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91245: Explain aspects of a contemporary New Zealand geographic issue

Updated December 2017. This document has been updated to reflect the change with the aspect relating to how a viewpoint has changed over time – version 3 of the standard.

The New Zealand geographic issue needs to be contemporary, unresolved and still causing concern. The issue must also be clearly geographic in nature and have a spatial dimension. The spatial dimension can range from a relatively small local issue, e.g. stream pollution, to larger regional or national issues. It is important that students can comprehensively explain aspects of the issue from a geographic perspective. 

The Conditions of Assessment provide guidance with regard to the input from the teacher and the provision of resources.

The nature of the geographic issue

Student descriptions should show how the location is significant to the issue and define the spatial dimension. Natural and/or cultural features relevant to the issue should be identified and the effects of the issue on people and the environment be described.

Different viewpoints held in relation to the issue

Students need to demonstrate a relatively complex understanding of different viewpoints. This will require access to a range of detailed resources; the provision of resources is commented on in the Conditions of Assessment. Two or three different viewpoints would be sufficient to meet the requirements of the standard.

How one viewpoint has changed over time

The focus of this aspect is on understanding that viewpoints can and do change over time for a variety of reasons. One of the viewpoints previously explained is sufficient to use for this aspect.

The approach to this aspect will be determined by the issue selected. If the issue is in its very early stages and viewpoints show little if any evidence of change, students could explain factors that may result in change. Alternatively, they could focus on which viewpoint is likely to change; in this sense, they will be providing a hypothetical answer.


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