Publication:

Napier Courier - 2021-11-24

Data:

HEATHER BOSSELMANN

NEWS

Much of what we do at Council deals with the here and now: the day-to-day running of our city and looking after the current needs of our community. But as we undertake consultations, discuss work programme updates, and consider what the people of Napier need from their council, we always keep in mind what the future community will need to be able to live their best life. We must look after what we have now in a way that ensures future generations have the resources, infrastructure and assets to meet their own needs. Sometimes the idea of the future can be abstract. It’s important to remind ourselves often that children and young people will inherit the world we are creating today. Giving those future leaders opportunities to get involved early is a great way to ensure their voices are heard by us, and by their community In the last couple of months I’ve had three significant experiences that have really imbued me with a sense of pride in our young people. First, during the discussions on Māori Wards, a group of Taradale High students spoke to their submission. This was an uplifting experience. Their research and critical thinking were excellent, and their eloquence in presenting their ideas was impressive and left an impact on everyone who heard them speak. Second, it was a great joy to present the Napier Youth Development Fund recipients with their grants. I was impressed by the dedication, drive and grit these young people showed, and in their goals for their future from musicianship to entrepreneurship. I’ve also recently been involved in Napier Young Achievers, organised as part of the Spirit of Napier Lions Club Awards. This was an evening of celebration where twelve young people from across Napier were recognised for their efforts. Together they represent all that we wish for our youth: commitment, engagement, vitality and a sense of purpose, and of their place in the world. From speed limits to Three Waters, from playgrounds to new bores, from the way our community is represented in decision-making to the way we can ensure their many and diverse voices are heard, our children need to be top of mind. The plans and projects we work on today help build their future. Napier has taken another step forward in readiness for the effects of climate change, as Napier City Council welcomes its first ever Climate Change Specialist, Heather Bosselmann. The new role will be responsible for leading discussion and Council direction on matters related to climate resilience and change, and will ensure that Napier’s best interests are represented in regional and national climate change matters. Napier City Council Chief Executive Dr Steph Rotarangi says there are many challenges for Napier associated with a changing climate. “Climate change is an increasingly important issue for us all. Local authorities and communities must plan for the effects of climate change. We need adaptation strategies and actions, and we also have a role to play in reducing our emissions.” Climate Change Specialist Heather Bosselmann has a legal background, having spent several years as a family lawyer in Napier. “I’m excited to take my legal and relationship-building skills and use them to make a difference for Napier,” says Heather. “I want to make climate change a clear focus for our city by bringing innovative solutions for Napier’s climate resilience. Working across all councils, as well as with local iwi and the public will be my key focuses,” says Heather. “I am passionate about being part of a positive and sustainable future for Napier.” Heather’s role will champion NCC’s ownership of specific United Nations Sustainable Development goals. These are Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; and Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Heather will also have a climate change focus on the Resource Management Act legislative changes, as well as the introduction of several new pieces of legislation, including the yet to be drafted Climate Change Adaptation Act.

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