Today the Thames Coromandel District Council authorised councillor Martin Rodley to sign the Local Government Leaders Climate Declaration on behalf of the council. Only mayor Goudie voted against this unprecedented special resolution which was required to hold the mayor to account after she refused to abide by an earlier 6/3 majority council resolution approving her signing the Declaration.
Hauraki Coromandel Climate Action (HCCA) successfully challenged the April 2019 decision of mayor Goudie and the previous council to not sign the declaration. HCCA won their case with the High Court ruling Goudie’s actions to be unlawful. The council completed a public consultation as recommended by the Court in which 95% of submitters agreed the mayor should sign the declaration. Then in December 2021 the council resolved by a 6/3 majority to have the declaration signed, and unanimously agreed with the emission reduction actions set out in the declaration.
“Congratulations are due to all current councillors who not only have put an end to this debacle which has been characterized by the mayors’ woeful decision-making and anti-democratic behaviour but have also committed the council to take ambitious action on climate change and to reduce emissions”, said HCCA chair Denis Tegg.”
“Our members are justifiably proud of finally achieving this outcome which is due in large part to our activism and commitment. Also, our successful High Court judgment is now cited as a landmark court case and is already positively influencing climate change decision-making by both central and local government” Mr Tegg said.
“HCCA is also pleased and relieved that most current TCDC councillors have not tolerated mayor Goudie’s outrageous attempt to thwart their explicit direction to her that the declaration must be signed,”
“Due entirely to the mayor’s anti-climate-change-science obstinacy the council has wasted over $100,000 on legal costs and a huge amount of staff time, and climate action has been delayed by 3 precious years, which the district and the planet can ill afford in a climate emergency” said Mr Tegg. “All of this could have been easily avoided back in 2019 if the previous council and the mayor had done what was necessary and blindingly obvious to 65 other councils and signed up to climate action.”
“The focus of the council must now turn to fulfill the commitment it has made to take ambitious action to reduce its emissions and to show the leadership on climate change it was previously lacking.” “Our group and the public will be watching closely to make sure those promises are honoured.”
Denis Tegg Chair Hauraki Coromandel Climate Action