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Queenstown Lakes District Council Establishes Climate Reference Group

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has established an independent, multidisciplinary Climate Reference Group (CRG) replete with relevant experience to support the delivery of its Climate Action Plan.

The role of the group will be identifying key challenges, evaluating best practices, identifying funding and agreeing priority action areas at each annual review of the Climate Action Plan.

The CRG will advise on initiatives, networks and resources required to turn ideas into concrete actions. As opportunities arise, the group will nurture and inspire initiatives within the community that will contribute towards achieving our climate action goals.

Mayor Jim Boult expressed his excitement at the formation of the CRG, saying the group had attracted an impressive array of knowledge and skills, and would make a welcome addition to the recovery efforts in the district

“Climate action is something that means a lot to us and we want to make sure we continue to meet the goals of our Climate Action Plan. In the short to medium term, the CRG will engage with recovery initiatives and channels to ensure a coordinated approach,” said Mayor Boult.

“Having assembled an extremely competent cast of members, I’m looking forward to seeing real results from the CRG that will benefit our district for generations to come.”

The group will support the development of climate related ideas through Torokiki, a new idea management system aimed at facilitating community input on how the Queenstown Lakes district can recover from the effects of COVID-19. One such challenge posed in Torokiki seeks ideas on how we can reduce food waste and improve the resilience of our local food system.

We thank the following individuals for their membership of the CRG and commitment to climate action in our district:

1. Alec Tang: Climate action in local government expert

2. Bridget Legnavsky: Chair

3. Bruce Jefferies: Biodiversity expert

4. Councillor Glyn Lewers

5. Councillor Niki Gladding

6. Councillor Quentin Smith: Infrastructure Committee Chair

7. Dr Carly Green: Upper Clutha community leader and greenhouse gas estimation expert

8. Dr Jim Salinger: International climate change expert

9. Dr Lyn Carter: Nominated by Aukaha on behalf of rūnaka

10. Esther Whitehead: Wakatipu community leader

11. Gail Thompson: Nominated by Te Ao Marama on behalf of rūnaka

12. Otago Regional Councillor Alexa Forbes

An initial meeting took place on Monday 17 August and addressed introductions, local context and the terms of reference. Members will meet monthly for the first three months, and quarterly thereafter.

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