Publication:

Napier Courier - 2021-11-24

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Council faces climate challenge

NEWS

Napier City Council has appointed a Napier lawyer as its first-ever climate change specialist. According to a council media release, Heather Bosselmann’s role will champion the council’s “ownership” of specific United Nations Sustainable Development goals. It identifies 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.” Bosselmann, who went to Hastings Girls’ High School and has specialised in family law for much of the time since her admission to the bar in the High Court in 2014, will also have a climate change focus on the Resource Management Act legislative changes, and the introduction of new legislation, including the yet-to-be-drafted Climate Change Adaptation Act. She will be responsible for leading discussion and council direction on matters related to climate resilience and change, to ensure the city’s best interests are represented in regional and national climate change matters. Council chief executive Dr Steph Rotarangi said there aremany challenges for Napier associated with a changing climate. “Climate change is an increasingly important issue for us all,” she said. “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.” Bosselmann said she’s excited to take her legal and relationship-building skills and “use them to make a difference for Napier”. “I want to make climate change a clear focus for our city by bringing innovative solutions for Napier’s climate resilience,” she said. “Working across all councils, as well as with local iwi and the public, will be one of my key focuses.”

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