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Bay of Plenty leaders told to declare climate change emergency
25 June 2019
Bay of Plenty leaders told to declare climate change emergency
Bay of Plenty Regional councillors received a standing ovation from community members after deciding to recommend the council declares a climate emergency.
 
A regional council committee today voted in support of declaring the climate emergency in what was, at times, an emotional meeting in Tauranga this morning.
 
Councillor Jane Nees was moved to tears as she implored her fellow councillors to vote for the recommendation, which would enforce the regional council to act on reducing carbon emissions and addressing other climate change threats.
 
"For me, this is the most important issue we've dealt with," she said.
 
"I'm sorry if I get emotional. This is about our future, our children's future. I think this is something that we need to do as a regional council to show leadership to our whole community. We can see there's huge support from the community."
 
Applause broke out from the packed public gallery to Nees' comments, and support of the recommendation.
 
The council voted 9-3 for the recommendation. Councillors Kevin Winters, Norm Bruning and Andrew von Dadelszen opposed the move, expressing concern at the use of the word emergency.
 
The decision followed public submissions in which councillors were told now was the time to act.
 
It was standing room only at the regional direction and delivery committee meeting at the regional council's 1st Ave offices this morning .
 
The regional council commissioned the Sustainable Business Network to investigate what the Bay of Plenty needs to do to work towards lowering the district's carbon emissions and address climate change related issues.
 
Sustainable Business Network's Glen Crowther told the room the region could not afford to wait before doing anything.