News | 27 September 2022

Climate action in motion

They say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day – there’s nothing better than a stroll or roll in the sunshine, taking in the sights of the waterfront. But these days we're also experiencing wilder weather, storm surges, sea level rise, slips and even snow in the city, due to the climate crisis.

Cyclists on the Waterfront.

This past winter has been Wellington’s wettest on record, and an increase in rainy days is going to be the new normal as climate change impacts our lives. 

Wellingtonians have repeatedly told Wellington City Council they want action on climate change, so the Council adopted Te Atakura – First to Zero blueprint in 2019. The goal is to more than halve our emissions by 2030 and make Wellington city a net zero carbon capital by 2050.  

Since the launch of the strategy, the city has been taking action with a range of initiatives already in motion, says Wellington City Council First to Zero Principal Advisor Pip Wheaton.  

“There’s a lot of change happening within the city, including big structural changes, the new bike network and transport initiatives through Let’s Get Wellington Moving, where we’re working alongside Waka Kotahi and Greater Wellington Regional Council. There’s a range of community-led action, which we support through the Climate and Sustainability fund, and business-led action supported by the Active Workplace Transport Fund. 

“We’ve also done a lot of research to better understand how climate change will impact the city’s hazards, which has been included within the proposed district plan. Many different parts of the Council are working on solutions, together with Wellingtonians. It’s the joint effort across the city that counts.” 

Waka hiko branding.

The latest transport initiative is a new electric vehicle (EV) charging network. There will be 60 council-owned chargers installed at convenient locations around the city over the next few years, meaning more EVs can be more easily charged up by drivers who don’t have access to private residential chargers. 

Wellington City Council Manager Climate Change Response Alison Howard says while EVs are not a solution for all transport needs, every action we take can help reduce emissions. 

“In Wellington 34% of city emissions come from road transport. So alongside the shift to active and public transport, switching to EVs will help achieve the city’s carbon reduction goals. By the end of the year, anyone with an EV will be able to use fast chargers at some of our facilities including ASB Sports Centre, Otāri-Wilton’s Bush, and the recreation centres at Kilbirnie, Karori and Nairnville.”

To read more about our city-wide climate initiatives and actions, check out this year’s update of Te Atakura – First to Zero.