As part of our celebration of the first decade of nzherald.co.nz, Esther Goh asked those in the know to predict how the country will look over the next ten years.
Cameron Bagrie - ANZ National chief economist
The medium term prognosis is actually pretty good, we've just got to hold our breath and navigate through the current mess. The next three years are going to be very tough. But there's the growing importance of Asia, what they want and what we sell. New Zealand is rich in natural resources. There's a lot we can build a strong economy around. We need to be earning our way to growth as opposed to spending it.
Richard MacManus - Editor, Readwriteweb.com
Media properties experiment with different and innovative types of online advertising. Microsoft releases a cool online version of Office, but then Google releases an amazing new version of Google Docs. Health web applications start getting attention from mainstream people and media. Applications that do filtering, inferring and recommendation have a great year, several will release plug-ins for Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook and other 'sipping from the firehose' applications.
Haddon Smith - musician, The Electric Confectionaires
The way people access and enjoy music is moving away from traditional sources and becoming more personalised. It's becoming easier for people to find a wealth of different music from around the world, and to develop their own personal taste.
I think this is having an effect on the music scene, as musicians draw from a wider range of influences when writing. This will mean that the variety and depth of the music being produced will continue to grow.
Tee Twyford - Editor-in-chief, Flossie Media Group
How the next decade unfolds will be really interesting to watch mostly as a result of the two big Eco words; the economy and ecological climate. As consumers we're going to be forced to question our behaviour, habits and actions. Brands that thrive will be those that are nimble enough to move with consumer demand and give us what we want, when we want it and how we want it. And if you're not going to offer it to us, who else is doing it better, for less money and with less environmental impact?
Products and services that recognise and reward consumer choice will also thrive - why pay for expensive toll calls when you can video call someone for free? We're also experiencing a revival of nostalgia with homely activities such as gardening, DIY, baking etc and a bigger interest in health and wellbeing. Old is the new new.
Grahame Sydney - Artist
The future of the arts is bound to mirror the increasingly multicultural elements in New Zealand society, steering away from the Eurocentric emphasis. The increasing separation and difference between north and south will be reflected in arts practice. They're becoming distinctly different culturally.
There'll be a powerful reaction long term against things which may be temporarily trendy but have no resonance long term&the less apparently meaningful art activities that seem to be currently indulged especially by politically-supported agencies.
Possibly a return to more traditional forms - painting, drawing, which have been almost eliminated from our art schools. And given the lead by some of our brilliant filmmakers and musicians, New Zealand culture will continue to find a very distinctive regional quality as it has through the likes of Peter Jackson's work.
Ian Pool - Professor of Demography, University of Waikato
Population growth will be slow and that's been the pattern for the last couple of decades. Fertility is relatively low and also migration - although it's peaked over the long run, it doesn't contribute as much to growth as people imagine.
We're at the end of a period which had maximum numbers of people entering the workforce - a window of opportunity - which produces a demographic dividend. The dividend comes because you've got more people in the working ages and fewer at the younger and older ages.
We had that for a long time because of our baby boom, which in New Zealand went on until the mid 1970s. Then we had a baby blip around 1990 and those people are reaching the labour force about now. It's the end of the dividend and we have failed miserably to exploit this demographic. We need to make sure these people are well educated, well trained, and retain them in New Zealand.
Kim Dunstan - Senior Demographer, Statistics NZ
A general aging of the population is one of the more significant trends. That will accelerate after 2011 when the large numbers of people born in the 1950s and 1960s reach retirement. This aging is being experienced around the world, in both developed and less developed countries. There's increasing ethnic diversity faster growth of Maori, Pacific and Asian populations and a trend toward smaller average household sizes.
Both population and labour force predictions suggest slower growth in the future. Historically our population has grown because of the difference between births and deaths with migration playing a secondary role. In future the gap between births and deaths is predicted to narrow; we will see growth but not at the same rates as the last decade.
Dr Christopher van der Krogt - Lecturer, Religious Studies, Massey University
The number of people who claim no religion seems to be growing... currently just over 30%. It seems younger New Zealanders are not usually attracted to what we might call heritage churches; they're more likely to be attracted to churches that offer religious experience. The Pentecostal and Evangelical churches are very influenced by American religion in their beliefs, styles of worship and music.
Immigration accounts for the rise in Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. The challenge for these groups will be to hold on to the next generation. While tradition means little to most New Zealanders, it means a lot to recent migrants. New Zealanders of long standing are not very religious on the whole, but some are attracted to experiential religion. In a few cases they experiment with New Age beliefs. More recent New Zealanders find value in religion as a means of sustaining identity in an unfamiliar land.
Anthony Scott - Chief executive, Science New Zealand
Science has been important to our past and will be important to our future. We're still very reliant upon our commodities and they are reliant upon science. We need to retain and recruit the best and we need a culture change that recognises we can only reverse our relative decline by investing in ideas which are going to support us and make a difference.
Other countries have invested in science and technology and given huge status to scientists and innovators. Consequently we're losing ground. We have excellent people in this country but we can't provide the facilities and resources other countries do.
We'll see science specifically around environmental integrity; being able to assure people that the products they're buying or services they're getting are underpinned by sound environmental practice, that we're looking after and protecting our environment.
Dr David Wratt - Chief Scientist and National Climate Centre Leader, NIWA
Greenhouse gases are causing the world to warm up. There will be variations in the climate like we've always had - we'll continue to have quite a bit of variation between the years - but the overall trend will be getting warmer.
In the next ten years it's likely we'll get a year even warmer than 1998 our warmest year so far. Sea levels may face an upward trend, we might see up to an 80cm rise over the next hundred years. It all depends on global emissions, on how other countries try to reduce their output.By Esther Goh Email Esther