2019 Dunedin Candidate Answers to SDC’s 5 Questions

Sustainable Dunedin City has asked 5 environmentally themed questions of candidates for Mayor, Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council – Dunedin Constituency

The document is available to download as a PDF (1.2MB) here.

In no particular order: Not all candidates answered our questions.

 

Scout Barbour-Evans

1. In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like? 

A sustainable Dunedin City is one where we make decisions that will last a long time into the future. The last council has inherited a lot of issues, particularly around infrastructure, and Dunedin’s facing a really unexpected population rise. We need to begin to find ways that our residents can move around the city more efficiently, through better bus networks and potentially a train, especially as carparks and cycle lanes in the inner city are about to be affected by the hospital rebuild. 40k cars come into the city past the oval every day, so we need to make sure there’s room in the city for them. We also need to make sure our housing stock is up to scratch – right now we build and insulate to a sub-tropical standard, but Dunedin is sub-antarctic. Having a council that works collaboratively with the health board on housing would make it easier for families to put roots down in communities for longer.

2. How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy? 

I think the current council has put in a lot of the good steps towards doing this, but the real issue in Dunedin is our transport links. No one is saying that we need to ban cars, but a lot of Dunedin residents use them where it isn’t actually necessary to and it’s impacting on our rural communities. Finding and implementing sustainable transport options as soon as possible will solve quite a few issues at once.

3. Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view? 

Recently a tree on the berm outside my parents’ house died. They wanted to replace the dead tree with fruiting pear trees, knowing the area got brilliant sunlight, but the council refused and replaced the tree with another non-fruiting cherry. It took six separate visits from different contractors over three weeks to manage this. I think there’s a lot of need in Dunedin for housing, and I’d hate to see us turn down sustainable housing development in favour of food production, but I would love to see us start to use our berms and parks in smarter ways with community gardens, orchards, and resting places.

4. How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration? 

There are definite issues with waste in Dunedin. Our recycling can’t go anywhere and our landfills are filling up. This is not my area of expertise though, and it would be irresponsible of me to pretend it was. This is one of many issues where I need to speak to experts in a few areas to find solutions that help us all.

5. What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’? 

To me, wealth is excess, and often comes at the expense of somebody else. Wellbeing is sustainable – have what you need in order to sustain yourself and your family, so that other people have enough too.

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Andrew Whiley

  1. In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

A sustainable Dunedin is a city that is economically viable and progressive. In order to afford the best of the evidence-based greener technologies to mitigate the effects of climate change including sea level rise, we have to have economic growth so that we don’t just raise rates or delay other investments in our city.  I have voted in support of the investment of $1.1m for the Climate Resilience Work Programme also believe that a sustainable future involves ensuring that there are enough homes being built to house our citizens (that includes rental properties).

  1. How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

It may seem like a paradox but I see Dunedin benefiting greatly from a natural gas find off the coast.  Natural gas is a transition fuel which will assist Dunedin, NZ and the world to transition to cleaner options of like solar, wind and electricity.  Most of us aren’t in a position to stop using petrol and plastics today….but we are all doing our best on a personal level where we can. The biggest real impact that we could make on the world would be to sell our natural gas to China to stop them from building the 200 new coal burning plants every year! Plus this find will absolutely boost our economy, again allowing us to invest in more expensive and high tech infrastructure that we need.

  1. Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City?  What does that look like in your view?

Not all farm land is high class food producing soils so we do need to watch the balance of development and what is productive farming land.  I see the opportunities for farming alternative protein sources that don’t require vast amounts of land and water resources. I am currently exploring cricket and other insects.

  1. How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

The City needs to Reduce, Reuse and Recylce – just like most people do at home. Where we can, the city could provide Water Tanks at it’s organised events and ask attendants at public events to bring their own resuable water bottles – rather than selling or providing bottled water. A major issue is that NZ needs investment in recycling.  A well designed recycling plant would create jobs. We lived in Vancouver and saw a large scale city wide composting facility created. Dunedin can do more in this area. 

  1. What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’?

Well-being is a holistic term that is not about how much money you earn.  To me it’s about more personal issues that make you a happy and productive person.  It can be influenced by your surroundings and that’s why the city of Dunedin and the Council can have an influence on well-being.  We want our city to support the development of good healthy homes, we need clean and safe drinking water. We need to have amenities such as parks for people to enjoy, particularly children and families.  We need to ensure that we support our educational institutions and retain our industries so that our community people have jobs. Well-being is supported by a huge raft of things and it’s going to be different for different groups of our community.

