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Waitakere building on commitment to sustainability

MEDIA RELEASE
30 October 2008

Annual Report shows Waitakere building on commitment to sustainable future

Waitakere City Council last night adopted its Annual Report for 2007/08, reflecting on a year of numerous milestones, awards and ground-breaking projects.

For the first time, the document also incorporates a focus on sustainability reporting – highlighting Waitakere’s ongoing commitment to its eco city principles.

Waitakere City Chief Executive Officer Vijaya Vaidyanath says this year’s report shows a high level of alignment between the council’s strategic goals and its operational performance.

“During the past year we commenced or completed a wide range of significant projects that have, or will have, a major impact on the future of our city – and these are a testament to the commitment and hard work of both our staff and elected members to integrate environmental, social and economic policy in a way that best serves our city for generations to come,” she says.

“In its approach to being a sustainable city, Waitakere has played a leading and award-winning role in the country and the world and I am delighted to lead such an organisation.

“Each year the city has planned and delivered on projects that move it forward to being more resilient and sustainable whilst retaining its excellent quality of life – and this past year has been no exception,” Ms Vaidyanath says.
Some 2007-2008 Annual Report highlights include:

- The passing of the Waitakere Ranges and Foothills Area Act 2008 – a ground-breaking piece of legislation championed by the council to preserve the unique character and heritage of the communities that make up the Waitakere Ranges.

- Reducing the council’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions by more than 98 tonnes of carbon equivalent compared to 2006/2007.

- The launch of a local version of the ‘Family Violence – It’s Not OK’ campaign by Mayor Bob Harvey as part of a Mayoral Taskforce against Family Violence, established with Maori Party leader and local kaumatua Dr Pita Sharples.

- Development of the integrated Henderson transport centre and new Park and Ride facilities and cycleways

- Developing the local economy through new business investment marketing, work on world-class marine cluster at Hobsonville, planning for new employment areas in the northern growth corridor, the establishment of a Business Improvement District programme for Te Atatu Peninsula and the development of the Henderson Vineyards business campus.

- The construction of new Civil Defence headquarters (which has not used any electricity from the national grid due to its photovoltaic and solar hot water systems) and the installation of tsunami warning systems for key coastal areas.

- The opening of the new Global Cafe youth facility in Henderson.

- Community programmes on crime prevention, graffiti removal and road safety and settlement support for migrants.

- Numerous national and international awards, most notably for the sustainable

Waitakere Central civic and admin building and the West Wave Aquatic Centre.
Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey says it has become clear that the city’s commitment to sustainability principles is going to stand it in good stead as we enter tougher economic times.

“This city’s time has come, and the 15 plus years we have worked on sustainability policies, projects and infrastructure are now coming into their own,” he says.

Copies of the Annual Report and its summary document are available from the council’s website www.waitakere.govt.nz, Waitakere Central (6 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson) and libraries (including Piha and Waiatarua) or by phoning the council’s 24-hour call centre on 839 0400.

ENDS

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