"You're not a developing country, but you're behaving like one in some areas." New Zealand's record on species extinction, river pollution, and plans to mine conservation land was shocking, wildlife biologist Dr Barbara Maas said."Yes - when it comes to protecting our environment, water and natural places we act like there is no tomorrow, that everything will just carry on as it always has - but that is not the way it works. In every instant we are changing. Nothing is static, nothing is the same as it was. Constant change. We cannot go back because there is no 'back' - only forward.
"There are a lot of problems, really high nitrate levels in your water, because of fertiliser going into the oceans. Ninety per cent of your wetlands have been destroyed."
This month, The Dominion Post reported pollutants were still pouring into New Zealands's rivers, two years after a national inquiry proposed changes to help clean our water. Two years was too long to wait, Dr Maas said.
A Tourism New Zealand spokeswoman said 100% Pure New Zealand was not an environmental promise."And that sums it up really. Not a promise - not a goal or a desire - or even dare i say an aspiration. It is just to make money. And in that way we fit the 'developed' profile very well indeed.