We now enjoy nature on our front door and on our back doorstep.
Nowhere is our city’s transformation over the last 25 years more spectacular than in the natural environment. Far more than any other councillor I have led and fought for this over that time, and am personally a regular volunteer and Guardian of iconic Zealandia. It is a joy to work with passionate Wellingtonians across our city in restoring the natural environment. We have come from grey environmental wasteland to a global environmental leader in just 25 years, from raw sewage on the beaches to a marine reserve, from the mere “idea” of a green belt to one that now stretches from the South Coast to Johnsonville. Tui and kereru which once numbered in single figures are now daily sights particularly across the western hill suburbs.
A healthy natural environment is fantastic for the city and for its people. We may now take it for granted but few cities in the world have anything close to Wellington’s natural environment. It’s stunning to overseas visitors. It is a quality that they don’t see anywhere else. We know it brings people to Wellington to live and to visit. It is an economic advantage in attracting talented people.
Being in a natural environment is relaxing and grounding. Its good for the well being of our children and revitalising for their parents.
Now we need to take the next steps. Together we will :
- Continue active restoration of our natural environment. Future generations will enjoy mature, restored native forest ringing the city.
- Work with Wellingtonians and our partners to eradicate pest predators and become and remain pest predator free city south of the motorway (a great barrier to re-invasion)
- Continue our citywide re-vegetation programme.
- Restore streams – hopefully including along Kent and Cambridge Terrace.
- Complete the Outer Green Belt between Johnsonville and Tawa.
- Work with landowners to protect primary remnant forest where it is currently unprotected.
- Complete the city’s track network, including more beginner and expert Mountain Bike trails. We have one of the best, if not the best city track networks in the world.
- Work with landowners to develop a multi-day track through our rural areas and Outer Green Belt
- Encourage appropriate events using our green belt network
- Continue to support the iconic Zealandia and Wellington Zoo. I am a founder trustee of Zealandia and still a Guardian and volunteer guide.
- Encourage even greater involvement of schools and community organisations across the city in restoring Wellington’s natural environment.
- Green our suburbs and central city.