I had the privilege of being a presenter for the Bronwyn Kay Sports Gisborne Tairawhiti 2019-2021 Sports Awards over the weekend. The awards ceremony was filmed at Rangai in small parts over several days during the last week. The multiple time slots were in order to comply with the government public health measures. All of these separate shoots will be stitched together to create a single awards show. It was a very innovative way to celebrate our Tairawhiti sporting successes.

All the results are embargoed, so mums the word right now, however keep an eye out for the awards ceremony to be uploaded online hopefully by the Friday if all goes well.

Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners, congratulations also to the families who support our athletes, day in and day out. We certainly do punch above our weight class here in Te Tairawhiti.

This week in council we have our Sustainable Tairawhiti meeting on Thursday.

We are discussing our emission reduction targets for council as an organisation, our submissions to Central Government for 2022 and we’re receiving a Climate Change update.

The question staff are asking us in our emission reduction target paper is whether we want an ambitious net zero target of 2025 or a net zero target of 2040. Staff are recommending a 2040 target due to possible funding constraints.

I’m a very ambitious man, I like to set ambitious targets, especially targets that stretch and challenge me. To me, a sensible target needs to be right on that razor thin edge of being achievable and ambitious. If you make the target too achievable, it loses it’s ambition, if you make the target too ambitious, then it oft times becomes unachievable. The target should stretch us, not break us.

I think 2025 is far too soon. Setting that as a goal will be very aspirational, but will our community realistically be able to stretch ourselves to achieve that goal? No way. As much as I would like to set this as our target, there is no way we would be able to be net zero by 2025 unless some angel investor ponied up with tens of millions of dollars in order to do the bulk upfront capital works.

On the otherhand, I also feel like 2040 is far too long. I’ll be 60 by then. There will be a whole other set of councillors looking at this target thinking that this current council was unambitious in our goal setting. And I feel like they will be correct.

I look forward to having my view challenged and this debated in council. One thing I do know though, is this date needs to be closer than 18 years away.

The second paper I want to talk about is the submissions to Central Government. This paper will probably go through with a light amount of questioning (famous last words), however I wanted to highlight how much work the Mayor, councillors and council staff are doing right now feeding back and engaging about the many, many plans, reforms, acts, bills reports and standards that the government are working on. We all know three waters has been happening, in addition to this is the Water Services Entities Bill, Climate Change Adaptation Act, Natural and Built Environment Act, Self Contained Vehicles Bill, Local Electoral Amendment Act, and Waste Minimisation Act to name a few. Today (Monday) as your group of elected officials along with the CE, we are presenting a Tairawhiti perspective to Central Government in relation to the Local Government Futures Reforms.

There is a lot on, but we’re up for the mahi.

As always, it’s a privilege to do this work on behalf of you Te Tairawhiti.