New Zealand / Climate

Hawke's Bay Regional Council to declare climate change emergency

15:59 pm on 11 June 2019

Hawke's Bay Regional Council is the latest local body to consider declaring a climate change emergency.

A significant slip at Cape Kidnappers in the Hawke's Bay narrowly missed two walkers in February. Photo: Supplied / Hastings District Council

A declaration was hoped to be made at a meeting of the council's Environment and Services Committee next Wednesday, Hawke's Bay Regional Council chair Rex Graham said.

Councillors were unanimous in their desire to make a declaration, he said.

"It's just a formality ... because our council has been focused on this for at least three years."

"Our Long Term Plan was about that, our raising of stopbanks, our water programme and ensuring our province is ready for climate change ... our coastal strategy is probably the most advanced in New Zealand."

"We're there doing it in the streets, right now," he said.

Some councils that had already declared climate change emergencies needed to follow through with action, Mr Graham said.

"You can go around making these glamorous and glorious statements but you actually have to do the real work."

Napier City Council and Hastings District Council said they had not yet discussed making a declaration.

However, Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack said work was under way to review its district plan, including focusing growth in the future on the hills, such as behind Taradale.

"Council is committed to and doing significant work to the Coastal Hazards Strategy that is identified as leading New Zealand in its approach," Mr Jack said.

This afternoon, Auckland Council declared a climate emergency after a meeting that had young Aucklanders front and centre pushing for the move.

Last month, Canterbury Regional Council was the first council in the country to declare a climate emergency, and Nelson City Council followed soon after.