I love our natural environment; the river corridor, our gullies, parks and special green spaces.
I believe green spaces are vital to the wellbeing of a city. That does not make me a 'greenie', whatever that means. It does make me someone who cares about both the environment and the wellbeing of our city. International studies show that cities that have green spaces are healthier and more liveable cities.
I am not asking for lots of money to find extra green space for the city. I am suggesting we do a better job of looking after and restoring the spaces and places we have already got.
That is why I have continually promoted and supported the opening of the Lake Waiwhakareke Heritage Park.
It is also why I promote the re-establishment of the gully restoration funding. These are not huge sums, but it goes a long way to helping many volunteers and environmental projects around our city to help us. It goes a long way towards tree planting and a great help to us dealing with climate change. It goes a long way towards protecting our biodiversity (native plants, insects, birds and bats).
It helps us towards reaching the 10% target of “ecologically significant green space” that internationally respected ecologist Bruce Clarkson tells us we need to reach to be sustainable. We are presently at 2%, well behind New Plymouth.
It is no secret that I have been a champion for the environment for a long time. This passion led me to be part of the small team that got Project Halo restoring Tui to the city underway. It was a privilege to use the science of John Innes to create this huge legacy for the city. I have also spent many years fighting for improved water quality in our special Waikato River.
In Hamilton, we have a strong basis for being one of the nicest green cities in New Zealand. It is not hard it just takes a bit of focus and passion.
Support me to be the mayor who cares for you and our environment.