It’s people who will make our city a nicer place to live, work, care, play – and move around.
People – with clever minds, holding a vision of a beautiful, thriving city.
People – whose commitment to each other creates a better home for all of us.
The late Terry Pratchett, according to a Guardian article this weekend, used to say:
Your reward for doing something good… is to do something else good.
I like that. What better reward for the people who’ve created our world-class decarbonisation plans than ensuring the plans get implemented swiftly, so they are able to help?
Unfortunately, some other people – further behind, perhaps, on their journey of understanding – are making it harder to take action. For example, the Council’s planners who gave poor advice on the climate impacts of the changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan. And those officials at Auckland Transport who are clinging onto old ways of doing things. No one should be fearful of the TERP’s fresh approach; it simply empowers us to make the changes to planning, investment and infrastructure that will shape behaviour and emissions.
What can the public do to show support for good planning, and to urge our local government to leave behind any lingering unsustainable or regressive ideas?
Voting for the local government elections has started. If you’re enrolled to vote, you’ll be getting your voting papers in the mail. It’s not too late to enrol – so please encourage everyone who’s eligible to vote to make sure they get their papers!
Council’s website says:
You can still enrol to vote but you will need to cast a special vote. See Where and how to cast a special vote.
Who is sitting around the table at Council will make a big difference to how quickly we implement the TERP.
Local board members matter too; local boards connect Council and the public, ensuring a flow of information back and forth. Local boards can facilitate healthy community discussions about the small-scale local projects that can help improve everyone’s understanding of the benefits of change. What we don’t need is local boards that hinder progress, shooting improvements down on the misinformed reckons of talkback and tabloids.
Here are two resources to help find climate-savvy candidates:
Vote Climate’s candidate page tracks positions on climate action in the transport field, and it’s already been viewed over 27,000 times since it went up last week! Vote Climate say:
We emailed 2,400+ candidates across Aotearoa and their responses are now up so check them out before you #VoteClimate this October. Heaps of people already have! If you don’t see a response from supportive candidates, please contact them to see if they have completed the survey. They can email [email protected] if they need a new link and we will send them a new one or if they would like their photo on our social media committing to the asks.
Generation Zero have put in the hard yards yet again, and are back with their helpful Vote Local scorecards. They asked questions in five different subject areas.
In terms of the two main mayoral candidates, Efeso Collins is looking good in both surveys, but it appears Wayne Brown didn’t respond.
Brown needs to engage with the issues and be transparent in his policies. It’s not too late for him to contact Vote Climate and answer their surveys. We can follow up in a Weekly Roundup post, to show his scorecard results when he has done so. This is an opportunity to show leadership to other council candidates, too.
Fridays for Future is a global youth-led climate activist group, which is welcoming everyone to a protest this Friday, with the message that they want:
actual climate ACTION from our leaders!
Here’s the when and where:
And here’s the why:
Fridays for Future say they recognise that government has “made steps in the right direction” – but they are demanding a much more responsible level of action. They criticise the government’s continued fossil fuel exploration, refusal to recognise the real cost of our highest emitters, and they highlight that New Zealand’s overall response to climate has been highly insufficient:
The benefits of climate action are huge – for people today as well as our children and grandchildren. Nothing is holding us back from having an “exemplary” climate response! Our health, happiness and economic future would certainly rise immediately.
Fridays for Future also raise an important point about investments by public organisations:
These public entities could be investing in new climate-resilient low-carbon infrastructure like road reallocation projects for cycleways and busways, a programme of low traffic neighbourhoods, and infrastructure upgrades to enable intensification.
This is part of a wider election issue: while Auckland Council has laid out a plan for what the city needs, we need strong political will to bring all public organisations together so they are aligned. Our elected members need to advocate and negotiate on our behalf – whether the topic is land use, transport planning, or climate-aligned investment decisions.
This Friday is great timing for a march, as we head into the local government election. Protests work like elections do – the power rests in how many actually turn up. Whoever you are, whether you’ve ever been to a protest march or not, now is the time to show up and be counted.
This election needs to be all about climate, and decarbonising transport is the biggest part of Auckland’s climate response. As the TERP says:
Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and central government agencies must take immediate action to ensure their processes are supportive of the scale of transformation required…
If Auckland is to make progress towards its emissions-reduction goals, the TERP must drive these processes.
Auckland has been severely damaged by the motorway building of the last 60 years. It’s time to move the highway engineers and road builders away from making decisions for our city. It is the TERP that should be shaping the work on our transport planning, whether at local neighbourhood level or for rapid transit projects.
Let’s vote, march, and motivate everyone we know to do the same.
Will you ask your local candidates?:
Council needs to ensure the TERP is implemented immediately, and swiftly. Will you support that in every decision you make?