'A Green Recovery for Kāpiti' Open Letter

This petition made change with 429 supporters!

In mid-2019, Kāpiti Coast District Council declared a climate emergency in the district. Many residents exercised their vote in the local body elections of 2019 to support that declaration and elect a Council that would make it mean something. 

In 2020, COVID -19 has created a huge disruption to our way of life. The recovery will be lengthy and challenging. It will mean a lot of pain and effort; let’s not waste them by missing the opportunities the recovery presents. As the Climate Change Commissioner has recently recommended, we should look at the economic recovery through a climate change lens. Kāpiti voters will expect the Council to be part of making changes for the better: we can try, probably unsuccessfully, to go back to the way things were, including all the downsides of that in terms of inequality and environmental degradation, or we can chart a course for a better, more equitable, more sustainable and more liveable future. The latter course will require of us a great deal less pain and effort in the medium to long term. Several organisations have put forward “green” recovery programmes - we support their suggestions wholeheartedly.

Low Carbon Kāpiti and the Kāpiti Climate Change Action Group have worked together to put forward a list of Kāpiti-specific ideas for building a more sustainable and liveable society that is secure for future generations.  We urge Kāpiti Coast District Council to adopt these principles and proposals for action.

Make sure to sign this open letter to the Kāpiti Coast District Council if you support these proposals and the goals they aim to help achieve. There has never been a more important time to show we are united in wanting to protect this one planet that we share, to ensure we are able to pass on a liveable planet to the next generation. Here is the full document with benefits of each proposal listed:

Our list is based on the following principles:

  • All policy and infrastructure developments help make us more resilient to climate change and prepare us for a sustainable future.
  • Projects are based on sound environmental principles.
  • Projects have new and future-focused job creation opportunities through the development of renewable resources and “green” technologies.
  • KCDC ensures climate change is considered for relevance in all council decisions and addressed wherever necessary.
  • Councils to use the new powers coming under the RMA changes to regulate emissions.

Potential projects attached to important goals

GOAL: Encourage transport throughout the Kāpiti district that is independent of fossil fuel use.


  • Assist with the uptake of EV, including council vehicles, contract vehicles such as waste management and private cars and the installation of charging ports.
  • Advocate for the use of electric buses.
  • Build more pathways to improve access by pedestrians and bikes.
  • Consider projects such as adopted in various places including parts of Auckland to widen cycle- and walk-ways. A government fund has been made available for this purpose  These should become permanent features in Kāpiti.
  • Support regional and national initiatives for electrification of rail.

GOAL: Use alternative forms of energy.


  • Provide incentives for installing solar panels on our Kāpiti roofs for power generation and water heating.
  • Work with Greater Wellington Regional Council for installation of onshore wind turbines.

GOAL: Reduce need to use fossil fuels.


  • Incentivise insulation in existing houses.
  • Encourage the use of heat pumps for home heating.

GOAL: Reduce and re-use waste.


  • All compostable materials to be collected and composted. 
  • Hot composting to be introduced for food waste and the possibility of renewable energy generation being investigated. 
  • Actively encourage waste reduction, home composting, re-use and recycling.

GOAL: Provision of sound infrastructure to withstand future challenges


  • Ensure infrastructure repairs for sewerage and water systems and replacements are prioritised in the Long Term Plans in ways that make them resilient to future climate change impacts. 
  • Plan for long term responses to rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

GOAL: The environmental impact of any development is considered in all planning


  • Ensuring planning regulations and housing stock are in line with future needs with regard to environmental sustainability, climate change resilience, access to transport, parks, and spaces for people.

GOAL: Residents are supported to respond to climate change impacts and increasing adverse weather events in ways that safeguard their own and the community’s long-term interests.


  • Review District Plan and introduce changes to ensure no further development takes place on land that will be subject to the predictable climate change impacts of erosion, flooding, or ground water table rise.
  • Work with the community in a fully community-led process to develop a managed retreat plan for the next 100 years based on identified and agreed trigger events and/or thresholds.
  • ----------------------------------------------

GOAL: Encourage Kāpiti residents to use sound environmental practices in their day to day living.


  • Re-activate the Greenest Streets projects, assisting people with their own (and community) food supplies.
  • Encourage community gardens.
  • Encourage the use of regenerative agriculture principles in home and community gardens.
  • Reinstate the free sustainable home advice service as a matter of urgency.
  • Provide NZ-specific emissions tracker software on KCDC website.

GOAL: Encourage businesses to use sound environmental practices in their day to day operation.


  • Encourage flexible working regimes, including working from home, electronic meetings.
  • Offer incentives similar to the greenest streets initiative, include in regional business awards.
  • KCDC to model good practices.

GOAL: Develop Carbon sinks through land use changes.


  • Permanent reforestation of marginal council land.
  • Council promotes and supports the widespread use of regenerative principles in agriculture and horticulture.
  • Widespread planting of native and non-native species that can be a resource in the future including natives/wetlands as part of promoting Kāpiti as a day-trip destination, especially the Wainuiwhenua project. 
  • Assess council land that could be “meadowed”.
  • Pursue the carbon capture potential of re-establishing wetlands in low-lying areas.

GOAL: Plan for future resilience.


  • Explore opportunities for developing solar and wind farms. Identify land suitable for building these structures.
  • At a regional level, support monitoring of research around the use of tidal stream energy, with the resource in Cook Strait in mind.
  • Create a fund for climate change activities and research.

Today: Low Carbon Kapiti, the Kāpiti Climate Change Action Group and Councillor Sophie Handford is counting on you

Low Carbon Kapiti, the Kāpiti Climate Change Action Group and Councillor Sophie Handford needs your help with “Kapiti Coast District Council: 'A Green Recovery for Kāpiti' Open Letter”. Join Low Carbon Kapiti, the Kāpiti Climate Change Action Group and Councillor Sophie Handford and 428 supporters today.