I’ve been a key long term leader of Wellington’s remarkable environmental restoration journey. On my watch Wellington has undergone an incredible environmental renaissance. We’ve gone from basket case to show case.
In a world where tragically biodiversity is in decline, Wellington is a shining light. During my mayoralty, the Economist made us number one city in the world for environmental security. I’m proud of that!
I have been part of Zealandia’s leadership team from day one. As a founding trustee, I remember when Zealandia was once a crazy dream. Today it is now world famous and I am involved today as a Guardian and volunteer.
The Outer Green Belt has gone from dream to reality and we are closing in on its completion. Gorse covered hills have become rich, developing forest. Together Wellingtonians have grown and planted two million trees so far and we’re not stopping!
Protecting land has allowed natural regeneration. We’ve gone from two reserve care groups to 140; thousands of Wellingtonians like me get our hands dirty every week eradicating pests. We have a south coast marine reserve, and are regularly visited by dolphins and even orca.
Our environmental journey is not finished yet. I will:
- Support even greater community involvement in environmental restoration
- Continue supporting our world leading predator free. I look forward to welcoming kiwi back soon
- Complete our Outer Green Belt, keep working to establish a Miramar heritage park, and pursue a coastal trail
- Invest in indigenous forest planting to offset Council’s carbon liabilities, provide jobs and enhance biodiversity
- Work with Government to drive waste minimisation, establish producer stewardship and even more resource reuse industries, and
- Work with coastal communities on adapting to Climate Change.
I also want to green our Central City too, especially as more people call the CBD home. Under my leadership, a Central City Greening Plan has been adopted, and my Long Term Plan last year provided $38 million over 30 years to acquire and develop inner city parks. This is the first time Council has ever made anything like such a provision.
We know we need the environment. It adds so much to our quality of life, and it has its own intrinsic value. We know that being a ‘City immersed in nature’ is a unique strength of Wellington, loved by residents and visitors alike.
We are its kaitiaki, together we are doing something very special here in Wellington. Please join me in keeping the work going.