Notes from a Deep South Webinar presentation by Lisa Ellis — 27 February 2019
The following consensus values that have come through in Lisa’s research: equality, agency, and utility (collective wellbeing).
New Zealand is ahead of the game (globally) in terms of community consultation. Lots of councils are investing in more serious, egalitarian engagement rather than relying on a top down consultation model.
The Dynamic Adaptive Pathways Planning (DAPP) approach (MfE’s 10 step model) and the process followed in Hawke’s Bay’s Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazard Strategy are the beginnings of a good model. Minor changes Lisa would like to see are:
Environmental values and future generations
A National Adaptation Plan is in the early scoping stages.
While the MfE guidance for councils on adapting to climate change highlights quality technical data and community engagement as essential elements in developing successful adaptation plans, that doesn't mean every plan needs to have a huge consultancy budget or include an extensive series of public meetings.
Individual staff members in district and unitary councils who need to plan for climate change adaptation related to stormwater, flood risk, land drainage or another specific issue have the option of adopting the lower cost approaches to coastal hazard assessments (such as reviews of existing reports and problems, and discussions with experienced staff), and less resource-intensive options for community engagement (such as interviews with key people).
The climate change stocktake found that a lot is happening in most sectors in the 'informed' stage of adapting to climate change (understanding the implications), but much less progress has been made on the stages of 'being organised' and 'taking dynamic action'. These are the challenges ahead of us.
I wrote my first article about climate change back at the AIT Journalism School in 1992. It met with a lukewarm response, and now I understand some of the reasons why this subject can be a turn off for people.
1. There are multiple causes and consequences, which creates confusion. (And the really cold snaps around the globe make it even more confusing.)
2. It's a story of impacts on the masses, rather than one person we can really relate to and care about.
3. There is no one solution to resolve the issue.
Finding ways to talk about specific aspects of climate change using the ABT story structure (... and ... but ... therefore ...) can help to make climate change stories more interesting.
It's been great to see some public comments on councils' Facebook pages expressing appreciation of the work by council staff to clean up after the recent wild weather events.
However, it was also disturbing to see a comment on another Council page saying 'heads should roll' regarding the Piako River flooding ... I really hope NZ communities don't seek to blame council staff as climate change impacts intensify around the country.
A really positive way that the public can contribute to building our collective knowledge of the extent of flooding around New Zealand is to contribute photos of flood events to this NZFloodPics database.
These are the posts I have shared on social media, all in one place for easy access.