Weekly column by Kāpiti's Greater Wellington Regional Council representative Penny Gaylor.
For the next few weeks I'll be writing about Greater Wellington Regional Council's Long Term Plan. This week I'll set the scene for our approach.
As are all councils around New Zealand, GWRC has also released our consultation document for your consideration.
As my colleague GWRC chairman Daran Ponter puts it; "Quite simply, this plan is the most important document that we produce as a council.
"We've developed a transformational plan for uncertain times.
"It's about making sure we can get to where we want, having access to clean freshwater, staying safe from life-threatening floods, staving off the destructive impacts of climate change and turning back environmental degradation."
Here on the Kāpiti Coast we are already familiar with the impact of climate change, such as the coastal hazards preparedness discussion, our local drive to restore wetlands at Queen Elizabeth Park, and the flood protection works to protect the riverside communities of Waikanae and Ōtaki.
There's no of avoiding these vital issues, so let's face them together head on: I encourage you to go online to read the plan, and have your say on the future of our region.
Everyday, in hundreds of ways, we work hard to protect and enhance Wellington region, and for those of us calling the Kāpiti Coast home, right now we have some big decisions to make to secure our region's future. This affects all of us and I'd love for you to be involved.
There's plenty to consider, but we have a choice about how our region looks in 2031 and this Long Term Plan looks at all the big issues and how we can tackle them. As a starting point we've agreed on four strategic priorities, to focus on.
Responding to the climate emergency. Urgent action is needed now and we have set a big, bold target to be carbon neutral by 2030 and climate positive by 2035.
Improving outcomes for mana whenua and Māori. We are strengthening our commitment to working closely with mana whenua to achieve the best outcomes for Māori and the region, across everything we do.
Adapting and responding to the impacts of Covid-19. We plan to lead the way in supporting our region through the Covid-19 recovery, transitioning along the way to a sustainable, low carbon economy.
Aligning with Government direction. The Government's setting some big environmental goals. Some are still evolving, and several align with what we're doing already. We plan to be in the best position to respond well.
The environmental responsibilities of GWRC affect all of us, right now, and beyond in to our future. Your views can directly influence the decisions we make because we should make them together.
You can complete the consultation submission form online, or if you have a prepared submission you can email that directly to email@example.com.
Meanwhile, other big news is that Ellie, 11, from the Kāpiti Coast is one of the two winners of Metlink's Design a bus colouring contest.
Congratulations to Ellie and Bill whose designs were chosen out of 15 finalists and hundreds of entries for the popular contest. Finalist entries will be turned into posters that will brighten up bus shelters across the region.