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Efeso Collins Releases Comprehensive Plan For A Sustainable City That Preserves Its Natural Environment

Today Auckland mayoral candidate Fa’anana Efeso Collins is releasing his comprehensive plans to tackle climate change and to ensure the city retains its unique environmental beauty for generations to come.

Collins, who is visiting a clean technology business this morning that showcases the type of innovative approach he intends to support as mayor, says climate change and environmental neglect are among the most pressing challenges for current and future Aucklanders.

“We need significant action to reduce emissions and mitigate and adapt to climate change. And I know the vast majority of Aucklanders expect council to play a significant role in addressing these challenges,” Collins says.

“And essential to my plan will be to partner with community and business sector.

“It’s clean technology businesses like Critical. [editor’s note:], who are innovating with soft plastic recycling to create green construction materials, that we must be engaging with to grapple with the complex challenges we face.”

As has already been released, Collins plans to introduce fares-free public transport which enables council to make a major leap towards meeting its Climate Plan goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

And as announced on Tuesday, August 16, he will begin work on convening a national Coalition of Mayors to coordinate climate action across New Zealand and to lobby central government for further investment to meet our emission reduction goals.

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“I intend to form a strong united voice amongst mayors across New Zealand to ensure central government returns the GST we pay on rates. This action alone could ensure Auckland had a further $300 million a year to tackle this most pressing of challenges,” Collins says.

Alongside these previous announcements, Collins will also be focused on preserving our precious natural environment and improving our waste management systems.

“Cleaning up our beaches, streams, and coastlines will be a key priority of the council I lead,” Collins.

“And critical to preserving our natural environment is ensuring iwi, local communities and ecological volunteer groups are given the support they need to improve the quality of our inland and coastal environments.”

Council only directly manages 20% of the city’s waste through kerbside collections and the Waitakere Transfer Station, so Collins says the partnership with business and the industry to reduce privately managed waste that accounts for the other 80% is crucial.

“We send more than 1.6 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year and significant action is needed to be zero waste by 2040,” Collins says.

“Not only will I support a food scraps collection to be expanded across Auckland so we significantly reduce our waste to landfill but I will also focus on council’s own waste produced as part of council operations and implement action to significantly reduce this.

“I will also advocate for council to investigate ways to use eco-friendly building materials in council facilities, as well as find ways to support innovative businesses that support the recycling and reusing of construction materials

“And I will direct council to investigate the reintroduction of an environmentally friendly inorganic collection that is easier for residents and enables resources recovery.”

Collins says if we neglect our responsibility to preserve and protect our unique environment, we do a significant disserve to those who we pass it on to.

“Our temperate climate and beautiful environment is a taonga inherited from previous generations that we hold in trust for future generations. But our environment is under stress from crumbling infrastructure, climate change, pests, and invasive diseases. For this reason, we can’t slow down in our efforts, not only for our own continued enjoyment of the environment but so also we pass on a city that our children and their children will continue to cherish.”

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