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Kapiti councillors vote to be carbon zero by 2025

News from Kapiti Coast District Council
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is to become carbon zero by 2025, following a unanimous vote at today’s Council meeting.

Mayor K Gurunathan says the commitment to reduce the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero comes on top of the Council declaring a climate change emergency and supports the three year focus of the Toitū Kāpiti Long term plan 2018-38 to provide an effective response to climate change.

“Now is the time to act. Climate change is one of the key environmental, social and economic challenges facing our nation and we can no longer sit on our hands,” he said.

“Setting a target is the first step to improving the Council’s environmental resilience and sustainability and I urge the Greater Wellington Regional Council, who play a significant role in our district, to follow suit.”

The motion that will see the Council become carbon zero by 2025 was moved by Councillor John Howson and seconded by Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow.

Councillor Howson says he’s delighted to have been able to successfully argue the case for the Council to be carbon neutral by 2025.

In making the case for change, Councillor Howson said: “We owe it to our community, and future generations, to be leaders in addressing the challengers of the climate crisis.”

“To those who say that it’s futile, that anything we do is just a drop in the ocean, it’s your ocean and it’ll be coming to your backyard soon.

“The science is incontrovertible. Anyone around this table who doubts the seriousness of the crisis, you’re at the wrong council table,” Mr Howson said.

The next step for the Council will be to assess its existing Emission Management and Reduction Plan and to look at, and cost, what additional measures it needs to put in place to reduce its carbon footprint.

Council approves 2019-20 Annual Plan

The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s annual plan for 2019-20 was adopted by Council yesterday. The plan outlines what Council has budgeted to work on in the next financial year from 1 July.

This includes a range of projects such as water infrastructure upgrades, further flood risk management and improvements to local roads. Council will also develop an open spaces strategy, work on renewals and refurbishments in its older persons housing, halls and aquatics facilities and review various bylaws.

The plan will see an average rates increase of 4.8% for Kāpiti ratepayers. The actual change will depend on each individual property, its value and the area it is in.

Mayor K Gurunathan said community feedback on the draft plan gave Councillors other options and requests to consider.

“We took all the latest feedback into account before adopting this final plan,” Mayor Gurunathan said.

“It’s very much keeping us on the path we agreed to after working closely with the community to identify what was most important for us to focus on when we developed our Toitū Kāpiti long term plan 2018-38 last year.

“So we’re continuing to work on delivering those important things while still living within our means.”

There are a range of further feedback opportunities on Council’s work plans throughout the year, through consultation on strategies, upgrades and any bylaw changes, he said.

The final rates are scheduled to be struck at the Council meeting on 27 June. Ratepayers can find out what their new rates are likely to be by checking the property search function on the Council’s website which includes a link to the next rating year 2019/20.

A summary of what’s in the plan is also available on the Council’s website. The detailed plan document will be available in print and online in mid-June.