The Thames-Coromandel District Council's voted against signing a pact to do more on climate change.

Despite impassioned speeches in the debating chamber today, most councillors voted not to sign the Local Government Leaders Climate Change Declaration.

This was despite a large amount of protesters at the meeting calling for the council to support the motion.

Mayor Sandra Goudie, who's been a vocal opponent, says they're not climate deniers.

Advertisement

"One of the really great things about today's meeting was the general consensus that actions speak larger than words, and everyone is taking considerable action."

She says they're already doing a number of things in the declaration, like supporting walking and cycling, and engaging with coastal communities on sea level rise.

Her concern is around the vaguely worded document that could end up being legally binding. She told Larry Williams that a judge found a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Conservation and the New Plymouth council to be legally binding.

"So at any point a judge could rule that the declaration is legally binding."

Goudie says that the declaration is vague about what they would actually be committing to. She says they have a commitment to their ratepayers to know what they are signing up for.

She says that there is a lot of media attention and social media bullying that has been attached to this declaration.

"We're told that it's benign, but if it's so benign, why is there so much pressure and bullying to sign the document?"

Goudie also wonders how much influence this year's local elections has over the proceedings.

Advertisement

"I think there is the expectation or hope that it will come back and bite me on the butt."