CLI­MATE MES­SAGE

Otago Daily Times - - Front Page - MAR­GOT TAY­LOR mar­got.tay­lor@odt.co.nz

THE Gov­ern­ment must work with coun­cils to fight sea­level rise and help com­mu­ni­ties such as South Dunedin sur­vive.

That was the mes­sage from Labour leader Jacinda Ardern dur­ing a visit to a flood­dam­aged home in South Dunedin yes­ter­day.

Af­ter speak­ing to res­i­dents Tracy Dou­glas and Lon­cey McCul­lum, Ms Ardern said there needed to be greater trans­parency around the im­pact of cli­mate change.

‘‘They [the Dunedin City Coun­cil] are des­per­ate for us to work along­side them with their in­fra­struc­ture is­sues and that is a good start, but they also need us at a na­tional level to start mak­ing an ef­fort to re­duce the ef­fects of cli­mate change by tak­ing our role and re­spon­si­bil­ity se­ri­ously.’’

Labour’s cli­mate change pol­icy would do this, but Ms Ardern also called for a Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment re­port on the June 2015 floods to be made pub­lic.

‘‘The Gov­ern­ment knows where the pres­sure points are.

‘‘That re­port should have been re­leased, there should have been some trans­parency about it, and they should be work­ing to make sure th­ese com­mu­ni­ties have some sort of se­cu­rity around their fu­ture.’’

Ms Ardern be­lieved most New Zealan­ders would be wor­ried about cli­mate change is­sues like sea­level rise in South Dunedin.

A week out from elec­tion day it was im­por­tant Labour ad­dressed the is­sue re­gard­less of whether it in­creased votes, be­cause they had a ‘‘re­spon­si­bil­ity of care’’ to the peo­ple of South Dunedin, she said.

Health was an is­sue that was con­sis­tently raised when she vis­ited Dunedin, Ms Ardern said.

‘‘When you have 90­year­old in­di­vid­u­als sent home who then die from a bowel ob­struc­tion, that is some­thing all New Zealan­ders would be ashamed of.’’

Greater in­vest­ment in health­ care was needed and for the past nine years the Gov­ern­ment had failed to pro­vide that, Ms Ardern said.

The Labour Party would con­tinue to fo­cus on is­sues sur­round­ ing health­care and hous­ing as it went into its last week of the cam­paign, she said.

PHOTO: GER­ARD O’BRIEN

Fa­mous vis­i­tor . . . Labour leader Jacinda Ardern vis­its (from left) Tracy Dou­glas and Brook­lyn (9), Lon­cey and Brylee (3) McCul­lum at their South Dunedin home yes­ter­day.

PHOTO: GER­ARD O’BRIEN

Fam­ily re­union . . . Ms Ardern greets her cousin Elle War­wick (18) dur­ing her visit to the Univer­sity of Otago cam­pus yes­ter­day.

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