, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 68-89.
Hedre´ n, J. and Linne´ r, B.-O. (2009), ‘‘Utopian thought and sustainable development’’, Futures, Vol. 41
No. 4, pp. 197-200.
Howe, C. (2012), ‘‘Beyond Rio? Paradise lost’’, Report for the World Wildlife Fund, Wellington, available
NZs-natural-heritage (accessed 1 December 2012).
Huff, A. (1990), Mapping Strategic Thought, Wiley, Chichester.
International Energy Agency (2010), World Energy Outlook 2010, OECD, Paris.
Levitas, R. (1990), The Concept of Utopia, Phillip Allen, Oxford.
Lindgren, M. and Bandhold, H. (2009), Scenario Planning: The Link between Future and Strategy,
Palgrave Macmillan, New York, NY.
Kraftl, P. (2007), ‘‘Utopia, performativity and the unhomely’’, Environment and Planning D: Society and
Space, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 120-143.
Krautkraemer, J. (2005), Economics of Natural Resource Scarcity: The State of the Debate, Resources
for the Future, Washington, DC.


  • Scenario planning
  • Trends
  • Sustainability
  • Ecotourist
  • New Zealand


Dive into the research topics of 'Keeping it Pure: could New Zealand be an eco paradise?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this