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Aaron Hawkins

  1. In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

A sustainable Dunedin city is one that has a plan for achieving our zero carbon and zero waste goals. Where the social and environmental wellbeing of our community is our top priority, and the success of everything we do is measured against that. 

In all of this, we need to make sure mana whenua are actively involved in our discussions and decision making.

2. How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

The biggest opportunity council has is in the transition to a 21st century transport network. That means continuing to invest in safer cycling and walking, and making our bus service more affordable and efficient (ultimately free). 

We also can’t forget our outlying townships, and need to make sure there’s sufficient charging infrastructure to let those communities move around more sustainably. 

We’re also working on options for a district energy scheme, which could tie in to the new hospital and tertiary precinct, allowing both major public institutions and private businesses to be powered by renewable energy. 

3. Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

As an RMA commissioner my job is to make decisions according to the current and proposed district plans. Expressing an opinion outside of that would disqualify me from hearing relevant applications, but I will be watching with interest the new standards being proposed by MfE around high class soils.

4. How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

I support council’s push towards a circular economy approach to managing waste, as part of the Waste Futures project. We have the opportunity (finally!) to introduce an organic waste collection service and do away with black plastic rubbish bags.

We also need to ramp up our efforts to divert waste from the landfill, to extend the life of the Green Island facility and reduce our carbon footprint.

I support the concept of neighbourhood scale resource recovery facilities, acknowledging that making that work will look different in different places. 

The ORC’s Regional Plan: Waste hasn’t been reviewed since 1997 and this needs to be made a priority of theirs. 

We also need to work at a national level to develop more on shore recycling processing facilities; strong mandatory product stewardship schemes; and a more even application of the waste levy.

5. What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’?

The reinstatement of the “four wellbeing” into the purpose of the Local Government Act is important here.

We have an obligation to provide for the economic, cultural, social and environmental wellbeing of our community. Council has committed to a strategic framework for doing that, which includes both GDP growth and zero carbon targets (for example). 

In that sense, wealth is just one element of achieving our more holistic wellbeing aspirations. 

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Jules Radich

1. In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

When eco-action is popularised, people will embrace change and gladly help in the process of moving us to a carbon neutral community. The areas of transport, agriculture and buildings will all contribute to the net result, but the key is to enrol people positively so that action may take place.

  1. How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

With electricity

  1. Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

No. This can be prevented by making it easier to develop lesser land.

  1. How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

Extend the landfill life at Green Island

Recycle plastics, glass and tyres. I am actively engaged in these areas.

  1. What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’?

Wealth is for individuals to achieve if they are so motivated, whereas wellbeing is for us all to work together as a community to achieve for everyone.

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Finn Campbell

In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

My vision for a sustainable Dunedin City would account for 4 key “pillars”. Transportation, Housing, Waste, and South Dunedin/Low lying areas. The most important steps we can do to ensure sustainability within this space is disconnect them from fossil fuels and plastics. Whilst this is not a complete picture of sustainability, these pillars and this carbon neutral goal is my priority.

How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

I believe that an approach that considers Transportation, Housing, and Waste Management is the best whole system understanding of how city based people are forced to continue to use fossil fuels in their daily lives. To build a better transportation network we need to create the infrastructure for cycling, walking, buses, and electric cars. Whilst using urban/spatial planning to create a housing system that facilitates alternative transportation. Then we need stronger legislation to pressure the “introducers of waste into the supply chain” (business) to be accountable for the products they try to sell to individuals.  To do that we have to create short term and immediate 3 year carbon budgets for the city, so that we can start the action now and can continue to monitor how we are progressing.

Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

We should not be building over food producing soil! I think the DCC should be working to develop a better and longer established food market to the farmers market so that local food producers have a viable place to sell their goods. I like the current farmers market, its just not as equally accessible for everyone (like shift workers), and it is vulnerable to the weather.

How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

 I want to see a plan to reduce waste going to the landfill, I think the new product stewardship laws will help with this. I want to see initiatives to reduce restaurant and business waste (like shareabowl). Dunedin and the South Island need to develop a recycling facilities so that we are accountable for the products we try recycle and what they are turned into. I think once the city centre has better alternative transport options we will see further urban regeneration as the businesses and apartments become more accessible. I would like to see excessive use of green space within central city urban redesigns. 

