Approaching the topic of climate change means taking the right action at the right place, at the right time for the right purpose. It’s about working with the community with a collective focus on adaptation.
We have partnered with councils across our region to create ‘It’s time, Canterbury’. This new website shares the climate change projections for our region between now and the end of the century, so that we are all better prepared and more resilient to its effects. The website is a good reminder that we do have choices to make.
Below is the Council’s current position on climate change and what mitigation initiatives have been achieved so far.
Some of our coastal settlements have a history of flooding issues. We are working with local communities on developing long term plans for coastal development that suit the individual desires of each settlement.
We are constantly developing our trail networks for cycling and mountain biking. We work alongside Hurunui Trails Trust to help establish safe cycling routes throughout the District. The Trust also creates active recreational opportunities and encourages people to ride their bikes. This compliments the innovation of the North Canterbury Wine Region and what they are doing within this same space.
We are currently looking at the capacity of our stormwater network to ensure our communities are better protected from large rainfall events. This also includes looking at our stormwater quality to improve our environmental footprint.
Until now, all stormwater consents have been applied for through Environment Canterbury (ECan).
In 2017, ECan developed the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan. This Plan aims to provide clear direction on how land and water are to be managed in the region. The Plan also looks at how to approach climate change challenges in the future.
From this, Hurunui District Council applied to ECan for three Global Stormwater Discharge Consents to manage the stormwater, encompassing; 13 townships, Hanmer Springs and Amberley. A Global Consent means Council now holds or will hold the consent for stormwater discharge to the environment within these locations, which does not include rural areas. This change came into effect on November 1st.
Further information and the application fees for stormwater consents can be found here: https://www.hurunui.govt.nz/council/fees-charges/stormwater
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com or ring 03 314 8816.
Drinking Water Reliability
With more droughts anticipated in North Canterbury, having a reliable source of drinking water is essential. We are currently looking to find additional ground water sources that are less influenced by seasonal or climate change patterns. An additional high-producing bore has been drilled for the Hawarden-Waikari water supply. This will significantly improve the resilience of this network.
We are establishing a corporate sustainability strategy to lower our carbon footprint. The most recent development has been the installation of solar panels on our Council building in Amberley.
In time this strategy will help individual staff members reduce their carbon footprint through actions such as only using reusable coffee cups and using active transport or carpooling to get to work.
Hurunui District Council is actively part of ‘It’s Time Canterbury’ which is a Canterbury-wide website aligned with neighbouring district councils and ECan, to talk to the region about climate change.
We are ensuring recycling is diverted from landfill and we maintain a very low contamination rate in our recycling. A number of methods are used to achieve this, including public education, kerbside recycling audits, and using clear plastic bags rather than wheelie bins. We continuously look for opportunities to recycle new types of products.
Where possible we will encourage sustainable and low carbon building techniques. Energy conservation in buildings will also be encouraged.
We will work to reduce emissions from buildings during their construction and operation, and also ensure New Zealand’s buildings are resilient enough to withstand changing climate conditions. Energy efficiency and carbon emissions are core considerations when building - just as important as safety and cost.
We encourage buildings to be designed and constructed to use as little energy and water as practical, meaning less greenhouse gas emissions. Reusing buildings and recycling materials will also be an important part of the building process and we will work with local suppliers so they can gear up and support these product streams.
As well as reducing carbon emissions, these changes should help homes to be warmer, drier, better ventilated and to provide a healthier place to work and live.
Building owners will understand their options, and what to ask for to get an efficient building with a low climate impact.
Our building and construction workers will have the right skills to design and build for energy efficiency, low embodied carbon, and climate resilience.