Future NZ: Debate about our future starts here

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Shayne Currie, NZ Herald editor.
Shayne Currie, NZ Herald editor.

Who doesn't love to look forward? I was recently in a second-hand bookshop, thumbing through the Book of Predictions, published in 1981.

"By 2015", predicted the author, "the first permanent colony on the moon will open. Its primary function will be mining material for satellites." Granted, we still have a little over a year to go, but I think we'll miss this particular deadline. Same too, perhaps, for the Jetson-like cars I was once convinced we'd be flying by 2020.

With any birthday it's customary to reflect on the past but as we celebrate the NZ Herald's 150th anniversary, we've been determined to also look forward.

Today, in collaboration with Massey University, we consider and debate New Zealand's future prospects - for families, our health, population, business, trade and our cities. Some of the Herald's best journalists and commentators, along with Massey's experts, offer insight into how we're travelling, into 2014 and beyond.

There's a lot to be optimistic about, from our opportunities in agribusiness to the wide range of industries that offer so much growth potential. But we also face crucial questions: how do we create jobs that keep our kids in Godzone, the choices we face over energy technology and how to make the most of our ageing population.

Massey political commentator Claire Robinson tells us how she thinks the 2014 election will play out, while her colleague Richard Shaw outlines its key issues.

As the internet, social networking and smartphones have revolutionised the way we communicate, so, too, will future gadgets. Some seem a little scary, blurring the line between objects and bodies, with embedded medical devices that relay information to doctors.

Here at the Herald, we know only too well that change is constant. With a record daily print and online audience of more than 800,000 people, we're well placed to forge our way in the digital age. As our audience habits change, we need to be a step ahead to meet their demands.

Just as we've led the debate over the past 150 years, so, too, we want to spark discussion around the future. There's no better time to start than here. Thank you to Massey for supporting and contributing to what we are planning to be an annual publication. And who knows? By this time next year we may be close to a moon colony.

- NZ Herald

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