What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’?

Wealth is associated with money, or an over abundance of something.  Well being exists as a concept ‘above’ wealth that is a more holistic approach to comfort, enjoyment, life satisfaction, etc.

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Christine Garey

In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

The three pillars of sustainability are economic, environmental and social.  There is much work to be done in the next triennium of Council as we focus on these three areas. 

If we look as tourism as an example, it’s a main economic drivers for the city.  One of the pillars of sustainability in that sector is the host communities. As visitor growth continues, we need to ensure host communities within Dunedin are benefiting in a tangible way from the visitors, through employment and improved facilities. Otherwise resentment builds in the host communities and visitors are no longer made welcome.  

Another area we need to address is ensuring that the impact of the visitor growth does not harm the environment e.g natural beauty, wildlife etc that attracts the visitors in the first place.  But in all cases any action must put the local people and livability of the city, at the forefront of any initiatives. 

In terms of the waste – we need to move to a circular economy in the long term but there is a huge shift required in the way we manage waste in the city for us to get to this point. 

How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

Council has already started this with moving investments away for fossil fuels in the previous triennium.  In this triennium Council has clearly opposed OMV drilling for oil and gas off the Otago coast. As we enter into the next triennium and focus on climate action and a work programme, this issue will come into sharp focus.  

Do you think we should be building over our high class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

No, we shouldn’t be building on our high class food-producing soils.

We have a specific position in our Enterprise Dunedin team dedicated to this area but it is a part-time position.  I would like to see this supported with more funding to a full time position.  

How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

Following the path we are on now albeit glacially slow.  The proposal for waste will be consulted on early next year. 

What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘wellbeing’?

Wealth does not equate to wellbeing.  The most important thing is for all our people to thrive – warm homes, jobs, good health,  and leading happy fulfilling lives etc but that may not mean wealth in monetary terms or assets.

 

 

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Mandy Mayhem Bullock

 1. In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

A sustainable Dunedin would prioritize cycling and walking, and incorporate many alternatives to single-person automobile use – Park and ride systems, commuter bus loops. tram, cable or electric options. A city in which a large number of useful facilities and mixed housing to meet the varied needs of  its residents.This would require various price points ( maximum permissible price) to ensure affordability. A Community that is designed to protect the natural features- this includes the natural landscape, our resources and their supply. A sustainable Dunedin would ensure sustainable land use within and outside its borders helps people thrive by providing water, food, and recreation. A city that is able to retain the supply of natural resources while achieving economic, physical, and social progress, and remain safe against environmental risks that could undermine development.

  2. How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy? 

Ultimately, the political will for fundamental change is lacking. Dunedin council has at least taken the brave step to declare an climate emergency in order to begin to address the issue.  

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has estimated that between now and 2030, around 70% of the power generation the world will add will be renewables. If we choose renewables because they’re cheaper, which is far more plausible every day. In some parts of the world, wind or solar power is more than competitive with fossil fuels. About half of the new energy capacity put on the grid globally is now renewables, and the picture going forward is even better. 

Currently renewables are a long way from dominating electricity enough to make fossil fuel energy a bad investment.

We need support from central Government to offer incentives and build legislation around renewables to make this work for New Zealand.

   3 . Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view? 

NO! I feel strongly that we need preserve all top quality soils for market garden land.

Once Dunedin did have local supply, Oamaru are our closest food producers now.Once the Taieri was known as the food basket of Dunedin. Historically South Dunedin, Forbury, Caversham, Kaikourai Valley, Taieri, Outram and Waitati were market gardens , largely farmed by Chinese families when they took up residency here after the gold rush. Today none of these places have large supply.

As a City we need to address many types of food systems, and create relationships with the surrounding countryside and rural populations.

 It is a cross-sectoral, multi-level, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder approach. In an urbanizing world,food systems are affected by changes in social, physical and ecological factors. Food systems for a city require complex networks and community resilience, social inclusion and equity.

