Public participation in the Auckland Climate Action Framework

These comments are mainly from the angle of public engagement, both in the drafting of the Climate Action Framework, and what the framework proposes as the plan rolls on. My thoughts are that, without meaningful public engagement in both decision making and in the roll-out of any actions, failure of political will and of public support are highly likely.

  1. The draft CAF makes several mentions of the symposium which was held and the subsequent meeting or rangatahi during the drafting of the framework. There is no indication of how the participants in these two events were chosen, nor of what was said/decided at them. This total lack of transparency is unfortunately typical. The Council simply cherry picks, and gives no indication of what or why it has chosen.

  1. Key Move 1: any mention of the Council’s proposals for public engagement in the future comes under this Key Move. There are generalisations such as “working together” and “all Aucklanders have a voice” but no real proposals for upping the standard of the usual methods for soliciting “feedback”. Effective public input would need to demonstrate:

  • inclusiveness

  • a real degree of popular control to incentivise participation

  • facilitation of considered judgement instead of off the cuff isolated opinion

  • transparency of the process, both internal and external

  • reasonable efficiency (cost)

  1. On p.52, under Progress and Indicators, there is nothing measuring public engagement or participation. And on p.63 there seems to be no serious engagement with the public at large.

  2. It is notable that the Climate Independent Advisory Group contained nobody with expertise in public engagement.

  3. Full Action List: this list, on a series of un-numbered pages following p.70, make it clear that the Council only wants to engage with:

  • the Climate Leaders Coalition

  • rangatahi

  • mana whenua

  • community leaders

  • advisory panels

  1. In view of the fact that the Council clearly signals that it has no intention of meaningful engagement with the public at large, XR’s third demand, taking it that this is still the implementation of a Citizens’ Assembly with participants chosen by lot, remains important and deserves the kind of long term advocacy and lobbying which will be necessary. Now is a good time for this, with local elections coming up and the list of candidates coming out on 21 August.