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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
Green pattern.

Strategy at a glance

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Te Ao Tūroa is structured around three high level goals: Dunedin is resilient and carbon zero, Dunedin has a healthy environment and Dunedin people care for the natural world. This framework outlines the strategy’s goals and objectives and how the DCC – in close collaboration with partners and stakeholders city-wide – will deliver on the strategy’s intent.

Strategic direction

What we want to achieve


Dunedin is one of the world’s great small cities with a thriving environment we look after, respect and enjoy


Dunedin is resilient and carbon zero | Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri, ā muri ake nei

Dunedin has a healthy environment | He ao tūroa, he ao hauora

Dunedin people  care for the natural world | Tiakitaka


Impact positively on the global environment

Plan for and adapt to climate change

Manage natural resources sustainably

Sustain ecosystem services

Increase indigenous biodiversity

Restore areas of ecological value

Enjoy, connect to, and celebrate the natural world

Increase understanding of the natural world

Champion the natural world

How we’ll do this


  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • be energy efficient
  • investigate innovative renewable energy solutions
  • minimise waste
  • deliver a low carbon transport system
  • make sure our infrastructure supports positive environmental outcomes
  • develop resilient and sustainable supply chains
  • use natural resources with future generations in mind
  • implement appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation responses.


  • safeguard the life-supporting capacity (mauri) of indigenous and taoka species’ habitats
  • protect important ecological areas
  • protect areas of importance to Kāi Tahu
  • take a landscape-scale approach to protecting ecosystems and increasing biodiversity
  • reduce wastewater overflows
  • reduce polluting discharges to the land, air and water
  • draw on science, Mātauraka Māori and good environmental practice
  • use the best technology available for managing pests.


  • honour and support the kaitiaki role of Kāi Tahu
  • improve access to our special places and spaces
  • promote active learning about Dunedin’s natural environments
  • advocate and collaborate for better environmental outcomes
  • monitor environmental changes and environmental wellbeing
  • support conservation volunteering efforts and initiatives
  • support a diverse range of opportunities for volunteers to engage with the environment.

Delivery framework

How we’ll deliver on the goals

Te Ao Tūroa governance

Governance group to drive the Strategy’s delivery

Delivery partners

DCC | Kāi Tahu | Community | Key stakeholders | Businesses | Places of learning  

Approach to delivery

We’ll work in partnership to achieve great environmental outcomes | We’ll adjust the way we do business-as-usual to deliver on the Strategy’s goals | We’ll undertake flagship projects to enhance Dunedin’s natural environment

Initial actions

Compact of Mayors | Progress work as part of the Compact of Mayors commitment to measure city greenhouse gas emissions, set emission reduction targets and develop and deliver an action plan to reduce emissions.

Climate Change Adaptation | Develop and implement a climate change adaptation plan and investigate options for areas affected or threatened by sea level rise.

Delivering on Existing Commitments | Deliver key city commitments and continue work already underway that contributes to this goal (notably the Energy Plan 1.0, the Integrated Transport Strategy, the 3 Waters Strategic Direction Statement and the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan).

Managing Pests | Develop and implement an integrated landscape-scale pest management plan.

Ecosystem Health Boost | Identify and protect areas of ecological significance, establish biodiversity and ecosystem health measures and establish integrated planning for key environmental areas including air, water and soil standards.

Productive Landscapes | Work with landowners to integrate biodiversity into productive environments and to help sustain ecosystem services.

Wildlife Best Practice | Develop and use best practice guidelines for managing wildlife sites and nearby adjacent areas in a consistent way to get better outcomes when protecting wildlife.

City Know-how | Take a city approach to public education and awareness-raising initiatives for topics like protecting penguins on beaches, making use of existing education initiatives.

Volunteer Conservation | Increase volunteer opportunities by communicating and prioritising conservation projects and supporting communities to deliver projects; develop a way to track the volunteer conservation contribution and outcomes.

Visitor Management | Develop and implement a visitors’ management plan to protect Dunedin’s special places.

Flagship Projects: Town Belt Boost, Backyard Biodiversity, P&P Environment (Promote and Profile), Environment Envoy (an Urban Dream Brokerage for the environment)[15]

BAU Review: Business-as-usual reviews by the DCC, Kāi Tahu and key city stakeholders using the Te Ao Tūroa lens to kick-start alignment of city work with the Strategy’s goals by end of 2017

Target Set : Baseline data established relating to the new measures (see below) and initial actions, and milestone targets set from this information (e.g. for 2020, 2035 and 2050) by end of 2017

How we’ll measure success

Annual ‘State of the Environment’ report

Annual check-in with Kāi Tahu, key stakeholders, community and business to provide qualitative data on how we’re tracking towards achieving the goals of Te Ao Tūroa, and to ensure the strategic direction is still right

Track progress on key indicators

  • City greenhouse gas emissions[16] (new measure)
  • Non-landfill city greenhouse gas emissions[17]
  • Percentage of Dunedin census respondents who cycle, walk or take public transport to work[18]
  • Number of Dunedin people vulnerable to climate change impacts (new measure).
  • Air quality, with performance benchmarked against National Environmental Standards air standard of PM10
  • Soil contamination assessments, with performance benchmarked against the National Environmental Standards
  • The water quality of Dunedin’s lakes and rivers, including coastal and recreational risk, using Land Air Water Aotearoa measures
  • Dunedin’s natural ecosystems benefiting from pest management (Department of Conservation measure)
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem health (new measure)
  • Percentage of Dunedin people surveyed through the Residents’ Opinion Survey and/or Quality of Life Survey who  feel connected to the natural world
  • Percentage of Dunedin people surveyed through the Residents’ Opinion Survey and/or Quality of Life Survey who have the opportunity to engage with the natural world
  • Volunteer conservation contribution (new measure)

Biannual update report to the Dunedin City Council

DCC staff to support the Te Ao Tūroa Partnership to update the Council through a report on city progress in delivering on the Strategy’s goals, including updates on initial actions, business-as-usual reviews by the DCC, Kāi Tahu and key city stakeholders

How we’ll keep up-to-date

Triennial community hui

Progress on the Strategy will be discussed and the Strategy direction and delivery adapted to reflect changing needs and priorities

Strategic review

The Strategy will go through a full review at least every 10 years


  1. Indicative only – to be confirmed by partners and key stakeholders
  2. Note: The DCC is committed to reducing its overall greenhouse emissions by 5% (including landfill) by 2018/19 (CEMARS Certification Scheme) and the city is now committed to setting a city-wide emissions reduction target through the Compact of Mayors
  3. Note: The DCC is committed to reducing its non-landfill greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2018/19 (CEMARS Certification Scheme)
  4. The DCC is committed to increasing this to 40% by 2024 (Integrated Transport Strategy)

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