Auckland Council recently declared a climate emergency, joining a growing number of cities around the world that have formally and publicly recognised climate change as an urgent issue. Announcing the move, on June 11, Mayor Phil Goff said that by unanimously voting to declare a climate emergency Council is signalling its intention to put climate change at the front and centre of its decision-making. We took to the streets to ask some Hibiscus Coast residents for their thoughts on Council’s stance.
From left, Anna and Mika Hutton, school climate strikers from Ōrewa College
“We think it’s a good thing because it will hopefully put more pressure on the Government to do it too, so more legal changes are made to stop climate change.”
From left, Cindy, Amy and Sandy Lin, Ōrewa
“We think it is good and would like to see the change put into action by seeing a focus on less rubbish and seeing more planting. Especially flowers – that would make this place so beautiful.”
Clockwise from left, exchange students Sofia Lizarraga from Argentina, Eugenia Fagalde from Argentina, Giulia Lourençāo from Brazil and Svea-Mareen Gricar from Germany.
“We think it’s a good thing. Climate change is talked about way more in New Zealand than where we are from, which is really cool to see.”
John Davies, Ōrewa
“At first I just saw this as a token move. After I looked into what it actually meant though, I saw that Council will have to consider climate change in every decision they make – that’s when I saw the decision as actually valuable.”
John Curtis, Whangaparāoa
“The Council have a responsibility to be environmentally friendly, however, using the term ‘climate emergency’ is frightening people, when there are so many predictions out there. Maybe they could have reworded it to ‘plastic waste’ emergency instead. The Council are right to forward plan, however the word ‘emergency’ should be used for impending things.
Lyn Curtis, Whangaparāoa
“We will probably have an earthquake or Rangitoto will blow up before anything to do with climate change happens! However it is still happening. I live on a waterfront, and while you can’t see water levels rising drastically, there is always plastic to be picked up. Plastic is a real problem.”