News

Scott Willis
Scott Willis11 hours ago
Look at that image and you can see the sea reaching out from both sides to hold hands. The news that the #SouthDunedinFuture programme, a joint programme funded by both the Dunedin City Council and the Otago Regional Council, has proposed "[r]eplacing parts of South Dunedin with wetlands and waterways" is very positive. In the "Our City, Our Climate" report co-authored by Camilla Cox and myself in 2018, we reported on workshops on adaptation to climate impacts we ran and the outcome. What was revealed was "a strong community desire for more engagement, more community discussion, and more collaborative work to understand options, to develop a vision and to act."

So over the next week or so what will be revealed is first the ambition of our two councils to provide clarity on the climate options, and then if the proposed strategy is adopted by both, it will provide a plan, with elements can can be promptly adopted. As a #Green I am keen to see central Government investment in solutions, particularly in South Dunedin - the community most exposed to sea-level rise and with the least collective resource to adapt. I am also keen to see not only material solutions ("deintensification of high-risk areas of South Dunedin, with intensification in other areas to compensate") but also care for community, and collaboration with all the community groups like the South Dunedin Community Network and social service agencies to assist people to adjust to better housing. Providing a plan is providing certainty and provides an ability to act. Let's not delay further. #ClimateActionNow #Adaptation #CoastalSetback #RiskReduction #SeaLevelRise #NotTooLate
Scott Willis
Scott Willis1 day ago
The election of a more progressive Australian Government doesn't stop flooding. Climate breakdown is underway globally. But without progressive government, it will get worse, faster, and it will be even harder to bounce back. That's why even the local body elections here in Aotearoa New Zealand are so important. Imagine giving up the leadership of Aotearoa New Zealand's first elected Green endorsed Mayor for a climate change denier or someone who doesn't understand local government process. Imagine if we re-elect a regional Council with a majority of Councillors who support degrading our waterways further and who don't support clean air or robust climate action. I don't want to imagine that, even less witness it. #LocalBodyElections2022
Scott Willis
Scott Willis5 days ago
This is a great interview with Chris Falconer today and his involvement with the Happy Cow Milk Company. "We like to farm with our values at the front end rather than bolt them on or add them in when we can afford them.."

A values based approach to farming isn't standard, but is essential to rebuild thriving rural communities and reduce emissions. Simpler systems, direct marketing, community supported agriculture, development of our own Geographical Indications for food (products that come from a particular geographical location and which possess a quality, reputation or other characteristic linked to that place) are all essential to build #FoodSovereignty and demonstrate the #FutureOfFarming.
Scott Willis
Scott Willis5 days ago
This is a very positive step by Nelson City Council. Here in Ōtepoti Dunedin the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council have been working through the South Dunedin Future Programme with the community on the St Clair to St Kilda Coastal Plan or Whakahekerau – Rakiātea Rautaki Tai. And "with a 1.5m of sea level rise forecast to happen within 100 years in Nelson under a worst case scenario, it’s time to work out a strategy" - and the same approach should apply for every urban area on the coast. We shouldn't be looking at best case scenarios, but rather worst case because it is better to be prepared and let's be honest - climate impacts are now coming thick and fast.

The good news is that local government is leading the way while the Climate Adaptation Act is still be worked on by the Government. So that's why we need good governance in local government, to pick up the pace, and work with our communities to inform, prepare, plan and implement solutions. That's why we need to pay attention to the #LocalBodyElections2022 because the time for denial, delay and obfuscation is past. Whether in Ōtepoti Dunedin, Ōtautahi Christchurch, Whakatū Nelson, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Papaioea Palmerston North, Tāmaki Makaurau, or any other local body area, we need climate leaders. Soon there'll be an opportunity to hear from, and question candidates. Its up to us to get informed and to push our politicians to be bold.
#EmissionsReduction #CommunityLedAdaptation #BoldClimateAction
Scott Willis
Scott Willis6 days ago
An independent ministerial advisory committee made up of consumer representatives to advise the Government on energy wellbeing should be a priority. There's now an Energy Hardship Expert Panel and Reference Group, which is good news, but where is the consumer voice?

Every day I meet people struggling with power bills. Its a confusing world for those just struggling to get by and consumer voices and experiences need representation too. We face big challenges and transformation of our energy sector as we decarbonise, and to ensure an equitable transition we need consumers and prosumers (those who produce and consume electricity) represented. So why the delay?
#CleanEnergyPlan
Scott Willis
Scott Willis1 week ago
Thank you to Tina Schirr and team (Business NZ Energy Council) and fellow panelists Nicolas Vessiot (Transpower), and Jonathan Young (Ara Ake) along with facilitator Ashley Kearton (Ernst & Young) for a rich debate about Decentralised Energy vs Centralisation. Clearly we already possess many Distributed Energy Resources and so decentralisation is already a thing, but how can we make the most of all these assets as we #Powerdown?

Regulatory change is needed now to build a resilient energy system with National Environmental Standards for small scale wind and solar farms. The enabling of flexibility trading will allow us to harness the power of the sun and wind and the storage in batteries, EVs and cool stores. Peer to peer electricity retailers need support to be able to compete with the powerful incumbents and break their stronghold on the electricity market to free up innovation for cheaper, cleaner, smarter electricity. We can build #EnergySovereignty by being smarter, rather than being enamoured with #ThinkBig. #CleanEnergyPlan