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Mayors Sign Charter


It was a historic day for the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum with Mayors Tim King and Rachel Reese signing the organisation’s Charter on behalf of their respective councils. 

Talks between Climate Forum Chair Joanna Santa Barbara and both councils culminated in the signing ceremony at the Saxton Oval on Saturday where, despite COVID restrictions, a robust gathering turned out to show their support at the organisation’s quarterly hui. 

Co-Chair Joanna Santa Barbara said it was a notable day for the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum. ‘The whole community is strengthened by the  presence of both mayors showing the commitment of their councils to work alongside us in setting limits to the damage we’ve done to the atmosphere and the biosphere. Both councils now have Climate Action Plans, and the Forum has produced one for the whole region. Every single citizen has a role in halving our emissions by 2030’, she said. 

Mayor King said that the signing represented Tasman District Council’s ongoing support of the Forum. ‘The advantage of the Forum is that it is in a position to get out into the community and engage with people on a one to one level’, he said. He acknowledged the ability of those conversations to really have an impact in changing people’s lifestyles and habits. ‘I’m keen to see the communication continue to flow between the Climate Forum and TDC and for the Council to advocate for the same objectives the Forum is trying to achieve’, he said. 

Signing the Charter affords membership to the Climate forum with three levels of commitment to choose from. Tasman District Council signed a Climate Ally, signalling their endorsement of the charter and their intent to support the goals of the Forum. Nelson City Council signed as a Partner Organisation, also endorsing the Charter, and earning involvement in forming revision to the Nelson Tasman Strategic Climate Action Plan, the first of its kind in the region. 

Mayor Reese said that signing the Charter showed Nelson City Council’s commitment to the principles of the Forum and was a step in cementing the partnership between the Council and the Forum. ‘I’ve been hugely impressed by the work of the Forum. It took some bold steps to set up but it’s been continually delivering value from its inception’, she said. The Forum has experienced one of its busiest periods since its inception in February 2020 with members involved in making multiple submissions to local and central government, a fact that is not lost on Reese. ‘The Forum is really good in holding us (Council) to account. It provides thought leadership and brings good ideas to us that we can hopefully play a role in implementing’, she said. 


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