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A climate change challenge to NZILA branches

Posted 03 09 2019

in News

Drought intensity will likely increase over time in New Zealand because of climate change. Drier conditions in some areas are likely to be coupled with more frequent droughts.
Drought intensity will likely increase over time in New Zealand because of climate change. Drier conditions in some areas are likely to be coupled with more frequent droughts.
Submission presented Friday 30 August

The effects of climate change on the Aotearoa New Zealand landscape will be the biggest disruptive event in our history, writes landscape architect Matthew Bradbury.  

Faced with the magnitude of these changes many people have fallen into a kind of lassitude; there seems little that we can do to ameliorate the coming disaster. 

However we believe that landscape architects are uniquely placed to help make our landscape and cities resilient to these effects. Making others aware of how LAs can contribute to this critical conversation inspired the formation of the Climate Change Group, as part of Auckland branch of the NZILA. 

The group - Rebecca Jerram, Matthew Bradbury, Henry Crothers, Matt Jones and Rachel de Lambert - have combining skills from the LA programme at Unitec and Auckland’s LA practice.  The group’s desire is to ensure the active participation of the NZILA in national efforts to accommodate future climate challenges by:

  • Providing design led solutions focused on natural processes and ecologies
  • Co-ordinating discourse and debate with NZILA Membership and allied disciplines
  • Professional collaboration in local, national and global adaptation projects

The group has started by encouraging the NZILA to adopt the IFLA Global Accord on Climate Change.

The group recently successfully developed a submission to the Government’s Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. With the stalwart support of Jackie Paul and Georgian Dean we summarised practical ways that LA should help with the goal of reducing carbon consumption.

What’s next?  Auckland councillor Chris Darby invited the group to make a submission on the Auckland Council draft Climate Action Framework. This is a great opportunity for the NZILA to demonstrate practical solutions to the very real environmental threats to Auckland Tamaki Makaurau, our fastest growing city.  

Future projects include inviting NIWA to share their latest climate change research,  and responding to an invitation by Chris Darby to make a submission to the council planning committee.

As the group is based in Auckland our focus is naturally on the urban and regional implications of climate change there. However, we realise that New Zealand is a lot bigger than our strange city region and urge other branches to rise to this challenge, and ensure that both our voices and skills are heard and understood as we build a resilient country.

Julia Williams and Clive Anstey very ably stepped up at the last minute and presented the submission to the Select Committee at Parliament at 4:30pm on Friday 30 August.

View video recording of the submission here
(Julia & Clive present at approximately the 3.14 mark)

"It's very pleasing to see members of New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Tuia Pito Ora stepping up and giving their time and knowledge to prepare and present a submission on important subjects like the Climate Change Response Amendment Bill. Landscape architects have a lot to offer in this area, so we are actively working towards strengthening our communication and relationships with government departments to ensure that our voice is heard." Brad Coombs, NZILA President