Hauraki council rules out climate emergency edict - for now

3:26 pm on 1 August 2019

The Hauraki District Council says it will take urgent action on climate change, but won't declare a climate emergency.

A child explores the interactive room, the Climate Converter, where visitors take actions to turn the tide on climate change.

A child explores the interactive room, the Climate Converter, part of an exhibition on climate change at Te Papa in Wellington. Photo: Copyright: Jack Fisher / Te Papa

The Extinction Rebellion Waihi group asked the council to declare an emergency for Hauraki District at a recent meeting.

Yesterday the council agreed to recognise the urgency of addressing climate change and fast-track its programme aimed at addressing the issue.

Hauraki district Mayor John Tregidga said addressing climate change urgently was the best approach the council could take, rather than declaring an emergency.

"We agree climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the international community and New Zealand, but actions speak louder than words.

"We will work with the Extinction Rebellion Waihi group and the community to identify some achievable goals and actions that will make a difference."

Declaring a climate change emergency would be discussed in the next long-term plan and the community would be consulted, he said.

"We have not got the mandate from the community to do this. I don't think it would be fair to the community to go and declare a climate change emergency and not be able to do it," Mr Tregidga said.

The council is also planning an internal operational review to identify ways of reducing emissions and becoming more sustainable.

Whangārei District Council declared a climate change emergency last week - one of 13 councils around the country to make the move so far.

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