27 October 2023
Last week, participants from our Winds of Change network gathered in Wellington for a business and policy focused tour. Winds of Change brings together young leaders from New Zealand, China and Chile, to investigate common climate change issues and how sustainable development strategies can be created for the future.
Participants enjoyed an opening talk from Ash Sagar and Robert McClean of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, about the iwi’s role as kaitiaki and preservers of Indigenous knowledge of the natural environment. They learnt about the importance of the Porirua harbour and estuary to the iwi, and their efforts to monitor and restore the health of the environment there.
On Monday, we visited Porirua, where David Down, Brian Thomas and Nigel Clarke from Porirua City Council gave us an insight into wetland restoration and flooding adaptation strategies. We also heard from Adam McConnachie of Solid, which is aiming at waste reduction in the oral care industry, and Dr Christian Schott of Victoria University of Wellington, on the role virtual reality can play in exploring climate change impacts.
On Tuesday, we were hosted by the Ministry for the Environment, where we enhanced our knowledge of the New Zealand Emissions Reduction Plan and the psychology of behaviour change. We also heard from Rose Dohig of Kaicycle Urban Farm, which aims to produce food locally and sustainably in the heart of Wellington.
On the final day, we visited the Sustainability Trust’s Ecocentre, and learnt from Kim Tabrum about their efforts to help Wellingtonians live more healthily and sustainably. Hannah Blumhardt and Sue Coutts from the Zero Waste Network shared insights on how to guide policymakers towards waste reduction strategies.
We would like to thank all our generous hosts and speakers who made this trip such a memorable and informative experience. Winds of Change participants gained a valuable opportunity to make connections with each other and organisations working in the climate change space, strengthening the Winds of Change network as it moves into the future.