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Porirua City Council sign off climate change strategy

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Porirua City Council has confirmed its commitment to addressing the effects of climate change, officially adopting a strategy this week.

A climate change emergency was declared by the Council in June 2019, with a strategy, Rautaki o Te Ao Hurihuri, developed from that point.

A meeting of full Council adopted the strategy on Wednesday night.

While Council acknowledges climate change is a long-term issue in nature, it has supported a three-year timeframe as the start of the longer term planning and implementation.

The three focus areas for the strategy are a zero-carbon Council, a resilient city, and a low-carbon future. Sea-level rises, higher rainfall events, dry summers and increased flood flows on our rivers and streams are among the effects of climate change in our city.

The strategy includes a commitment to work with mana whenua Ngāti Toa as it is implemented.

Recent weather events meant Rautaki o Te Ao Hurihuri needed to happen quickly, but methodically, Porirua Mayor Anita Baker said.

"Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time," she said.

"Look at what occurred last month in in Plimmerton - these flood and high-rainfall episodes will keep happening, so we must take action to mitigate them.

"Our community wants action, so I want this strategy prioritised for Council."

The plan to establish a group within Council to administer the climate change response work was the right move, she said.

Specific actions, and costs, will be included in Council’s upcoming Long-term Plan.

Recent feedback from public consultation included questions around protection of indigenous species and habitat, involvement of Māori, and the timeframe for the strategy.

17 Dec 2020