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The mayor's initiatives to protect our environment

Natural assets to sustain and protect

We have a beautiful natural environment, framed by our spectacular coastline, harbours, our maunga, islands and regional parks.

These are assets that must be sustained and protected for generations to come.

A Million Trees programme

I have announced an urban forestation programme for Auckland which will plant a million predominantly native trees and shrubs across the region over three years.

The goal is to:

  • green our city
  • offset carbon emissions
  • protect our water quality by planting along rivers and coastlines
  • improve our living environment.

Along with our partners Department of Corrections and Trees that Count we are working with council and local boards, the private sector, schools, nurseries and community groups planting along streams and coastlines to reduce siltation of our harbours and waterways and provide carbon sinks to offset greenhouse gases.

The first 170,000 trees are being planted in 2017. You can read more about it here:

Protecting our marine environment

Our harbours, the Hauraki Gulf and more than a thousand beaches are the jewels in the crown of Auckland's environment.

As mayor, I will give clear and strong backing to the Sea Change agenda and to Auckland Council efforts to restore the Hauraki Gulf.

I will expand the Marine Protected Areas which currently protect only 0.03 per cent of the gulf area. More protected areas are needed to help restore fish stocks.

Auckland Council will work with central government and its agencies on initiatives to protect spawning grounds and eliminate damaging commercial fishing practices.

Aquaculture is an important industry but must be located in areas where the water quality is high and it does not interfere with other users of the space. The part of the Hauraki Gulf from the North Shore to Mangawhai Spit should be retained for other uses.

Auckland's port will not be allowed to encroach into the Waitematā Harbour with further reclamation.

Addressing climate change

Climate change poses a major threat to our environment.

We urgently need to reduce carbon emissions and create carbon sinks to meet the obligations we have taken on internationally under the Paris Agreement.

With more than one third of our country's population and the majority of its growth, Auckland has to play its part in tackling the problem.

Planting trees as carbon sinks under the Million Trees programme will help offset carbon emissions.

Reducing carbon emissions from transport is a key priority. We can do that by increasing public transport use with non-polluting electric trains and light rail, and building walk and cycle ways. We need to progressively convert petrol and diesel cars and buses to electric vehicles.

The council should both encourage conversion of corporate fleets and reduce and convert over time its own fleet of 800 cars. I am committed to reducing carbon emissions, and my own car is now an electric vehicle.