Pippa Coom: Final update as Waitemata- Local Board Chair

Happy birthday Ponsonby News! Congratulations on 30 years of providing local news and being such a big part of the community.

Editor Martin Leach has been generous with providing space for community updates and the promotion of good causes. Groups that featured in the couple of years I provided a Grey Lynn 2030 update included the Grey Lynn Farmers Market, Grey Lynn Business Association and Waste Away – all still going strong. It was great to recently attend the 10th birthday celebrations for the market.

When I first joined Grey Lynn 2030 over 10 years ago, it appeared that we could take small steps to transition to a low carbon community over a long time period. There’s now a real urgency to transition, not just to a low carbon community, but a net zero one to avoid catastrophic temperature rises. In June, with the support of the Waitemat-a Local Board, council declared a climate emergency.

At the final local board meeting on 17 September, the Waitemat-a Low Carbon Network and the Equal Justice Project presented on their submission to Te T-aruke--a-T-awhiri the Auckland Climate Action Framework that is currently out for consultation. They told board members that the framework “fails to reflect that we are, in fact, in a climate ‘emergency’. At the moment it sounds like it’s just ‘business as usual’. If a house is burning down, you have to act fast. The framework does not come close, in our view, to adequately setting out the steps, targets, challenges, deadlines, measures or accountability processes needed for an emergency.”

The mayor and councillors will need to be willing to take the bold leadership required in finalising a framework that sets a clear pathway to emissions neutrality with strong interim targets. Delivering clean, safe and equitable transport options will need to be a key objective of the next council. I’m campaigning to be the next councillor for Waitemat-a and Gulf alongside the City Vision team. We’re the only team with policy to take action on climate change.

This is now my final update for Ponsonby News as Waitemat-a Local Board Chair. It has been a real privilege to serve as chair for this term and to have been on the board for nine years. As a progressive board over that time we’ve been willing to take risks and adopt policy often before any other part of council. We were the first local board to approve a Low Carbon Community Action Plan out of which the network, which presented to our final meeting, was established.

As chair, I’ve provided an update in Ponsonby News each month on the work of the local board to make our neighbourhoods more safe, healthy, vibrant, sustainable, resilient, connected, inclusive and accessible. (PIPPA COOM)

My final report reflecting on the 2016 – 2019 term is available online at www.pippacoom.co.nz.


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