Climate change is a global, and domestic, challenge and, as Mayor, I want to ensure all Wellingtonians feel part of our journey, so I promise to put businesses, workers and families at the heart of our decision-making.

I will look at practical ways Wellington can do its bit to help tackle the challenge of climate change and help meet our nationwide emissions reduction goals.

I will do this by:

  • Integrating climate and environmental factors into my other policies – such as back to basics and master planning of communities across our city

  • Working with central government to implement their emissions reduction and adaptation policies in a way that reflects Wellingtonians’ needs and issues

  • Not duplicating initiatives that are better handled by the central Government or other entities

  • Strongly advocating central government to access climate and environmental funds, such as the Climate Emergency Response Fund and the Waste Minimisation Fund

  • Joining a Mayor’s Coalition for Climate Change so that councils across New Zealand can tackle climate change together

 

Reducing Wellington's transport emissions

As Mayor, I will take action to reduce Wellington’s transport emissions, the largest source of our emissions, by:

  • Delivering an integrated public transport network so that Wellingtonians have access to high quality public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure, along with roads for private transport, including EVs

  • Delivering a financial plan and a target date for when Wellington City can afford to have half price public transport fares indefinitely

  • Delivering high quality housing intensification, particularly along mass rapid transit routes, such as Adelaide Road

  • Exploring congestion charging in the CBD with central government to incentivise Wellingtonians to use public transport when travelling into the city

  • Establishing more EV charging facilities throughout Wellington to encourage the uptake of EVs and making them easier to charge close to their home

  • Launching Car Free Fridays: a voluntary scheme that will see the Wellington City Council partner with local businesses and eateries to incentivise commuters and schoolchildren to walk, cycle or bus

 

Delivering green buildings for Wellington

Emissions from buildings is a significant source of Wellington’s emissions, and poor-quality buildings have a wide range of negative health and financial impacts.

I support the council’s efforts to support efficient buildings. However, more work needs to be done. As Mayor, I will:

  • Investigate ways to deliver more green buildings for Wellington, including determining when it is feasible for the council to meet a minimum Green Star rating of five for all non-residential council buildings – which is deemed “New Zealand Excellence” for environmental impact

  • I will also look at options to further incentive developers and building owners to meet minimum climate standard

 

Food waste

We throw away over 122,547 tonnes of food a year – enough to feed half the population of the Wellington region for 12 months. In Wellington, avoidable food waste costs the average household nearly $599 a year, totalling nearly $106 million for the region as a whole.

While central Government will soon make decisions around standardising what materials are collected via kerbside recycling, I want Wellington to do more.

  • As Mayor, I will encourage all Wellingtonians to be smarter about their food waste by developing a Food Waste Directory

  • The directory will build on the existing work of many Wellington organisations by coordinating a list of all available options for dealing with food waste

  • The directory will be updated regularly and marketed across the city

  • The council can, and should, be playing a more active role in facilitating the donation of food waste from our food-producing central city businesses to charities and other organisations

  • Establish separated waste bins on key streets in the CBD and in high density areas, replacing the one size fits all rubbish bins, so that Wellingtonians are able to recycle and dispose of organic waste outside of their home and workplace

 

Building a modern waste facility for Wellington

Wellington’s waste infrastructure and services have suffered from years of underinvestment.  At the moment, Wellington’s current plan is to build a landfill on top of the existing landfill.

As Mayor, I will put much greater emphasis on the circular economy and bring Wellington’s waste facilities into the 21st century. I will do this by:

  • Advocating for funding from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund with a view to building an advanced material recycling facility, which separates household waste that can be recovered, reused or recycled from waste that needs to be sent to the landfill

  • Investigate options for a mechanical biological treatment plant, which will dry or compost organic material

  • While this will be expensive to deliver, these facilities are essential for Wellington

 

Adaptation to sea level rises

Wellington needs to adapt to the impacts of climate change that are already underway. Experts say that if we don’t address these impacts, it would significantly increase the risk of rising sea levels and floods.

  • As Mayor, I will work with central government and the private sector to fund actions to protect Wellington from the effects of climate change – particularly in vulnerable areas like the South Coast and nearby suburbs.

  • I will also set up a Taskforce for Coastal Climate Adaptation to come up with a plan to address the impacts of climate change on our coastal communities. I will ask members of coastal communities, mana whenua, regional council, and experts to join.

  • Transparency and certainty will be crucial as Wellington makes decisions about adaptation, or in some cases, managed retreat. I will work with central government to make sure the managed retreat legislation works for Wellington

  • Prioritise nature-based solutions and green infrastructure, where possible, to enhance our natural environment as we reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

  • Ensure our investments in essential long-term infrastructure, such as pipes, are constructed with the future in mind and are resilient to the impacts of climate change.