Climate change and Wellington: Now’s good to do something (Also, PAAAAAARTY!)

Wish it was easier to pump out fewer greenhouse gases in daily life? Don’t we all?! Luckily, Wellington City Council wants to hear how much you care so they can make it less hard. And come party for your submission!

TL;DR: put your pro-climate views in by THIS COMING FRIDAY 10 May on “Te Atakura – First to Zero”, the Zero Carbon Capital Plan. Come party on 9th!


It’s you and me who are stopping any kind of useful action from governments. Us, the citizens, ratepayers, voters. Our politicians think we’ll punish them at the polls if they show some leadership.

And equally it’s also you and me who can show them we’re up for change and want them to lead.

We know they’ve been noticing the surge in public concern about climate change (and our transport-heavy emissions footprint), not to mention all the other reasons why people want better transport choice. But there’s plenty of folk who are noisy and known voters, who want more of the same that’s put us in this mess. They don’t mind that it’s those same policies and investment decisions that have made it really hard for us to do better in daily life. They don’t mind that our kids’ generations will be the ones to haemorrhage money trying to mitigate the damage we’ve created, and turn the ship around.

If confronted with the morally bankrupt feebleness of Wellington policy, politicians will point to “What The Public Said when asked” about Te Atakura – First to Zero, the Zero Carbon Capital Plan. If there’s anything other than a deafening clarion call for fast change, you can bet your bottom dollar there’ll be plenty of awfully nice councillors saying things like “the Wellington public isn’t ready for major change” “we need evolution not revolution” “we have to take it slowly”.

So make your voice heard!

Submit ASAP on the Council’s Te Atakura – First to Zero zero carbon capital plan! The Council has agreed that the sharpest emissions reductions need to be made in the next ten years, but do they really understand what that will take? We need to tell them.

You can read the plan and have your say here: Te Atakura – First to Zero.

Too busy to read it? Here’s some thoughts…

Te Atakura – First to Zero is Wellington City Council’s blueprint to make the city a zero carbon capital. Wellington City is excellent at saying the right things about climate change – and then doing the wrong things. (Exhibit A: the last decades, including when Te Atakura’s predecessor was allegedly in force.) What’s more, the aim is to become a zero carbon capital by 2050, which is looking way too late. (Not just because science, but also because earlier is really doable!)

But this plan is a bit different, because Wellington City Council is proposing to make the majority of its emissions cuts in the first ten years.
If they follow through, that would mean that Wellington City must take urgent steps to reduce emissions, especially from transport and from stationary energy (e.g. boilers that produce heat). Hooray!

In transport, that means investing in walking, cycling, public transport, mass transit and transport demand management, instead of wasting billions on emissions-inducing new roads and new road tunnels. Also, Hooray!

What’s more, the Council has been all too ready to sign off on expensive new infrastructure projects near sea level, without any meaningful consideration of sea level rise and storm surge. Coastal inundation is no joke, as the First to Zero report makes clear: instead, it’s a $7 billion problem for the city.

Super busy? Here’s some submission tips

So if you agree with Talk Wellington’s general kaupapa, you could usefully highlight some important points… (see also submissions tip below!)

  • The need for Wellington City Council to declare a Climate Emergency, to signal the urgency of action. If the British Government can do it, surely Wellington can too!
  • The urgent need for action on climate change – to reduce emissions to net zero well before 2050, and to make climate change a central, public focus on city planning processes.
  • The vital importance of front-loading emissions reduction effort over the next 10 years. (I.e. GET ON WITH IT)
  • The need to make a decisive break from the failed, emissions-heavy, car-dominated transport policies of the past, and invest in good transport alternatives instead. (Here’s a handy summary – the “formula“!)
  • The need to maintain and enhance Wellington as a place for plants, animals and people.

If you want a really basic “TL; DR” for the entire thing, see our fundamental “what’s roughly right” post here.

Submissions hot tip: don’t just copy and paste wording. Councils tend to count as one submission all individual submissions that look a bit like they’re from a template. Yucky, but it happens.

Raring to go? Go! https://www.zerocarboncapital.nz/

What about that party?

Still feel like you need a hand? or want to join others in submitting up a storm? It’s party time! We’re going to the Generation Zero submissions party on Thursday 9th.
Details to save looking at Facebook: 4.30-6.30pm in Room 16.09 at WCC’s new offices, 113 The Terrace.
All welcome!

Do you have an awesome submission to share? Or good ideas? Tell us in the comments – more brains makes for better submissions!


Banner image credit – Wellington south coast, by Grant Maiden | Stuff

One comment on “Climate change and Wellington: Now’s good to do something (Also, PAAAAAARTY!)”

  • Kathleen Logan says:

    If Wellington Region can never have a perfect network of public transport (due to population density), then we need to have more bike carry capacity (on trains and buses) so individuals can fill the gaps in the network and get where they are going by bike.
    It’s easy to bike if you are rich and own a house in the city, but if you’re in the burbs like Wainuiomata or Upper Hutt, you need better bike-PT connectivity & carry-capacity.

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