Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough
Support for climate change initiatives
A national survey has quizzed mayoral candidates on the issues for the upcoming local elections. Local Democracy Reporter Maia Hart looks at their views on climate change initiatives compared to other parts of the country.
An overwhelming majority of the country’s mayoral candidates believe climate change is a real and present danger that needs addressing and the majority of Marlborough’s candidates agree.
The 2022 Local Democracy Reporting survey gathered responses from 291 mayoral candidates on whether they thought councils should be spending ratepayers money on doing something about climate change.
Marlborough mayoral candidate Matt Flight said a council should lead by example, and help the region achieve climate goals.
‘‘Yes more public transport would be good but moving to complete fully electric would not at this stage,’’ Flight said.
‘‘The reason being our electrical infrastructure can not currently sustain the high demand required.’’
Marlborough deputy mayor Nadine Taylor said climate change was a global crisis, and we needed to act faster as global citizens.
‘‘I intend for council to lead by example, to support those working to improve our local environment and climate, and ensure our regulatory framework delivers on the outcomes it was designed to achieve,’’ Taylor said.
Mayoral candidate Chris Lippiatt agreed the council should consider spending ratepayers money on climate change initiatives.
‘‘Even if they weren’t climate change initiatives they would be solid ideas,’’ Lippiatt said.
‘‘Who wouldn’t want to save money on petrol with effective public transport or fill up our landfill slower, so they last
Most of the country’s mayoral candidates say climate change is a danger requiring council action, and the majority of Marlborough’s candidates agree.
longer, or have cheaper to run council cars.’’
Meanwhile, mayoral candidate Richard Osmaston, founder of the Money Free Party NZ, said they were working on ‘‘real solutions, to all problems’’ instead of a ‘‘falsely constrictive ‘this or that’ impossible dilemma’’.
‘‘They all originate in human’s current/historical need to obtain money, and, after money, we will be able to solve them all. We just need to think outside of our current (money) box,’’ Osmaston said.
The survey found candidates in provinces were slightly more in favour of climate initiatives such as better public transport, moving vehicle fleets to EVs and kerbside compost collection at 73.3% compared to those in cities, at 65.9%.
Just 12 out of 67 councils nationwide have declared a climate emergency. Marlborough was not one of them.
Marlborough’s council instead has an ‘‘action plan’’ which set short-term and long-term targets for the council to meet, so the public and councillors could track the region’s performance.
The action plan said the council’s four main goals were to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make Marlborough more resilient to climate change impacts, inform the community of actions and options for response, and show ‘‘clear leadership’’ on issues.
The survey was sent out to all 291 mayoral candidates and garnered 202 responses, representing a 69% response rate.