The country’s three biggest unions, with a combined membership of 186,000, NZNO Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa, NZEI Te Riu Roa and the PSA Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, are supporting Vote Climate, the campaign to get voters to support local government candidates who will invest in reducing transport emissions.
The campaign brings together 30 different groups including unions, climate action activists, public transport, walking groups, and cycling groups, all lobbying politicians to reduce the country’s CO2 emissions from transport.
The campaign is asking local government candidates to commit to four goals:
- More frequent public transport services in cities and towns, and between centres and across regions.
- More affordable public transport - Increased trialling of reduced fare or free services to encourage and broaden uptake.
- Investment in infrastructure to make cycling and walking safer and easier.
- More inter-city and regional public transport - Investing in train and bus services that make travel between cities, towns and regions easier.
PSA national secretary, Duane Leo says, “Transport policy, and the decisions that local body politicians make about it, affect us all. It impacts how we get to work, where new homes are built and how much we have to put aside from our pay packets to afford it.”
“Transport produces 27 percent of our nations’ CO2 emissions. It is in all our interests to make alternative ways of getting around easier and to vote for those leaders that are prepared to step up and take the needed action to make this happen.”
NZEI Te Riu Roa president, Liam Rutherford says, “We know that it is getting harder and harder for tamariki and whānau to get by. One really practical way we can address that is frequent and more affordable public transport. In doing so we can simultaneously help reduce traffic congestion, in turn helping us all breathe a little easier.”
NZNO Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa Chief Executive Paul Goulter says an affordable and easily accessed public transport system is essential to achieving a low carbon future, as is ensuring public transport workers received wages and working conditions that match their skills and their critical contribution to addressing climate change.
“Local Government has a big role to play in ensuring a Just Transition for working people impacted by climate change. We also want to see a commitment to reduce emissions in all sectors, including in health, and for that to be publicly taken on by Te Whatu Ora.”
You can support the campaign at www.voteclimate.org.nz