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John Peet

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Retired Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Qualifications: BSc (Chem Tech)(Edin), PhD (Chem Eng)(Canty), FIPENZ, FIChemE, FNZIC, MRSNZ.

Following is a list of some of the non-government organisations to which I have become more committed, since retirement – or as I prefer to call it, entry into my Third Age (the age of active retirement)!

  • Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR – ). I am a Past President and member of the Canterbury Branch Committee, and am also the ESR contact person for the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES).
  • Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand (SANZ – During the last few years I have been working with others, initially under the umbrella of the Royal Society of New Zealand in the Sustainable Development Forum, to develop a better scientific & technological understanding of the meaning of sustainability and sustainable development policy options for New Zealand. The Forum was renamed and extended as SANZ, and I am an elected member of the Board, currently holding the Chair.
  • Sustainable Otautahi Christchurch (SOC –, a Christchurch-based group working for long-term sustainability in the city of Christchurch. I am one of the founder members and past Chair.
  • The Sustainability Society: a Technical Interest Group of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand ( I am a Board member of this society, formerly the NZ Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science (NZSSES).
  • Network Waitangi Otautahi (, whose emphasis is on encouraging those who do not have Maori ancestry to understand the Treaty of Waitangi. We promote Sustainable Development and have a strong commitment to taking a Community Development approach. I am a core group member.

Readers may be aware of the recent series of severe earthquakes in my home city of Christchurch, culminating in the loss of 182 lives and severe damage to property in many areas of the city. Some thousands of homes are to be demolished as a result along with about half of the central business district buildings. I have been appointed as a member of the Canterbury Earthquake Community Forum, to engage with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Forum and the Minister, in the recovery of the greater Christchurch area.

I am currently on the Editorial Boards of the journal Ecological Economics, the International Journal of Sustainable Development (IJSD), the International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology (IJARGE), the International Journal of Transdisciplinary Research (IJTR) and Pacific Ecologist. Until recently I was a member of the Board of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE).

In all of the above, I have been considerably resourced by my membership for over 20 years of The International Network of Resource Information Centers (INRIC), commonly known as The Balaton Group (, an international network of researchers and practitioners in fields related to systems and sustainability. For reasons of distance in particular, I am no longer able to attend annual meetings regularly, but I keep in touch via their website, and maintain a level of collaboration with others in the group. I value this connection very highly, as a resource and an inspiration.