Kāpiti welcomes Government climate declaration and action
Kāpiti Coast District Council has welcomed the Government’s climate emergency declaration as a signal of increasing leadership and action in this crucial space.
Mayor K Gurunathan says this week’s declaration follows that of many councils around the country which have been grappling with climate change issues on the ground in their communities.
“Here in Kāpiti we are bracing for a number of climate change impacts, particularly increasing incidents of flooding and coastal erosion.
“Planning work to prepare our community and infrastructure, and build our community resilience, is underway and we have worked hard over many years to reduce our carbon emissions with some great successes. Work on this continues.
“In addition, councillors will meet next Thursday to discuss standing up an independent Community Assessment Panel (CAP) to provide opinions and recommendations on coastal adaption options for Council consideration.
“The CAPs recommendations should also help guide the future development of District Plan provisions to manage coastal issues,” Mayor Gurunathan says.
“This work was signalled at our Takutai Kāpiti: Climate Change and Our Coast Summit earlier in the year and we have been working with a Co-Design Working Group, comprising of representatives from our Tiriti Partners, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Coastal Ratepayers United, North Ōtaki Beach Residents Group and Waikanae Estuary Care Group, to make sure the Community Assessment Panel has appropriate mana whenua representation and is consistent with direction set in the Coastal Hazards and Climate Change guidance for Local Government, produced by the Ministry for the Environment.”
“The sentiment of getting your own house in order and leading by example is one that resonates with us. But to achieve the results New Zealand really needs in both adapting to and reducing climate change requires strong central leadership, a serious plan of attack and, crucially, significant investment.
“The Government’s declaration and commitments to reduce emissions shows we’re finally on the right path.”
Mr Gurunathan says whatever steps are included in the Government’s eventual plans for meeting emissions budgets, councils will no doubt be tasked with actions to bring these plans to fruition.
“We look forward to seeing a thorough emissions reduction plan in place and stand ready to assist in its development,” Mayor Gurunathan says.
“We also look forward to seeing the necessary funds committed to making these plans achievable. Councils operate in a constrained funding environment and our communities will need help if we are to make meaningful headway.”