    4. How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

The most efficient , the cheapest and the most enduring way to reduce waste is reduce, reuse , recycle.We, as a consumer and urban dweller, have considerable power to reduce the amount of waste going to land fill by choosing to buy products that use less packaging or are packaged in recyclable materials.Choosing products that are reusable and long lasting instead of single-use disposable products will save a lot of waste and also save money over the long term.

We need to model this as a city by making Naked products the normal- like things used to be, wrapped in newsprint or brown paper if anything. Dunedin has made a start but we need to move faster and make it a revolution.

I see regeneration needs to happen in 2 ways Urban and Ecological

Currently the Dream Brokerage group is making steps towards regenerating the city centre empty shops, I would like to see more artistic and creative, community and studio type spaces created where currently buildings are sitting empty.

Green spaces within the city and larger dense carbon absorption plantings- the city ridge line tracks and trails, town belt and highway verges to name a few.Tying in with community resilience, it is a must that we grow fruit trees on berms, community and school vege gardens, and food co-op type hubs.

    4. What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’? Wealth is defined by possessions, money or a plentiful supply of a desirable thing

The only places where economic growth has led to an increase in happiness are these countries, Denmark, France, and Germany

Community wellbeing is far more holistic- Public health researchers Wiseman and Brasher reflect this in their interesting definition: 

Community wellbeing is the combination of social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political conditions identified by individuals and their communities as essential for them to flourish and fulfill their potential.

Connectedness

Connection is fostered by a community’s social networks that:

  • Offer social support
  • Enhance social trust
  • Support members living harmoniously together
  • Foster civic engagement
  • Empower members to participate in community and democracy

Livability

A livable community is supported by the infrastructure, including:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Education
  • Parks and recreation
  • Human services
  • Public safety
  • Access to culture and the arts

Equity

An equitable community is supported by values of diversity, social justice, and individual empowerment, where:

  • All members are treated with fairness and justice
  • Basic needs are met (adequate access to health services, decent housing, food, personal security)
  • There is equal opportunity to get education and meet individual potential

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Peter Mckenzie

Sustainable lifestyles require citizens’ willing acceptance of lower consumption and reduced expectations for energy use. This is politically difficult and confronting as most people want a clean lifestyle, conscience and environment but do not want those things to come at the cost of reduced living standards. The key to sustainable living is in modifying people’s aspirations and the city has a role here to enable such a transition. Simple measures such as going back to citizens having the time and space to grow their own food, in their own or shared gardens, can make a big difference. I do not support wasting fertile soils. Electric transport and use of Wrightspeed technology for trucks and buses are good goals for city transport. Wealth in capital terms and wellbeing overall are completely different measures. Encouraging citizens to value the latter over the former should be part of council’s overarching push to sustainability. Dunedin’s sustainable future requires informed and agile-thinking councillors able to react to the fast-changing world, rather than those riding popular waves of transient movements or adhering to party or personal dogma.

A healthy broad-ranging council representing all citizens’ interests is best equipped to govern for a healthy sustainable city with a healthy future.

It’s about the ability to make the best evidence-based decisions for Dunedin’s true guardianship.

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Jason Lindsay 

In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

A sustainable city would be one that laid out 5-year, 10-year and 50-100 year infrastructure strategy. It also involves making sure that all decisions made by council take Environmental Impact into consideration when making those decisions. We need to improve our stock of inner city apartments, expand our cycle ways in smart practical ways, and look at how to best provide alternative modes of transportation to get in and out of the city in ways that are accessible to everyone. Ultimately, I think we need to look at how we can incentivise self-sustainable building so that we don’t have to expand infrastructure and we are removing other infrastructure from our books. This would also protect us as a city if there were to be an event of wide area damage (i.e., earthquake) by making  people less susceptible to damaged/polluted water supply.

How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

We have to get out of the thinking that the old way of doing things is working great. Instead, we need to be innovative and want to lead the way in finding solutions that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. There is always an opportunity to thrive, if we are brave and take chances. This is a city that probably has more belief in itself than it has in over a century. Let’s not waste the opportunities in front of us by slipping back into our old ways. 

Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view? 

Dunedin is quite a large city in terms of land, and I do think we need to make it easier for development to happen, so that as we grow over the next decade or two (as expected), we don’t destroy one of the best characteristics of this city – Reasonable housing costs. I do think, however, that we are also on the verge a renaissance of inner-city living, and this will be important as the city grows.

How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration? 

