The Kapiti Council chamber was filled with clapping when the councillors unanimously voted to declare a climate change emergency.
More than 30 supporters of the move, many from the Low Carbon Kapiti organisation had packed into the room.
Kapiti DC becomes the third council, after Nelson and Christchurch to make the move which has no legal enforcement.
‘Should have done this years ago,’ Cr Howson
Councillor John Howson who proposed the motion said he was embarrassed to have listened to the speakers, including school children talking about the perils of climate change. Councillors should have done this years ago.
Howson also said any councillors who doubted climate change was real, should move to Greymouth where the evidence for climate change has been questioned at West Coast regional council meetings.
Cr Mike Cardiff said he had flown through Dubai one of the world’s busiest airports which produces millions of tonnes of carbon and other emissions. The problem in New Zealand was at a much lower level.
Cardiff said he would vote ‘yes’ but something would have to happen as a result of the vote.
‘Progress reports ahead,’– CEO
KCDC CEO Wayne Maxwell said councillors would be given progress reports.
Howson noted that what was proposed for Kapiti was a drop in the ocean but it was “our ocean’.
Mayor Gurunathan noted that some 1800 properties along the Kapiti coast faced potential problems from rising sea levels.