By Alfred Kim
Auckland Council’s Pre-Election Report stated that “there’s more that could be done; the challenge [of protecting our natural environment] is to decide what should be done and how.” This article will highlight the solutions that mayoral candidates have for this challenge. For further information on these environmental policies and more, you can get in touch with the candidates, contact details are provided from the website.
Tricia Cheel – STOP Trashing Our Planet
Cheel says that she is “standing to give voters the opportunity to take full responsibility for the legacy we are leaving future generations and ALL life on earth.” Priorities include stopping “glyphosate, fluoride, 1080 and other cruel poisons, pollution, 5G, bullying & other social pollution” and keeping Aotearoa nuclear and genetic-engineering free.
David John Feist – LiftNZ
Feist states that as a next step, “we will rebuild the Auckland Dream by abolishing the boundary and permitting housing on rural land. We will encourage targeted rates and widen motorways. This will reduce house prices, congestion, and pollution and not require rate hikes.”
Genevieve Forde – Independent
Forde says her second priority involves the natural environment, by protecting “Chamberlain’s Park as it is; No concrete, sediment or untreated sewage in the ocean; Banning all plastic bags and drink bottles; Zero waste to landfill,” and to regenerate nature by planting “native trees everywhere.”
Phil Goff – Independent
Goff has emphasised reducing emissions and clean transport as the next steps for the environment. “Council must take the lead. This is why, under my mayoralty, from next year Council will purchase only electric and hybrid vehicles for its passenger cars.” 
“Together we get council to fully support all biodiversity, recycling, water resources, community and individual Auckland family members.”
Johnston did not provide any specific promises on the natural environment to Auckland Council, other than “environment, historical, cultural sites protection.”
Susanna Kruger – Justice for Families
“My long-term priority is to create a strong home economy doing the four social enterprising initiatives mentioned in my candidate profile statement.” One of which initiatives include “a do-it-yourself eco-friendly low-cost housing scheme.”
Craig Lord – Independent
Lord has specified a “Mandate to build a Waste to Energy Plant” and promise to “Stop the environmental slaughter of our city.”
Brendan Bruce Maddern – Independent
“China no longer wants our garbage, so it piles high. Yet this environmental disaster can be an opportunity. Plastic prices are at an all-time low. Much cheaper to maintain, plastic roads will provide a return to Auckland for generations.”
Thanh Binh Nguyen – Independent
Nguyen identifies transport congestion as the main soure of environmental pollution. He aims to eliminate congestion and strengthen legislation for protecting air, water and marine coastline environments .
Tom Sainsbury – Independent
“I will aim to ban all plastic straws from the greater Auckland region. Not only are glass ones better for the environment, they also help with wine-drinking so that you don’t get lipstick on your teeth.”
Glen Snelgar – Old Skool
“Our environmental policy is to create a new Green-focused agency called Environment Auckland [EA] to manage Auckland’s water-catchment area. EA will also be responsible for identifying areas of waste and reporting back to a board of industry experts and two sitting councillors.” More priorities include “ensuring recycling actually gets recycled, instead of being shipped overseas to be burnt. All the buildings we own need to be energy efficient, and all the vehicles we own need to be fully electric or hybrid. Auckland Transport will gradually replace the bus fleet with electric or hybrid buses, starting with the new BRT lines.” 
Tadhg Tim Stopford – The Hemp Foundation
As part of The Hemp Foundation, Stopford represents a foundation that aims to “better regional and urban development with better business and environmental outcomes.” He aims to incentivise business investment in a biological economy through the farming, research and development of hemp and Cannabis derived products by reducing taxes. Hemp research, farming and commercialisation would grow various sectors of the economy, from agriculture to education.
John Tamihere – JT for Mayor.co.nz
Tamihere will “oversee a rational policy on waste that increases service to consumers, while providing effective protection for our environment.” Some changes include retaining the weekly collection service, reintroducing the annual inorganic collection service, proposals for a waste to energy plant that will turn Auckland’s rubbish into energy, and more.
Vaughan will install advanced waste recycling plants, turn rubbish into electricity and other high value products. Vaughan has also “devised a means to help Aucklander’s buy electric and hydrogen powered vehicles at subsidised cost with lease to buy options that will not disrupt present household incomes.”
Michael Coote – Independent, Jannaha Henry, John Hong, Phil O’Connor – Christians Against Abortion, Annalucia Vermunt – Communist League, and Wayne Young – Virtual Homeless Community did not provide any specific promises on the natural environment to Auckland Council.
Featured Image Credit: aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/plans-projects-policies-reports-bylaws/our-plans-strategies/auckland-plan/environment-cultural-heritage/Pages/focus-area-protect-aucklands-significant-environments.aspx
The Public Policy Club is a non-partisan club at the University of Auckland that aims to encourage, educate and involve students from all backgrounds in the education and development of political knowledge. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PPC.