I feel strongly that we need better education about our waste stream. I think most people throw stuff into their yellow bins and think to themselves, “I’ve done my part,” but there is an immense amount of unrecycleable waste going into those bins. Most of us want to do better, but we need more awareness. We also need a green bin system. A final key element is that we should do more to support innovative projects that will help provide answers to our sustainability problems.

What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’? 

I have been very fortunate to have gone through a deep understanding of these two ideas in my life. I have chased wealth and achieved it and found what I was doing to get there incredibly unfulfilling. Wellbeing comes from finding ways to put other people’s needs in front of your own.  When you do this, life becomes very fulfilling, communities become stronger, and a pervasive attitude spreads throughout that community where everyone looks after each other, and this creates a true deeper happiness.

 

 

 

Hugh Forsyth

In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

’Sustainable’ land use is the key objective of the RMA but not defined. The principle of ‘living within limits’ is my personal guide. In the context of how a local body works and its limits my vision of a sustainable Dunedin is one of ‘resilience’, which is easier to measure in terms of policies and financial commitments. The physical economy of Dunedin is connected to the wider NZ and International economy and this relationship will continue to sustain the City in large part. It is the ability to continue to build on the second economy of small business that appears to be providing most jobs for Dunedin residents. Increasingly this is an economy of ideas and services and I consider this is the most sensible area for Council to support. For this reason, I support the present efforts of Council and the University of Otago to encourage and nurture the development and success of small to medium scale start-ups and businesses. I also support the re- purposing of heritage buildings in preference to large signature builds that may have unexpected urban effects, and on our quality of life.My personal preference is to retain a small-scale city that develops within present boundaries and develops an increasing character of ‘walkability’ and inner-city vitality and where social well-being becomes a more widely acceptable and achievable goal and measure of success.

How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

We are part of a small trading country at the edge of the world and this requires large scale transport for a significant portion, i.e. timber, agriculture, and tourism, that are all fossil fuel based at present. As indicated in the question our achievable goals are locally based and lie in switching to electric vehicles for city and boundary use as much as land use change. For example, all new council vehicle purchases should be electric, apart for more robust uses where models not yet available.Restricting personal vehicle use to outside the inner-city area would also add to the recreational and social benefit of this proposed re-development and support a switch to public transport or personal electric transport such as cycles and scooters. But I think adequate parking has to be provided outside this area as an interim measure to retain the confidence of retailers and residents. The provision of cycle ways has had high public profile, but the relatively low use of the present system indicates that there is some way to go. I believe use will come.

Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

I doubt it is possible to establish food resilience in Dunedin while we are part of a wider industrial food production system that includes the rest of New Zealand and Australia and our dietary profile is similar to the present. Building over high-class food-producing soils does not seem very sensible at first consideration but I wouldn’t set this option aside, as we don’t know how significant the potential climatic effects on South Dunedin will be. But future development on greenfield sites larger than 1 – 3 lots should be based on comprehensive development. This would include a structure or master plan as a condition of consent that provides for high density housing, probably 2 – 3 levels, in combination with walkways, on-site stormwater detention, pocket parks, good public transport access and availability, and a commitment to local retail or the ability to establish on site where there is no local availability. The objective is ‘place making’ and would require Council support as part of a wider housing strategy.

How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

The primary point of waste management is both personal and a matter of choice. Can private consumption be reduced and are the products purchased available in bio-degradable packaging? This is an ongoing discussion and will take time, with the banning of single use plastic a good start.The current plastic recycling programme appears has been established to export the sorted product to offshore processing. The present recycling operator has found a new outlet for plastic, but this may not provide a long-term solution to this part of our waste disposal requirement. I think approaching other Otago and Southland territorial authorities (small towns and larger) to investigate building a plastics recycling plant that would be connected to the existing rail network. Central government is indicating support for this approach at present and Dunedin may be able to get financial support to establish a plant in partnership with other bodies.Organic material can be composted on a commercial scale and I support this being investigated for Dunedin (https://www.livingearth.co.nz/our-story).

What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘wellbeing’?

