Weekly column by Kāpiti's Greater Wellington Regional Council representative Penny Gaylor.
I have to confess I've been pulling some long days and late nights this past week, not because of our council meetings schedule, but because of my Olympic Games watching.
Like lots of Kiwis I'm loving watching our New Zealand athletes do their best and make us proud.
As I write this column, we were 10th on the medal table, and with a population of five million people producing four golds, it's a spectacular achievement when you look at table leaders China with 21 gold from a population of 1.4 billion. That's 280 times more people.
Speaking of gold and achievements, I attended the Wellington Gold Awards last Thursday. I was again a judge on behalf of GWRC because of my role as chair of our environment committee, and as sponsors of the Green Award.
I am so impressed with all the businesses. Judging gave me an insight in to the efforts of the private sector to deliver their best; whether developing a product or service, to be their best for their customers and their employees, and making conscious and meaningful choices to reduce their impact on the environment.
Here's my speech from the night, to the audience of about 1000.
"Last month regional council adopted our new Long Term Plan.
"It's our blueprint for tackling the big environmental challenges faced by our region.
"We've committed to becoming climate positive — meaning we absorb more carbon than we emit — by 2035.
"In our parks, we're phasing out hundreds of hectares of grazing land and restoring native forests and wetlands.
"We're decarbonising our bus fleet and by 2031, we'll have a fully decarbonised public transport system.
"And through our work with Predator Free Wellington, we're committed to becoming the world's first Predator Free capital city.
"Tonight we take inspiration from each other, particularly from those businesses with a commitment to sustainability that we're commemorating in this Green Award.
"Together we are the force for change, for the good of our communities.
"Regional council thanks you for your leadership.
"E kore Aku mihi e mutu.
"Nga mihi nui.
"Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa."