More than 250 local people attended theTakutai Kāpiti climate change Summit in Ōtaki.
And Greater Wellington Regional staff were on site to talk about the areas of the coast vulnerable to sea-level rise and storm surge impacts and what the regional council is doing to prepare for the transition to a low-carbon region.
They also talked to locals about their climate change concerns and what actions they are taking.
The Climate Change meeting was run by the Kāpiti Coast District Council, with help from the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
The Regional Council Climate Committee Chair, Thomas Nash, says Kāpiti residents heard from mana whenua, local leaders and climate experts about the impacts of climate change and what can be done to prepare and reduce emissions.
“It is so encouraging – and a real testament to the work of KCDC and local mana whenua – that an event organised to sit down and discuss climate action can gather 250 people on a beautiful summer Sunday.
“We will need many more of these discussions so that we can exchange views and ideas and build common understanding of the urgent climate choices we face as communities and individuals,” Cr Nash says.
Summit attendees got to enjoy food and entertainment, find out more about KCDC’s coastal project, dune restoration, sustainability and resilience, and take part in Q&A sessions with conference speakers.
Communities ‘actively engaged’
“As we prepare for the first meeting of our new Climate Committee on 24 March at Waiwhetu Marae, we come away from the Takutai Kapiti Climate Summit buoyed by the knowledge that communities like Paekakariki, Raumati, Paraparaumu, Waikanae and Ōtaki are strongly engaged on this topic.
Declaring climate emergencies
Greater Wellington Environment Committee Chair Penny Gaylor says like Greater Wellington, KCDC last year made a declaration of climate emergency.
“This summit was a great way to foster engagement with the community on how to tackle aspects of climate change, ” she says.
“Many local residents are already being faced with the impacts of climate change, so we really need to work together to protect communities.
“Our new Climate Committee, through our 10-point action plan, will allow us to make all of our decisions through a climate lens. We have committed to an organisation-wide goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030,” Cr Gaylor says.