Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Sustainable futures

We are investigating long-term sustainable development policies in New Zealand and overseas and are researching ways to enable change towards sustainability, developing tools and methods to support this.

We have developed quantitative and qualitative scenarios, which have been disseminated through a range of formal presentations and our 'Futures Game' sessions. We are also developing scenarios for businesses outlining the potential changes, challenges and opportunities for specific business sectors.

The 'Futures Game' process has been developed for local government and business to promote long-term thinking and increase understanding of the requirement for, and implications of, sustainable development. This game has been applied successfully at TIANZ, Local Government NZ, the Public Health Association, Ministry of Transport, DOC, MfE and others.

End-users of our research are in central and local government (e.g. SSC, Secondary Futures, MoRST, CCC, ECan), sectoral organisations (e.g. TIANZ. PCE), and other organisations and communities (e.g. Hui Taumata) and businesses (Fonterra, Plastics New Zealand). We also have good contacts with the business sector and the Australasian Joint Agencies Scanning Group.

Work areas:

  • Series of qualitative scenarios for New Zealand in 20 and 50 years
  • 'Futures Game' to promote long-term thinking and increase understanding of the requirement for, and implications of, sustainable development
  • Business future scenarios - What changes might businesses face over the next 30 years and what opportunities are starting to develop? What can businesses do today to be better prepared for tomorrow?


  • Frame B, Bebbington J 2012. A comparison of the national sustainable development strategies for New Zealand and Scotland. International journal for sustainable development 15(3): 249-276.
  • Frame B, Collins A, Gordon R 2011. New Zealand, new futures, new ways of science engaging with society? New Zealand science review 68(1): 24-27.
  • Frame B, O'Connor M 2011. Integrating valuation and deliberation: the purposes of sustainability assessment. Environmental science & policy 14(1): 1-10.
  • Pride S, Frame B, Gill D 2010. Futures literacy in New Zealand. Journal of futures studies 15(1): 135-144.
  • Bebbington J, Higgins C, Frame B 2009. Initiating sustainable development reporting: evidence from New Zealand. Accounting, auditing & accountability journal 22(4): 588-625.
  • Frame B, Cavanagh J 2009. Experiences of sustainability assessment: An awkward adolescence. Accounting Forum(33): 195-208.
  • Frame B 2008. 'Wicked', 'messy', and 'clumsy': long-term frameworks for sustainability. Environment and Planning C-Government and Policy 26(6): 1113-1128.
  • Frame B, Brown J 2008. Developing post-normal technologies for sustainability. Ecological economics 65(2): 225-241.
  • Gill D, Frame B, Pride S 2008. New Zealand: Future Maker or Future Taker? Public sector December: 6-7.
  • Taylor R, Frame B 2008. Engaging with uncertain futures - a scenarios game. Future times 1: 5-6.
  • Bebbington J, Brown J, Frame B 2007. Accounting technologies and sustainability assessment models. Ecological economics 61(2-3): 224-236.
  • Bebbington J, Brown J, Frame B, Thomson I 2007. Theorizing engagement: the potential of a critical dialogic approach. Accounting, auditing & accountability journal 20(3): 356-381.
  • Frame B, Newton B 2007. Promoting sustainability through social marketing: examples from New Zealand. International journal of consumer studies 31(6): 571-581-.
  • Taylor R, Frame B, Delaney K, Brignall-Theyer M 2007. Work in progress : four future scenarios for New Zealand. Lincoln, New Zealand, Manaaki Whenua Press. 1-108 p.
  • Cavanagh JE, Frame B, Lennox J 2006. The Sustainability Assessment Model (SAM): measuring sustainable development performance. Australasian journal of environmental management 13: 142-145.
  • Frame B, Gordon R, Turney I 2005. The emissions / biodiversity exchange : a corporate sustainable development programme in New Zealand. In: Begg K, van der Woerd F, Levy D ed. The business of climate change : corporate responses to Kyoto. Sheffield, Greenleaf Publishing. Pp. 231-241.
  • Frame B, Molisa P, Taylor R, Toia H, Wong LS 2005. 100% pure conjecture : accounts of our future state(s) : screenplay. In: Liu JH, McCreanor T, McIntosh T, Teaiwa T ed. New Zealand identities : departures and destinations. Wellington, Vicoria University Press. Pp. 255-290.
  • Frame B, Taylor R 2005. Partnerships for sustainability: effective practice? Local environment 10(3): 275-298.
  • Frame B, McGuinness W, Gordon R 2003. Reinforcing a clean green brand : an overview of sustainable development reporting in New Zealand. Accountability quarterly 21: 23-28.
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