What Horizons is doing

Horizons’s role is to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of communities – now, and for the future. The potential impact of climate change on future wellbeing makes it relevant to everything we do.
Horizons acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the place of tangata whenua in local decision making. We are committed to upholding the Treaty’s principles as we respond to climate change. We will work through what this looks like in practice together with iwi and hapū.
For Horizons, we aim to:

  • Build the resilience of communities and our environment to the effects of a changing climate.
  • Support the transition to a sustainable, carbon-neutral regional economy by 2050.
  • Ensure central and local government efforts are aligned to the needs of our region.

Climate Action Strategy and Plan

Our Climate Action Strategy sets out our approach to respond to climate change and includes our Greenhouse gas emission reduction target.
Guided by our Climate Action Strategy and recommended actions from the Manawatū-Whanganui Climate Change Action Plan, while responding to risks identified in the Manawatū-Whanganui Climate Change Risk Assessment.

Horizons developed our own Climate Action Plan which defines our short-term climate change response and sets a pathway for future action.

Climate Action Strategy
Climate Action Plan


Putea Hapori Āhuarangi; the Community Climate Response fund provides for climate related projects aims to support and encourage community efforts to build resilience to the effects of climate change, or support the transition to a sustainable carbon neutral regional economy by 2050.  The fund was launched in 2022. Seven diverse projects across the region were supported in the first round of funding.  

Find out more here.  

Horizons greenhouse gas emissions reduction target

Avoiding more severe impacts of climate change requires global temperatures to be kept close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To do that requires a 43% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  In line with our shared responsibility, Horizons intends to reduce its gross greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent by 2030 from 2019-20 levels. We are committed to reducing our emissions (gross emissions) rather than offsetting through carbon credits (net emissions). Our target is ambitious; it reflects the urgent global need to reduce emissions.

Full time equivalent (FTE) per capita emission summary:

As at 30 June 2020
3.806 tCO₂e per FTE

As at 30 June 2023
3.564 tCO₂e per FTE

This equates to a 242kg CO₂e per FTE reduction ( 6.4% reduction).

Carbon dioxide equivalents are used to standardise the effects of all greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.  1tCO₂e means greenhouse gases that will have the equivalent effect as one tonne (1000 kilograms) of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.

2022/2023 Inventory Management Report
2021/2022 Inventory Management Report
2020/2021 Inventory Management Report
2019/2020 Inventory Management Report*

*Inventories need checking and auditing. There is a lag of 6-8 months from the end of the financial year until our audited and verified emissions inventory is completed.

What we’ve already been doing

Many of Horizons’ existing activities take climate change into account. It is identified as an issue in both the One Plan and our Infrastructure Strategy. Core functions like flood protection and land management provide a starting point for an action plan that will evolve as we better understand risks and opportunities, and reach an agreement on what needs to be done.

Workers cleaning up Tōtara ReserveResource Management: managing the use of natural resources and effects of development on freshwater, land, air and the coast; avoiding further risks from natural hazards, and supporting renewable energy generation.
Sustainable Land and Riparian Management: supporting the fencing and planting of riparian margins and sustainable land use in erosion-prone hill country.
Biosecurity: regional pest management to minimise the adverse effects of plant and animal pests on indigenous biodiversity and habitat and on the regional economy.
Biodiversity: protecting and enhancing the region’s indigenous biodiversity through active management of priority sites, monitoring, and support for community and landowner action.
Transport: regional land transport planning and public transport services across the region, including low emissions and active transport options.
Hazard and Emergency Management: working with territorial authorities and other agencies to reduce the risk of hazards, raise awareness, maintain readiness and provide response and recovery capabilities.
Flood Protection and River Control: protecting people, property and infrastructure from flooding by containing floods, building and maintaining drainage infrastructure, and reducing the effects of river erosion.
Information, Research and Monitoring: collecting reliable environmental data and carrying out research, and ensuring its availability within and outside Horizons, as a basis for the development of sound policies and actions.
Strategic Management: providing proactive, coherent policy responses across the organisation on emerging and ongoing issues; engaging with central government and other regional councils to ensure national policy reflects local realities, and that the right tools are available to achieve change.
Council Operations: incremental changes to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from our offices and vehicle fleet.
Decision Making: from September 2020, decisions across all Council activities have considered climate impacts.
Submissions on National Climate Change proposals: Submit to Central Government and their agencies on national climate change consultation processes to advocate for the needs of the region.