Net Carbon Neutral Towns

Supporting New Zealand communities to achieve a sustainable future.


Opening remarks from the Chair
Dr Bronwyn Hayward, Associate Professor, University of Canterbury
Opening Address - The role of net carbon neutral cities in the future New Zealand
Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch City Council
Government Address - Government's role in achieving net carbon neutrality in our towns and cities
Hon Dr Megan Woods, Minister for Energy and Resources, Government Digital Services, Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Research, Science and Innovation
Keynote: Transitioning toward a low-emissions economy
  • Looking beyond targets to pathways to a low-emissions economy
  • Implications of the Productivity Commission and Westpac Reports
  • Addressing a need for reform to the NZ ETS
  • Boosting leadership and action by New Zealand’s cities and towns
Catherine Leining, Policy Fellow , Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Morning break
Experts’ panel: Achieving net carbon neutrality in NZ's towns and cities

Our experts’ panel brings together some of the leaders in climate change action, policy and implementation. The ultimate goal is net carbon neutrality in towns, cities and businesses across New Zealand, but the way to get there remains unclear.

  • What does carbon neutrality look like in practice? Developing sustainability strategies
  • Translating national level outcomes to a local level practicality for achieving net carbon neutrality in our towns and cities
  • Linking the rural and urban environments for offsetting carbon and maximising opportunity to drive a low emissions economy
  • Future regulatory conditions and initiatives to boost enthusiasm in the low carbon economy


Matt Raeburn , Senior Policy Adviser - Climate Change Policy, Ministry for the Environment
Anita Wreford, Associate Professor, Lincoln University
Sean Weaver, Executive Director, Ekos
Pubudu Senanayake, Christchurch Director, Generation Zero
Innovation – the ‘silver bullet’ to achieving our carbon targets?

The Productivity Commission’s report highlighted innovation as the ‘silver bullet’ to help New Zealand achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050. Featuring case studies of innovation, this session delves into thinking that will help the country achieve the targets and become more sustainable.

  1. Agri-innovation to minimise carbon footprint
  2. Carbon as a financial tool
  3. Targeting low-hanging fruit, how difficult can it be?
Sam Davies, Customer Manager, Callaghan Innovation
Bruce Scott, Director, Carbon South & NZ Representative, Mean Green Mowers
Dr. Ann Smith, CEO, Enviro-Mark Solutions
Lunch break
Local government leaders’ panel – Leading initiatives for carbon neutral communities
  • Supporting community projects and grassroots initiatives for low carbon cities
  • Addressing the role of local government in supporting private investment into low carbon development
  • Leading the way with a net zero carbon culture – what does this mean in practice?
Mayor Dave Cull, Dunedin City Council & President, Local Government New Zealand
Mayor Grant Smith, Palmerston North City Council
David Lee, City Councillor and Climate Change Portfolio Leader, Wellington City Council
Kevin Crutchley, Resource Efficiency Manager – Strategy and Transformation Group, Christchurch City Council
Linking ‘smart’ to sustainable – accessing data for carbon neutral strategy
  • Turning data into useful insights; how much data is too much, what data should we be collecting and how can we utilise this data to develop carbon neutral strategy?
  • Developing access to data – government imperatives driving data
  • Creating data to benchmark NZ’s progress with the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Treasury’s vision for a shared data platform – why living standards are vital to sustainability
Barbara Nebel, CEO, thinkstep
Afternoon break
Optimising the ‘low hanging fruit’ – maximising gains from carbon neutral transport using new policies
  • Encouraging car companies to offer a greater variety of EVs at more competitive prices by introducing vehicle fuel efficiency standards
  • How feebates can work to help reduce the up-front price of EVs without costing the tax payer
  • Supporting EV charging infrastructure and the uptake of sustainable biofuels to lower the overall carbon content of transport fuels
  • Signalling the future direction for NZ and providing investment certainty with a fossil fuel vehicle phase out
  • Driving uptake of public transport and diversifying transport options in our cities
Elizabeth Yeaman, Managing Director, Retyna Consulting Ltd
International keynote – Is transport really a low hanging fruit for climate change targets?

New Zealand is one of many countries globally to have committed to ambitious targets to become ‘zero emission’, particularly regarding the electrification of transport. Colin brings experience from UK and Europe to delve into whether our climate change targets are too ambitious and the vital role that transport plays in achieving net zero carbon outcomes.

  • Why international targets set for 2020 are being missed and how can we set realistic targets for 2030/40?
  • Learning from international implementation of EV policy – who or what is the determinant for EV uptake?
  • Strategies to maximise gains from transport and its role in the low carbon future
Dr Colin Herron CBE, Managing Director, Zero Carbon Futures
Closing remarks from the Chair
Dr Bronwyn Hayward, Associate Professor, University of Canterbury
Copyright © 2019 Conferenz Ltd.