Climate Action Will Be Front and Centre For Regional Council’s Decision-Making

Following the recommendation from the Climate Action Committee to the Waikato Regional Council to lower its in-house greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, a consistent and transparent process for incorporating climate change implications into Council’s work programmes and decisions has been adopted.

Practice notes will be developed to cover both the preparation of policy advice and operational decisions, and climate change impact statements will be included in council committee reports where appropriate.


While many WRC some business units already consider the impacts of a changing climate in their decisions, a decision-making framework, using current best practice and learning, is required to ensure a transparent and consistent approach.

Guidance and training for staff will be developed to ensure consistent interpretation. This will give myself and other elected representatives confidence that policy advice from officers and operational decisions have addressed climate change matters.


Waikato Regional Council elected representatives and staff routinely make decisions that affect the region’s environment, economy and communities. The outcomes of these decisions may be affected by climate change or may prevent opportunities to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

  • Mitigation actions address the root causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Adaptation activities seek to lower the risks posed by the consequences of the changing climate.

To make informed decisions within its overarching sustainable development mandate (the ‘four wellbeings’ of the Local Government Act 2002), the Council needs –

  • timely and evidence-based information about the possible consequences of climate change,
  • people’s perceptions of those consequences,
  • adaptation options for increasing community resilience to changes that are happening and
  • opportunities for slowing the rate of climate change through greenhouse gas reduction and sequestration activities.

This new mandatory decision-making framework will ensure that climate change and climate action will be front and centre for all future decisions made by the Waikato Regional Council. 

2 thoughts on “Climate Action Will Be Front and Centre For Regional Council’s Decision-Making

  1. Like this framework – Would hope that there can be collaboration with other councils on good transport investment, like sleeper cars(rail) Wellington to Auckland, with a stop at Hamilton.


  2. Hi Denis, I was heartened to see your election to Regional Council. As an ex elected member of Matamata-Piako District Council, I was usually on the outer when it came to environmental issues, variously labeled from a loon lefty to a moron, I did persevere however to ensure change I resigned so we could get a new Mayor in place. Leading from out front by example is important for territorial authorities and this development for WRC is great. It covers from the small to the big. I have tried to insist that any new buildings are designed firstly from a sustainability point of view, that vehicle purchases should be the same. (0 percent of all journeys for our council are less than 50 km’s, there is no reason why 90 percent of the vehicle fleet cannot be electrified and powered by retrofitted solar energy generated from our buildings. Retrofitting insulation and noise control measures should be done. There are many other issues that need to be dealt with including river-based disposal of treated wastewater, which results in microplastics migrating into our ecosystem. Keep up the good work, I hope to catch up and have a talk with you sometime in the future.
    Paul Cronin.

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