Morgan floats clean-river scheme

by Karl du Fresne / 07 February, 2013
Gareth Morgan is bankrolling a competition to find New Zealand’s cleanest river.
The Manganuioteao River flowing down from Mt Ruapehu
The Manganuioteao River flowing down from Mt Ruapehu, photo/David White


The echoes of his battle with cat lovers still ringing in his ears, economist-turned-philanthropist Gareth Morgan has already turned his attention to another environmental cause.

This one may be less contentious than his campaign to reduce the cat population. Morgan told the Listener he’s bankrolling a competition to find New Zealand’s cleanest river.

The Morgan Foundation will issue free water-testing kits to any town that requests one. Details have yet to be announced, but the aim is for communities to compete for the prestige of having the least polluted waterway. (Presumably steps will be taken to ensure cheats don’t take a sample from a virgin spring hidden in the hills.)

Morgan has assigned his business partner Andrew Gawith, with whom he has worked since setting up the Infometrics economic consultancy in 1982, to run the competition. As of March 31, both he and Gawith will be relieved of any involvement in Gareth Morgan Investments, which will be wholly run from that date by new owner Kiwibank.

“I told Andrew there’s only so much golf he can play,” says Morgan. “So he said yes.”

Unlikely winner: an unfenced stream in Northland
Unlikely winner: an unfenced stream in Northland, photo/David White


He describes the competition as another strand in his campaign to encourage New Zealanders to think of the environment as an asset of potentially immense economic value. Other Morgan initiatives, besides the Cats to Go project, include ridding the sub-Antarctic Antipodes Islands of mice and the much more ambitious goal of eradicating predators from Stewart Island, an exercise previously only attempted on much smaller islands.

Oh, and he wants to promote unification of the two Koreas – never mind that it’s a goal that has eluded world statesmen since before his birth.

See also:
Gareth Morgan: capitalist with a cause Subscriber contentIcon definitionSubscriber content
The Phoenix, Welnix and Gareth Morgan Subscriber contentIcon definitionSubscriber content
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Women in tech: Why the industry needs to fix its gender problem
71822 2017-04-27 15:48:38Z Technology

Women in tech: Why the industry needs to fix its g…

by Max Towle

Just under one in three IT grads in 2015 were women. But it’s not quite translating to the industry.

Read more
We shouldn't forget immigration is cyclical, too
71818 2017-04-27 15:21:44Z Social issues

We shouldn't forget immigration is cyclical, too

by The Listener

As we debate the “Goldilocks” size of our population, it's timely to remember that only five short years ago NZ was lamenting its net migration loss.

Read more
Who’s the We? Maori, Pakeha and an anthem's bonds of love
71511 2017-04-27 00:00:00Z History

Who’s the We? Maori, Pakeha and an anthem's bonds …

by North & South

'In the bonds of love we meet', goes our anthem. But who's the 'we'? Do modern histories focus too much on a clash between Maori and Pakeha?

Read more
Kaye expects 'healthy debate' over Te Reo in schools
71629 2017-04-27 00:00:00Z Currently

Kaye expects 'healthy debate' over Te Reo in schoo…

by RNZ

Any extension of teaching Te Reo in schools would depend on whether the resources are available for it, the incoming Education Minister says.

Read more
How Arthur Conan Doyle came to create Sherlock Holmes
71313 2017-04-27 00:00:00Z Books

How Arthur Conan Doyle came to create Sherlock Hol…

by Abbie Read

A new book tells how investigative chronicler Sir Arthur Conan Doyle came to create his famous private detective.

Read more
Book review: The Earth Cries Out by Bonnie Etherington
71595 2017-04-27 00:00:00Z Books

Book review: The Earth Cries Out by Bonnie Etherin…

by Paula Morris

A debut novelist finds inspiration in her New Guinea childhood.

Read more
How do New Zealanders rank as philanthropists?
71583 2017-04-27 00:00:00Z Business

How do New Zealanders rank as philanthropists?

by Sally Blundell

Kiwis take little persuasion to give to a good cause, but the demands are ever-growing. How much money gets to where it’s really needed?

Read more