Healthy environment

As the slogan says ‘There’s no Planet B’. Our environment is already under stress, and growth and climate change will make it worse. PCC has taken the initiative on responding to climate change, starting with sea level rise and coastal erosion. I’ve seen the impact that can have with the storm damage to the foreshore at Pukerua Bay. We’ve had an effective temporary repair put in place, but we need long-term solutions all along our coast. I strongly support this work, and want to be part of it from the whole city.

These are the sorts of initiatives PCC should be leading. It can make rules and impose conditions on activities within the city that help protect our environment, particularly waterways and the harbour. It can make decisions about its impact on climate change in its activities by choosing low carbon options.

I was at the Council meeting in June when it adopted the Climate Change Emergency declaration. This only happened because students organised it. The two young women who presented it to the Council, Piata and Hana, proved once again that Porirua has committed, intelligent and articulate young leaders PCC should be working with.

However, the question remains — and it’s a big one — what exactly can the council do that’s more than wishful thinking and high hopes? PCC’s climate change strategy needs to tackle that in a practical, realistic and achievable way.

PCC should support and encourage residents to make changes that help. I was part of the team that ran the Regional Council’s old ‘Be The Difference’ environmental campaign a few years ago. We learnt that you had to give people simple things they could do that made the biggest impact. Fancy, expensive campaigns that rely on radical behaviour change can easily fail. I can bring that sort of expertise and knowledge to the council’s decision-making, as well as rolling my sleeves up and getting stuck into tangible solutions.

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