City councillors are tasked with the economic and social stewardship of their community, as far as the Local Government Act permits. Those who are more able will succeed economically, in a range of opportunities. Others will not.My view is that council should endeavour to maintain an environment where there is the greatest potential for everyone to have the potential to dignity, hope, and the means to enjoy their lives in our city. This includes the many who have hidden disabilities, such as those experiencing a changed existence post stroke or long term mental disability. This sets the bar on the side of ‘wellbeing’ in terms of policy and continued support for council community coordinators, insulation programmes, social housing, and access to transport and recreation facilities for those less able to afford these options. We all deserve to feel safe in our public environments as one measure of ‘well-being‘.

 

 

Marie Laufiso

In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

From my perspective, a sustainable Dunedin City has placed the social and environmental wellbeing of all residents at the heart of everything we do. Mana whenua are actively involved in our decision-making and everyone in local government is deeply invested in strategically planning for 200 years. Basic needs of all residents and their families are being met because delivery of education, training and social services is culturally-appropriate and socially-just and barriers to accessing Living Wage employment, affordable rental housing, free public transport and amenities are being dismantled. Happy, hopeful, socially-connected people are creatively collaborating to evolve many different approaches to climate change mitigation, adaptation and justice.  The Arts, for example, is one sector that is flourishing more than ever because we are coming to terms with the changing meaning of paid work. The DCC has worked extremely hard to lobby central government to advocate for localist approaches, directly resourcing our communities to implement plans to achieve their goals for both zero waste and zero carbon (particularly in the areas of agriculture, electricity, manufacturing, buildings and transportation). 

How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

The biggest opportunity for the DCC is, in my opinion, to transition to a 21st century transport network. That means continuing to invest in safer cycling and walking, and making our bus service more affordable and efficient (ultimately free).  Our outlying townships must also be cared for and we need to make sure there’s sufficient charging infrastructure to let those communities move around more sustainably. We’re also working on options for a district energy scheme, which could tie in to the new hospital and tertiary precinct, allowing both major public institutions and private businesses to be powered by renewable energy. 

Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

No – long before I was ever involved in Local Government, the decisions to permit the building retirement villages and housing estates and developments on the Taieri were, to me, foolishly short-sighted and corrupt.  I’m not sure about how we will establish food resilience – but to me, this is inter-connected with delivering on social justice and social well-being. By this, I mean that we can’t approach food resilience as a “single” issue. There’s a spectrum of responses, in my opinion – and our responses must be joined up in a strategy underpinned by the principle of social justice. As part of this, alongside encouraging and supporting community gardens, for example, why aren’t we also challenging central government to remove GST on fruit and vegetables? 

How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?           

The DCC’s push towards a circular economy approach to managing waste, as part of the Waste Futures project is something I strongly support. We have the opportunity (finally!) to introduce an organic waste collection service and do away with expensive black plastic rubbish bags.We also need to accelerate our efforts to divert more waste from the landfill, to extend the life of the Green Island facility and reduce our carbon footprint.We also need to work at a national level to develop more on shore recycling processing facilities; strong mandatory product stewardship schemes; and a more even application of the waste levy.I support the concept of neighbourhood scale resource recovery facilities, acknowledging that making that work will look different in different places. Hopefully, the ORC will make reviewing their “Regional Plan: Waste” (which hasn’t been reviewed since 1997) an urgent priority. 

What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’?

This inspires me think of the Tāngata whenua term: hauora. From what I understand, taha whānau (familial), taha tinana (physical), taha wairua (emotional, spiritual) and taha hinengaro (intellectual) – as the 4 dimensions of hauora are deeply inter-connected and inter-dependent. This, in my opinion, makes a clear distinction between wealth and well-being.However, the reinstatement of the “four well-beings” into the purpose of the Local Government Act is. I believe, crucial for us all as we face the existential threats posed by climate change. Such a reinstatement will align us more closely with hauora. We will, once again, have a duty to provide for the economic, cultural, social and environmental wellbeing of our community. The DCC has committed to a strategic framework for doing that, which includes, for example, both GDP growth and zero carbon targets. Wealth, therefore could be only one element as we achieve our aspirations towards hauora/holistic wellbeing.

