In the wake of the Christchurch earthquake and the global financial crisis some harsh realities became apparent:
- Government resources aren’t unlimited. Welfare, infrastructure, investments and even insurance are not a certainty anymore. The government is propping itself up with assets sales and more debt as social costs balloon. This is unsustainable.
- Our communities are very vulnerable to the international globalised economy with its focus on specialisation and mono-culture, unsustainable debt, huge appetite for resources and preoccupation with increasing GDP at any cost.
- A consumerist, individualistic society that has left its moral and spiritual roots in the pursuit of entertainment and short-term gratification is a weak and vulnerable society that simply falls prey to whatever the advertisers desire – everything become valued only in economic terms and people become no more than commodities.
- We can’t look to international bailouts – we are the ones who will be bailing them out. We can’t look to tourism or exports when the rest of the world is in more critical meltdown than we are.
- Globalisation and free-trade agreements with China haven’t been the silver-bullet that was promised. Instead in NZ we have lost jobs, skills, people and heart. Our young people are only left with the empty promise of a possible job in an irrelevant industry after accumulating massive student debt. The tertiary education sector is mostly just providing jobs for educators.
- Our obsession with and dependence on unlimited petroleum-based transport in our cars, ships and planes is coming to an end. We must look at sustainable alternatives.
After the earthquake in Christchurch struck, many of New Zealand’s top Christian leaders were gathering near Wellington. Leading Maori spokesman Sam Chapman said:
“Why we do wait for a crisis to realise just how precious we are to each other? We’ve got a whole society out there saying, “Love me before I become a statistic! Don’t wait till something goes wrong. Love me today!” I hope that out of the rubble, not just materially, but spiritually, psychologically, that the lessons we learn from tragedies like today, and there will be more . . . lets love each other! Lets not wait.”