on sustainability and what we leave behind

At the time of writing this editorial, I am due to have our second baby. It really puts things into perspective. We’re bringing a new life into this world, full of complex paradigms and paradoxes. Planet Earth; wars and waterfalls, famine and family, smartphones and novels, beaches, rivers, role-models, media, creativity, peer pressure, virtue, education, enterprise, and relationship. We are bringing new life into a world of great challenge, and beautiful hope.

In this issue of Flint and Steel we traverse the landscape of what we mean by sustainability. Not a hollow PR exercise, not a tree-hugging ideology—nor an attempt to sate our guilty hearts and minds—but a genuine search for truth, a hope to maintain, restore, and even create beauty; a call to us all to be responsible and accountable.

Not just to the land, or water, or sky, but to ‘the after-comers’—our children and grandchildren, the ones who will come after us. Those who will inherit our planet, our philosophies, our economy, our education system, our national strengths, and failures. They will inherit our proud moments and the things that make us who we are—our work ethic, our Kiwi ingenuity, our bi-cultural history, and multi-cultural reality. This issue of Flint and Steel asks the provocative question: What heritage do we wish to leave behind? What is it that we want to sustain?

In this edition you will find a collection of stories to spark your thinking around sustainability in every sense of the word. As Timothy Allan, founder of Locus Research said, “if you like New Zealand, and you like it the way it is, then you need to take responsibility for the things you do.” This sentiment applies across every article in this issue. Call it what you will—preservation, conservation, or kaitiakitanga (guardianship)—we have a responsibility to act and think in way that is sustainable.

Throughout the country, great people are grappling with what this idea means for them:  their industry; their community; their family. As the editorial team approached this year’s theme, we looked to friends, colleagues, supporters, and our wider community to find just a few examples of people who are doing this well. Many of our contributors have shared with us their life’s work. They are people who we know are committed to leaving this country better than they found it, for the after-comers—often at great personal cost.

I hope that whatever your situation, with whatever responsibility you have, in whatever shape that takes, these stories will spark a passion in you for the legacy you leave for those who are to come.

– Lindsay Faris, Commissioning Editor

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua – As man disappears from sight, the land remains. – Māori Proverb
green farm sustainability NZ
marae sustainability red carvings