Today, Wednesday 7th December at 9am, local climate justice group 350 Te Papaioea delivered their petition to Palmerston North City Council asking for increased investment in solar generation on council buildings and support for household insulation. The handover was attended by a small group of supporters in person and more than one hundred year 5-6 students from a local kura who joined online and presented their artwork to inspire councillors to take more action and invest in their future.
The petition, which was signed by more than 360 people residing in Manawatū, asked the PNCC to install a series of solar banks across key council-owned buildings. The climate activist group said that they loved that their council has a solar bank on the administration building but now would like to see more homegrown energy generated at the Lido Aquatic Centre, the Palmerston North Airport, and the Palmerston North City Libraries. Furthermore, the petition asked the city council to “incentivise insulation and heat pump installation by providing funding and low-interest loan options for homeowners and landlords who do not qualify for the Warmer Kiwi Homes subsidy, so that all members of our community can be lifted out of energy poverty.”
School leaver and 350 Te Papaioea group member Willa McLachlan said at the petition handover, “Palmerston North City Council has an opportunity to support us in our fight for accessible, homegrown energy and do their bit to help our communities and climate thrive.”
350 Aotearoa spokesperson Alva Feldmeier said this petition is part of the national Homegrown Energy Campaign led by local groups across the motu advocating for solutions that will help achieve a fast and just transition to 100% renewable electricity. “We believe that city councils play an important role in being climate leaders by investing and incentivising distributed renewable generation.”
At the council meeting, the PNCC unanimously accepted the petition and resolved a motion put forward by Councillor Brent Barrett “that the Chief Executive conduct a desktop analysis of opportunities for solar power on council-owned buildings, and report to Council in time to inform the 2024/34 LTP. BB/OM”.
About 350 Te Papaioea
We are a small but growing rōpū of climate justice activists in the Manawatū that was established at the beginning of 2022.
About 350 Aotearoa
350 Aotearoa is the New Zealand arm of the international climate movement 350.org, which aims to unite the world around climate change solutions. We coordinate local campaigns by providing education, practical tools, and support for community leadership. Our campaigns challenge the cultural acceptance of fossil fuels and encourage tangible change in New Zealand towards an equitable zero-carbon economy. For more information on the Homegrown Energy campaign go to: https://350.org.nz/homegrown-energy/
The handover can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkYUCO_SeBI (starting at 21min)