El­e­ment mag­a­zine Sus­tain­abil­ity Cham­pion Award

Element - - Sustainable Businesses -

Win­ner: Dorothy Wil­son – a life­time legacy of sus­tain­abil­ity

Dorothy Wil­son served two terms as deputy mayor of Waitakere City Coun­cil, “I was lucky to work with a num­ber of politi­cians and staff who has an in­ter­na­tional vi­sion and brought big­ger global con­cepts to the west, and then I was lucky enough to visit some of those places.

Even out of coun­cil she has con­tin­ued to ad­vo­cate for sus­tain­abil­ity, such as Auck­land Coun­cil’s ‘Zero Waste by 2040’ tar­get which en­cour­ages Auck­lan­ders to see waste as be­ing not at the end of its life but as a re­source to be re­cov­ered, reused and re­cy­cled.

She has proven adept in march­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives.

Her work will re­sult in more cy­clists rid­ing the streets and cy­cle ways of West Auck­land, house­hold­ers send­ing less waste to land­fill, cleaner streams and young peo­ple striv­ing for more sus­tain­able lives.

She has also been in­stru­men­tal in help­ing cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ment to be more open to a Maori world view, re­sult­ing in richer plans and projects for all com­mu­ni­ties.

Sir Bob Har­vey has de­scribed her as a pocket-dy­namo, whose record in cre­at­ing long-last­ing change for sus­tain­abil­ity is hard to match.

Wil­son says more peo­ple are com­ing to ac­cept cli­mate change as the press­ing is­sues of the times, and that ur­gency is start­ing to get no­ticed by lo­cal gov­ern­ment and could even reach cen­tral gov­ern­ment even­tu­ally.

“It can be in­cred­i­bly de­press­ing to see what is hap­pen­ing here and over­seas, and all I can do to keep my spir­its up is try to do what I can and en­cour­age other peo­ple to do that,” she says.

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