Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Waitakere Takes World Gold At Environmental Awards

November 16, 2006

Media release (For Immediate Release)

Waitakere Takes World Gold At Environmental Awards


Waitakere is the most “liveable” city in the world according to the United Nations -backed LivCom Awards, announced last night.

The LivCom Awards, held in China, is the world’s only awards competition which focuses on Best Practice in managing the local environment. The objective of LivCom is to improve the quality of life of individual citizens through the creation of ‘liveable communities’.

Waitakere City was last night declared the winner of the “Liveable Community” award and was also silver medallist in Environmentally Sustainable Project Award – for its work on legislation to protect the Waitakere Ranges from further unsustainable development.

“There were five finalists from around the world in the Liveable Communities Award and it is a great honour to not only be the winner but to separately receive a gold medal for the quality of the presentation we made to the judging panel,” says Councillor Penny Hulse who was in the City of Hangzou to front Waitakere’s entry.

“Around 50 countries subscribe to LivCom which is backed by the UN, and many of those countries are represented here. So believe me this is a very big deal, and we are being treated like celebrities. The media interest here has just been incredible,” she says.

Waitakere’s entry was basically an overview of the policies and programmes that the City has to ensure all sectors of the community can participate in the democratic process while harnessing the community’s energy and ideas to deliver results that make for more pleasant, more sustainable and more enjoyable neighbourhoods.

Waitakere believes that by encouraging the community to become involved in projects such as Project Twin Streams, it gets $10 in value from every $1 invested by the council.

The other aspect explored was the City’s use of art and events as a form of communication that help build a sense of community.

“Migrants in Waitakere come from about 150 different countries – many of them with English as a second language. We have found that one of the quickest ways to build bridges between all those people is to encourage them to share their arts and festivals,” says Councillor Hulse.

The Council also won the silver award in the Environmentally Sustainable Project section.

“In fact, that award is for work in the area of environmental rehabilitation but we successfully argued that we have such programmes going on in the Waitakere Ranges, but none of them will last without protection of the environment itself. We submitted that the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill now being considered by Parliament provides that protection,” she says.

Mayor Bob Harvey says the awards are a ringing endorsement of the polices and programmes that Waitakere has delivered for over a decade.

“Environmental protection and sustainability is not about tree hugging and eating mung beans. It’s about smart thinking and innovative ways of dealing with the effects of population growth, crime, increasing waste volumes, stormwater, and traffic congestion and so on. It’s about smart planning and involving communities in everything you do.”

“What we’ve been doing for years is not becoming main-stream and this award is recognition of the fact that Waitakere is a world leader in sustainability.”

Mayor Harvey is at an invitation-only presentation today by ex-US vice-president Al Gore. Gore is one of the world’s leading environmentalists and recently released the hard-hitting documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

“That film is a real wake-up call for the planet,” Mayor Harvey says. “Quite simply, unless we all change our behaviour this will be a very, very, grim place to live. But Waitakere has shown that by working together, cities and individuals can make a difference.”

--

Background Notes

Waitakere has long been regarded as a leader in the field of sustainability. In 1992 it became the “Eco City” and was the first local authority in New Zealand to adopt the principles of the international Agenda 21 movement.
The following is taken from the City’s website (www.waitakere.govt.nz):
Being an eco city means working together for better social, economic and environmental outcomes for our children, our grandchildren and ourselves.
It means working with people and communities to:
- Build a strong local economy
- Create attractive town centres with good road and passenger transport access
- Protect and expand the “green network” which links our streams and parks from the Ranges to the sea
- Use resources better, and produce less waste
- Improve the wellbeing of residents

Since adopting the eco city direction, Waitakere has achieved some significant changes:
- Between 1997 and 2000, there has been an average 3% increase in local jobs each year
- 95% of new homes built in Waitakere City are in the urban area, reducing the pressure to subdivide countryside and the Waitakere Ranges
- The Council plants over 80,000 native trees and plants each year
- There has been a 30% drop since 1998/99 in the amount of rubbish each resident generates - including litter, illegal dumping and inorganic rubbish
- From having some of the worst road safety statistics in NZ, Waitakere now has some of the best, including a halving of child pedestrian and cycle injuries since 1998
- The city has built strong partnerships with the city’s two iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki and Ngati Whatua, and has set up a Taumata Runanga with representatives of key Maori groups in the city as a standing committee of the Council.


ENDS

For more information go to: www.livcomawards.com

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news