 

 

Sophie Barker

 Please accept my apologies for not replying to this survey! Most of the mass mail-outs to council candidates have ended up in my junk folder unfortunately, so I have been unable to respond until I just visited it, which I try to do on a weekly basis. Usually nothing of any importance ends up in it, so I hugely apologise for being so remiss. Other candidates have also said that they haven’t received some emails either. Very unfortunate as there are so many important issues! Please believe that I totally support Sustainable Dunedin – I currently work at the Otago Peninsula Trust with the Royal Albatross Centre and Blue Penguins Pukekura – it breaks my heart to see the effect we have on our flora and fauna! I want to do what I can help us to become more sustainable. For tourism I am chair of the Dunedin Host Sustainability Committee and last year we introduced the Dunedin Wildlife Care Code. I’ve also spearheaded and supported initiatives at work (albatross Centre) to get rid of plastic etc and get everyone on board, especially helping children access our education programmes and become conservationists.

 

 

Otago Regional Council

 

 

Scott Willis

Dunedin Green Party Candidate for the ORC.   

In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

As your Green Party candidate for the ORC my views won’t come as a surprise. I’d like to see Dunedin powered by renewables along with warm and cosy homes, quiet zero emission transport, local seasonal food and biodiversity protected and on the increase. Waterways would be protected and valued by the community, mana whenua actively involved in our discussions and decision making and citizens’ assemblies would participate in many of the important spending decisions for the city. A sustainable Dunedin City would be Zero Carbon and actively adapting to climate impacts through adaptive planning with social and environmental values at the heart of all we do.  

2.    How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

Firstly through attention on transport and rapidly increasing provision of, frequency of and access to public transport. This will take close cooperation between the ORC and DCC and the NZTA. We also need to support the return of passenger rail and assist the development of active transport. We should do all we can to encourage low or zero emission shipping, whether providing for cold-ironing or supporting new marine transport technologies.Secondly through a massive upgrade of our built environment with a focus on whole buildings to ensure our homes are warm and cosy and low emission and our workplaces comfortable and energy efficient. We’ll need to work in partnership with central government and be effective at using existing regulation to ensure compliance with existing and improving standards as a start, but also engage in an urban renewal programme with social housing.Thirdly we need to support the development of renewables powering our city and supporting the development of smart grids to create efficiency in the local networks. This means full implementation of the National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation and any National Environmental Standards which follow. I’d like to see co-ownership of local renewables assets to keep the energy dollar in local circulation. At the same time we must replace all coal with either biomass or electricity i.e. ensure central city access to a new biomass powered District Energy Scheme. 

3.    Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

We must protect our high value highly productive soils for food production. Urban form should be in line with the Spatial Plan objective of “a Compact City with Resilient Townships”. Food sovereignty must be a primary goal. This means seeking to produce and consume mostly from our own area. This means endorsing a ‘buy local’ campaign and ensuring compliance with the (proposed) National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and (proposed) National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land. 

4.    How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

We must work towards a circular economy and develop and implement ambitious action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will enable us to reduce waste. The ORC’s Waste Plan hasn’t been reviewed since 1997 and is in need of our urgent attention. By working with regional partners (iwi, district & city councils, industry & business partners & community) we can ensure collaborative solutions with an emphasis on regeneration. There are some great community models we can support further. 

5.    What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’?

Wealth is often understood to mean ‘rich’ or economically well off, while Wellbeing is to do with individual and societal happiness. Wellbeing increases when there is greatest income equality and when surpluses are distributed to increase social and environmental health. I am determined to do my very best to increase access to public transport (with the goal of making it free to users), to ensure we get to work on cleaning up our waterways for environmental health that everyone can enjoy and to work with communities on adaptation planning so that no one is left alone to fend for themselves. ……………………………………………………………………….     

 

           

Hillary Calvert

In your view what would a sustainable Dunedin City look like?

Answer: Enough affordable housing, rates which do not rise above rises in income, proper treatment of effluent and waste minimisation.

How do you see Dunedin negotiating the move away from fossil energy?

Answer: Dunedin as a city will not achieve this. It is up to us all as individuals. Dunedin inc can educate and encourage better practices. City leaders should lead by example. They should not be flying anywhere. They should use public transport, bikes and their own 2 feet. We cannot take them seriously while they have and use free car parks.

Do you think we should be building over our high-class food-producing soils or do you see an alternative for establishing food resilience in Dunedin City? What does that look like in your view?

Answer: most of the  food we produce in Dunedin goes elsewhere. We should be more flexible about where else to build to reduce demand on high yielding soils.

How would you address waste, recycling and regeneration?

Answer. Efficient sewerage schemes, reducing waste through education and being honest about our recycling efforts and appreciating City Forests and the Green our forebears provided.

