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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

Dunedin people are proud of our city’s natural beauty. We treasure its uniqueness and value the easy access to clean beaches, natural spaces and wildlife. These things are a big part of our city’s identity and sense of place in the world. We cannot take them for granted, and one of the aims of this strategy is to set the direction for protecting, restoring and enhancing Dunedin’s natural environment now and into the future.

To significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, governments at the United Nations Convention in Paris 2015 agreed an aim to limit increasing the global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. They also called for zero net anthropogenic (human-caused or influenced) greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century.

In 2015 Dunedin joined the Compact of Mayors. Launched at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, the Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest coalition (currently 459 cities globally) of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change.

We are experiencing and will continue to experience the impacts of climate change. As part of its commitment to the Compact of Mayors, Dunedin will measure its greenhouse gas emissions, set targets to reduce emissions, report on progress and deliver a climate action and adaptation plan. As a city we want to understand our impacts on the environment and do what we can to mitigate them.

Te Ao Tūroa is a city-wide strategy. We will work together to achieve the strategy’s vision through integrated planning and action, and strong and effective partnerships with everyone who has a role to play in protecting the environment. This includes Kāi Tahu, central government agencies, non-profit organisations, community groups, businesses and citizens. We will work smartly and efficiently by sharing our information and resources. Working together, we can make Dunedin one of the world’s great small cities with a thriving environment we look after, respect and enjoy.


The purpose of Te Ao Tūroa is to:

  • set the direction for a future safe from climate change impacts
  • improve and maintain the health of Dunedin’s natural environment
  • give Dunedin people every opportunity to feel connected to and look after the environment.

What is the natural world?

Te Ao Tūroa takes a broad view of what constitutes the natural world including, but not restricted to, indigenous flora and fauna; areas of special conservation value, the conservation estate and covenants; the sea, coastline and waterways; farms; forests (native and exotic); botanic, domestic and market gardens; parks, reserves and sports-grounds; street frontages, road reserves, vacant lots and open spaces at or near workplaces – in other words, anywhere there is plant and animal life. While many of these areas have been modified by human activity, they are places where people connect with nature. The health of these places is essential for the health of our city and our people.

The Council acknowledges Manawhenua and their knowledge and understanding of the natural world and the importance of its life-supporting capacity (mauri). We ensure our survival and the survival of future generations when we look after the natural world.

The strategy’s definition of ‘environment’ is based generally on the Resource Management Act definition, which includes ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; all natural and physical resources and amenity values; and the social, economic, aesthetic and cultural conditions of ecosystems, communities and resources.[1]


  1. Resource Management Act 1991

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