Climate Action Joint Committee

Climate change calls for leadership at a local and regional level. Horizons is a signatory to the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with other councils in our region. These documents commit us to working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the effects of a changing climate.
We have established a Climate Action Joint Committee with representation from each of the region’s eight councils and tangata whenua representatives. This a milestone both in our response to climate change and in our partnership with iwi/Māori. Māori perspectives will enrich deliberations and improve decision making. The Climate Action Joint Committee objectives include development of a regional Climate Action Plan that was adopted in early 2023.
Memorandum of Understanding

Joint Climate Action Plan

The Climate Action Joint Committee adopted the Joint Climate Action Plan in early 2023. This plan is about understanding how we will respond to climate change in the Manawatū-Whanganui region and working together to reduce potential harm.

This action plan draws on both Māori and Western worldviews to work together in response to climate change. It is an action plan that embraces Te Ao Māori and views the complex issues through the lens of our relationship with the environment. Te Taiao must be healthy for communities to thrive, therefore action to restore balance that traverses the environmental, cultural, social and economic realms, is urgent and critical.

The committee acknowledges the authority of individual Iwi and Hapū, and the importance of Treaty principles in relationships between councils and tangata whenua. These include partnership, reciprocity, autonomy, active protection, and equal treatment.

Joint Climate Action Plan - English
Joint Climate Action Plan - Te Reo

Map of local impacts for the Horizons Region

A Hill Country: Transport networks damaged by landslides and soil erosion. Extreme weather events cause crop damage and economic disruption. Increased fire risk.
B Plains: Damage to housing, public spaces and infrastrucure from flooding. Crop damage caused by drought.
C Estuaries: Erosion and coastal inundation in some coastal areas - damage to commerical and residential buildings, and energy infrastructure.
D Social Impacts: Risk of inequitable outcomes as costs and impacts fall unevenly across the community.
E Tourism: Reduced snow and ice cause economic disruption. Extreme weather events impact tourism.
F Urban Areas: Landslides, soil erosion and inland flooding highest risk to urban areas like Palmerston North. Extreme weather events. Water supplies affected by reduced rainfall and drought.
G Tohu* change and are less reliable, affecting planting, resource gathering and hunting.
Damage to culturally significant marae and urupā from flooding and erosion.
I Loss of taonga species (in freshwater systems, on land, and along the coast) as the climate warms.
J Manaakitanga threatened if manuhiri cannot be offered local delicacies and marae are damaged.
K Loss of tikanga and mātauranga around resources, affecting future generations.

1-5 Case Studies: See pages 16-23 of the Joint Climate Action Plan for case studies of Climate Change actions already underway.

Additional impacts on Māori
Climate change is likely to have a bigger impact on Māori because of their relationship to the environment, the things that are culturally significant to them, and the ongoing effects of our colonial past.

*Tohu are indicators (the blossoming of a flower, the departure of a migrating bird, the appearance of a star in the predawn sky) developed and used by Māori to track changes in the natural environment.

What members are doing

Find out what Horizons Regional Council is doing here

Read Palmerston North City Council's Climate Change Plan

Read Whanganui District Council's Climate Change Strategy