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‘Kiwis want climate change leadership from government’

Friday, 26 July 2019, Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre; (CEAC)

At CEAC we have over 19 years of history having difficulty with local Government in HB, and their infrastructure providers never adapting to the reality of ‘public discourse with local councils/infrastructure not embracing the climate change issue’ in their planning documents today.

Government needs to ‘enforce’ stronger conditions on local governments in NZ on climate change.

So we agree 100% with Paul Evans Chief Executive of Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) statement in yesterdays article.http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1907/S00319/kiwis-want-climate-change-leadership-from-government.htm


When asked about the potential effects of climate change, the survey showed:
• 86 per cent of respondents expected more frequent and extreme storms
• 85 per cent of respondents expect the inundation of coastal locations due to sea-level rise
• 84 per cent of respondents expected more frequent and extreme floods

“It’s evident there’s a huge disconnect between what the public expects and what is currently being delivered to address the potential effects of climate change. Both in Aotearoa and around the globe, we see a strong desire for locally-driven action, and Council’s must be at the forefront of this drive. However, they’re currently grappling with how to do this in a meaningful way,” Paul Evans says.

A perfect example of this we have witnessed at Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre (CEAC) has been repeated over and over again, of the same “disconnect” between public and infrastructure providers, when NZTA failed during the recycled “Freight Demands” Studies this (RTA) “Road Controlling Agency” conducted on their freight transport planning changes during those years.

Of special concern to our communities is NZTA loose wording on ‘truck movements corridors’ within the Napier residential zones to the Napier Port, vividly seen in their planning documents such as the “Napier Port Access Report 2015”- as they never mentioned any ‘environmental impact assessment’ report, to either the ‘built’ residential environment, (and this demonstrates again the “disconnect” between NZTA and the community who shares the roading environment with NZTA), and the wider natural environment.

NZTA has not one word about ‘climate change’ or truck use causing high elevations of greenhouse emissions compared to a cleaner option to use rail freight rather than road freight.

NZTA in their ‘confidential’ (public withheld) 2015 ‘Key document’ called “Napier Port Access Report” was widely seen as an ‘embarrassment’ after we ordered an Official Information Act (OIA) release of that report, - as it said nothing but hollow words; - devoid of any trace to recognise “what the public expects and what is currently being delivered to address the potential effects of climate change.”

We have taken a ‘legal review’ of this shameful document and found it is actually out of touch with what the current Government now has recommended as the ‘focus for climate change’ and this “Napier Port Access Report 2015” even lacked any mention of Governments own ‘Key policy “Local Government community wellbeing bill” now enacted from May 2019 so this expensive $700. 000 funded report by NZTA is now obsolete and a total waste of money.

CEAC’s long fight of 19 yrs now in many submissions over those years was pleading to all local councils to consider climate change, was found to be fruitless, so there is some feeling we are being vindicated by the stand taken by others such as the Chief Executive of the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) Paul Evans who says there is a real appetite for central government to play a much stronger role in enabling local responses to climate change.

We can only now live in hope that these local Governments and their infrastructure providers such as NZTA as an (RTA) “Road Controlling Authority” will finally switch to being a real “all modal transport agency” like the Ministry Of Transport is, and we hope NZTA drop their preference for high greenhouse emissions using truck freight, for the alternative use of environmentally friendly rail freight in future planning documents.

Lets begin the journey together to a cleaner greener future.


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