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