Fragmentation or Evolution? Understanding Change Within the New Zealand Environmental Movement

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The contemporary New Zealand environmental movement emerged in the 1960s to challenge large-scale development projects, represented by the ‘Save Manapouri’ campaign. The movement grew in the 1970s and 1980s before subsequently declining in scale, reflecting partial success with the institutionalization of environmental issues. Concurrent with institutionalization and declining levels of activism has been growth in the number and range of community-based environmental groups. This article draws on interviews conducted with activists and officials to develop an understanding of the relationship between these trends. The aim is to (1) outline the factors that have shaped the character of the New Zealand environmental movement and (2) determine how the movement has evolved in relation to external pressures. The findings suggest that although the environmental movement is less visible than in earlier periods, it retains an important position, with latent potential for future mobilization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Civil Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2013

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  • Protest
  • Involution
  • Environmental Movement
  • New Zealand
  • Community restoration

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