Last week the IPCC Sixth Assessment report came out where it provides an assessment of the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels.
It concludes that "The window to limit the world-threatening impacts of climate change is closing" and "Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future".
What a terribly bleak picture it paints. I was born in 1983, my daughter Kaea in 2012 and my son Kipa in 2014.
We are and will be the generations who will be massively impacted by our degrading planet but we are also the generation that can effect change.
Because in my mind I picture myself as an old woman who one day will have to explain to my grand and great-grandchildren what I did when we were being told emphatically and without doubt or agenda that our planet was on its last legs.
I've started doing my small bit so that when I'm asked to explain I'll at least have a half answer. A few years ago, my husband Cam and I started growing and planting native trees from a nursery we built down the side of our home in Waiohiki.
We have 2000 growing at the moment ready for planting in 2022, and have planted approximately 9000 over the past four years.
Some of these trees have also been sourced from our friends who share our vision from the Greenmeadows Kindergarten and the All Saints Church in Taradale and we've had students from Napier Girls come in droves to weed and pot up seedlings so we have more trees for 2023 and beyond.
We don't sell these trees, instead we gift them and have planted them along both councils owned and private waterways that drain into the Ahuriri Estuary. Because in our minds planting these trees and rebuilding our natural environment where it was previously barren is our insurance for the world we want tomorrow.
At the end of 2021 in the Regional Council's 10-year long term plan review I pushed incredibly hard with my fellow councillors and Napier City Council's elected officials and our respective hard-working staff to advance the Ahuriri Regional Park.
We committed your precious ratepayer dollars to this project over the next 10 years to making it a reality. Is this a vanity project? Hell no!
This is a critical project that does everything the IPCC report calls for if our future is to have a glimmer of hope.
The Ahuriri Regional Park will see tens of thousands of native trees planted along waterways that will strip global warming carbon from the atmosphere. It will create wetlands that will filter our urban waterways and streams and lock carbon into the soil and sediments.
It will create hectares of functioning ecosystems that move our species from being threatened to abundant. It will polish waterways and mitigate sewage discharges.
It needs to happen now and needs the support of all our Hawke's Bay community, councils, and tangata whenua to work as hard as we can so that it becomes a reality. Because every day that passes is a closing window that needs to be pried open to secure a liveable future.
All I can say is do your bit. This winter I hope you'll join me in helping to plant our 2000 trees, or attend another community planting day.
If you can adopt a stream or river of your own and bring it to life with your mates and whanau by creating your own nursery then do it. Because these efforts will validate the conversation that you'll have with your grand and great children of tomorrow. Don't risk being left standing with a blank face and open empty palms followed by a shoulder shrug when you have that conversation.
Hinewai Ormsby is a Hawke's Bay Regional Councillor