RIP the great kiwi BBQ

Steen Videbeck
Insights Newsletter
26 February, 2021

It is 2035, and the Government’s new BBQ buyback scheme has begun. It is now illegal to cook with gas, and the police are cracking down on underground Weber parties. But don’t worry, you can still invite your friends over for a nice, microwaved lunch or just go raw vegan.

Surprisingly, few New Zealanders actually miss their BBQs, and most agree it was worth the 0.0000000001% reduction in CO2 emissions. Of course, the banning of all cows last year helped the transition. BBQs quickly lost their appeal without those tasty cheeseburgers and sausages.

Interestingly, the last few months have seen an unprecedented spike in the price of gas bottles, a bubble not seen since the 2034 run on beef patties and the 2025 housing mega-crisis. Apparently, BBQ lovers, aka those who hate future generations, have begun hoarding, filling their garages, living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms with swap-n-go bottles. In unrelated news, there have been a series of large explosions in suburbs around New Zealand.

For the rebels that didn’t plan ahead, there is a loophole. Without natural gas, some have resorted to burning trees from their gardens. But don’t worry, these aren’t counted in the official CO2 emissions, so have no effect on global warming.

BBQ purists initially celebrated the controversial ‘charcoal exemption’, arguing that gas BBQs aren’t real BBQs anyway. Unfortunately, the Climate Change Commission’s latest modelling has now seen the exemption revoked. Special interest groups are now demanding access to underlying data.

In entertainment news, diehard grillers have been frantically re-binge-watching Breaking Bad, mostly to come to terms with their new life of crime but also for ideas on how to mask the delicious smell from potential dobbers. In response, neighbour watch groups have been set up and RVs are being treated with increased suspicion.

For those who are still craving that distinctive flame-grilled smoky flavour, there are innovative electric BBQs.  These ‘outdoor electric hobs in disguise’ are basically the same as traditional BBQs without the flame or the smoky flavour. Wait, I’m pretty sure the dictionary definition of ‘Barbecue’ includes fire. Surely this is worthy of a Commerce Commission fair-trading investigation?

While the gas BBQ is becoming a distant memory, I for one, miss them. It is still BBQ weather after all, probably because the rest of the world hasn’t bothered to cut its emissions.

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