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Leading The Way For Community Talks On Climate Change

Over 250 locals got involved in the weekend’s Takutai Kāpiti Summit – a Climate Change Summit run by Kāpiti Coast District Council.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Climate Committee Chair Thomas Nash says the event provided the opportunity for residents of Kāpiti to hear from mana whenua, local leaders and climate change experts, about the current and future impacts of climate change on the area and what can be done to reduce emissions and prepare for what is coming.

“It is so encouraging – and a real testament to the work of KCDC and local mana whenua – that an event organised to sit down and discuss climate action can gather 250 people on a beautiful summer Sunday.

“We will need many more of these discussions so that we can exchange views and ideas and build common understanding of the urgent climate choices we face as communities and individuals,” Cr Nash says.

Summit attendees got to enjoy food and entertainment, find out more about KCDC’s coastal project, dune restoration, sustainability and resilience, and take part in Q&A sessions with conference speakers.

Greater Wellington staff were on site to talk about the areas of the coast vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge impacts, what the regional council is doing to prepare for the transition to a low carbon region, and to talk to locals about their climate change concerns and what climate actions they are taking.

“As we prepare for the first meeting of our new Climate Committee on 24 March at Waiwhetu Marae, we come away from the Takutai Kapiti Climate Summit buoyed by the knowledge that communities like Paekakariki, Raumati, Paraparaumu, Waikanae and Ōtaki are strongly engaged on this topic.

“That leadership is exactly what we need to make strong and wise decisions that will have a lasting impact on reducing emissions and preparing for the changes that are coming,” Cr Nash says.

Greater Wellington Environment Committee Chair Penny Gaylor says like Greater Wellington, last year KCDC made a declaration of climate emergency.

“This summit was a great way to foster engagement with the community on how to tackle aspects of climate change. Many local residents are already being faced with the impacts of climate change, so we really need to work together to protect communities.

“Our new Climate Committee, through our 10-point action plan, will allow us to make all of our decisions through a climate lens. We aim to show leadership in this space and have committed to an organisation-wide goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030,” Cr Gaylor says.

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