What is your view on the difference between ‘wealth’ and ‘Wellbeing’?

Answer: wealth is resources. Wellbeing is how we perceive our personal situation. Wellbeing will be lower very likely when you don’t have enough resources. This will happen more when councils suck up our resources to play international politics instead of using our money to look after the facilities which make us feel better.

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Bryan Scott

1. Sustainability to me means passing on a world to our children that has not diminished or has in fact improved in resource, environment and wellbeing. Utilising natural energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind and tidal where the impacts on the environment are sustainable or less than minor. Electric or H transport systems. Improved biodiversity. Shared housing. Local food supplies. Population reducing. Democracy. Clean and ample water in our rivers. Clean air. All of this is achievable with focus.

2. The take-up of our bus system is approximately 22 percent. We need to get this to 50 percent. Electric and improved bus and car systems. Reduced parking.  Oil companies need to continue to be stood up to. They are getting the message. Currently they are investigating how to invest in more sustainable energy forms. Money talks for them. As an ORC Councillor, I did not attend a recent closed door meeting on local oil drilling. We all need to change our habits.

3. High class soils should only be used for high class foods. Ie no more encroaching on the Taieri plain. I also support local urban food growth. Excellent for our community health and wellbeing.

4. Waste and recycling is all about minimising and correctly allocating our waste. So plastics and packaging on supermarket foods needs to be drastically reduced. Education is required to improve habits. Potential opportunities for waste to energy generation also need to be investigated. In conclusion very little waste needs to go to landfill. Let’s do it.

5. If we view wealth as money and wellbeing as a holistic measure of physical, spiritual, health, community and basic needs then I think you will agree there is a big difference. Only one of these stacks up in the long term.

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Michael Deaker

My vision for a Sustainable Dunedin City includes:

  1. In the Dunedin city centre there will be largely pedestrianised streets, pocket parks, electric buses, bikes, scooters, and few cars. The downtown will be increasingly a place of eating, meeting, relaxing, entertainment, business, and apartment dwelling; retail will continue to shrink and will be concentrated in two or three malls. There will be full employment, with all on a living wage and much of the work will be in the suburbs, in health, child, and age care facilities. The tertiary precinct will be, by far, the major employment centre and it will be at least 90% car free. Community centres and projects will be a feature of most suburbs. Every school will be an Enviro School. Emulating North-east Valley, Corstorphine and Brockville, there will be multiple community gardens, shared housing, workshops, cooperatives of all sorts for sustainable food production, hobby groups, welfare activities. Under-used school playing fields and suburban parks will have been converted into productive gardens for all to share and work in.
  2. Community-scale energy systems will distribute household heating through hot water, dried wood, and efficient heat pumps. Coal will be banned. Shared electric vehicles will be available for low rental at each community centre. Public transport will be by electric and hydrogen buses and will be low cost, as now.
  3. Food security will be an intensifying issue. Urban community gardens will be a big contributor to resilience, but there will be incentives (and sanctions) to encourage the productive use of lifestyle blocks and hobby farms on “lost” areas of high class soil, such as North Taieri. Minimum sub divisions will be 25has and will be permitted only if the land is for fresh food production, not housing. New housing will largely be replacement of old stock, tiny house infill in existing suburbs, and central city sustainable apartments (with shared heating, vehicles, and recycling).
  4. Landfill dumping will be minimized, and phased out. Plastic packaging of ALL sorts will be banned. Recycling of wood, metal and paper products will be at stations (one for every four community centres) run by a mix of volunteers and skilled workers who can repair, reprocess and redistribute.
  5. Wellbeing is emotional and physical health and will become a major goal of city and social services. Wealth in a monetary sense will remain important and will incentivise much of the change that must occur. There is money to be made in all the above, although not to the extremes we endure at present. 

PS.  There is high cost in much of the above. To set up the new and expanded systems detailed in 1, 2 and 4 above, the DCC and the ORC will jointly take management of the city’s share of the $8mill annual dividend from Port Otago Ltd (approximately ($4mill)) and decide on how it can be best invested in Dunedin IFS (Infrastructure for Sustainability) such as community centres, gardens, energy schemes, and electric vehicle pools. This will lead to property owners paying significantly higher rates but there will also be savings eventually.

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