Have your say on climate change, one of the biggest challenges we face

Published on December 07, 2020


Late last year Whanganui District Council initiated a discussion with the community on addressing climate change in the district.

Since then, the council has taken the community’s ideas into account and worked with local iwi and key stakeholders to produce a comprehensive draft climate change strategy that recognises both Māori and New Zealand European worldviews. It is now inviting the community to share their thoughts on the draft strategy.

Mayor Hamish McDouall says, “One of the reasons I ran for Mayor was to make progress on the critically important issue of climate change so I’m energised by this strategy as it represents a momentous step.

“The draft strategy gives us a roadmap for addressing climate change in our district, to help us respond to these uniquely challenging times and make a real difference to our future and that of coming generations.

“By taking some time to give feedback on our draft strategy and share your ideas and inspiration for addressing climate change in our district you will be helping to shape a document that will, in turn, shape our collective future.”

The council’s Group Manager Corporate, Stephanie Macdonald-Rose, says the draft strategy uses national data to outline the likely impacts of climate change for Whanganui.

She says, “The strategy also sets interim climate change targets consistent with national and regional targets – these will be adjusted as we finalise our action plan and complete further work on how what we do will mitigate, or lessen, the effects of climate change in our region.”

The four focus areas the draft strategy covers are:

  • transport
  • building energy and urban form
  • agriculture
  • leadership and collaboration.

“Everyone in the community will need to play their part in addressing climate change,” Stephanie Macdonald-Rose says, “and part of the draft strategy covers how the council can lead by example, role-modelling good practice and reducing its own carbon footprint.”

She says an extensive programme of consultation fed into the draft strategy, including five workshops with representatives from Te Runanga o Tupoho, Te Runanga o Tamaupoko, Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, Ngā Tāngata Tiaki, Horizons Regional Council and the council’s Youth Committee as well as a workshop with agricultural sector representatives.

“Tackling climate change requires a coordinated effort and it was rewarding to collaborate with these organisations and find a way forward which acknowledges and respects all perspectives.

“As well as creating a plan to mitigate and adapt to climate change, the draft strategy sets up a framework for future collaboration on climate change solutions between local people, neighbouring councils and central government.”

Submissions on the draft climate change strategy close on Sunday, 14 February.

“Once submissions close, the council will carefully consider your feedback as part of the process of developing the final climate change strategy. Make sure your voice is heard for one of the most challenging issues of our time.”

To look over our draft strategy and contribute your ideas for addressing climate change, visit whanganui.govt.nz/draft-climate-change-strategy

Have your say

You can submit your feedback in the following ways:

Printed copies of the draft strategy are available from:

  • Whanganui District Council Customer Services, 101 Guyton Street
  • Davis Library, Pukenamu Queens Park
  • Gonville Library, 44 Abbot Street, Gonville
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