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Thursday November 30, 2017

Growth is bad for planet, says candidate By Jamie Adams


Ever wondered who writes those strange ads with abbreviated text that frequently get printed in the personal columns of a certain newspaper? Those ads come from Southern Ward by-election candidate Donald McDonald, the final of the eight candidates the Cook Strait News is profiling. The long-time Newtown resident is running with the mantra “Do The Write Thing”, with a focus on halting economic and population growth for the sake of saving the planet. Donald previously stood in the 2013 and 2016 council elections under the banner “Hold Me To Account”. His publicity material can be hard to decipher, due to its abbre-

Newtown identity Donald McDonald is running for council on an anti-growth platform. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

viated language. That’s because he has written classified ads in this form for decades, and he primarily texts to communicate. “I’ve got to squeeze a lot in,” he says. “Putting ads in the paper costs $2 a line and another 10 percent for colour. “I’ve probably spent $100,000

on ads in the personals since the 1970s.” Donald’s main concern is the environmental impact of human activity. “CO2 emissions will lead to sea levels rising and it’s going to affect the whole world.” He believes in the future there will be more cases like that of Waikato University student Sarah Thomson, who took the Government to court over its failure to do more on climate change. “Everyone should stop driving or use their cars less,” he says. “I don’t know why people who live in Upper Hutt and Waikanae drive into the city. They should work locally.” Even if we were to all drive electric vehicles in the future, Donald notes that population

growth would mean roads would end up being “a kilometre wide” to cater for them. While advances in health have prolonged life expectancy, it also means we have an ageing population, making houses unaffordable, he says. “The elderly who live in big houses should move into smaller ones.” Donald is also opposed to extending the Wellington Airport runway, saying that more flights would add to the problem of climate change. “We need to stop flying. Then we won’t need the runway.” He would also like to reform Wellington City Council’s FIXiT app, saying that its limit of 150 characters makes it hard to report problems effectively. “I want it to be 800 characters.”

Zoo plans upgrade for chimpanzees Wellington Zoo’s chimpanzees will be seeing an update to their habitat in 2018 thanks to a new project supported with funding from Pub Charity Limited and Wellington City Council. The upgrade will provide an improved environment for the chimpanzees, as well as giving visitors the opportunity to have a more immersive experience. The plans to improve the habitat for the largest chimpanzee troupe in New Zealand are still in the early stages, but construction at this stage is expected to be completed mid to late 2018. “Our chimpanzees and their welfare are very important to us, the main aim of the new habitat design has been to increase the complexity of the chimp’s environment to better allow their natural behaviours to occur,” chief executive Karen

An artistic concept of the new chimpanzee habitat at Wellington Zoo. IMAGE: Supplied

Fifield says. As a conservation organisation, Wellington Zoo aims to connect people with animals so that visitors are inspired to make choices in their own lives that help save animals in the wild, she says.

“Chimpanzees are seriously affected by habitat loss, so one thing we encourage our visitors to do is look for the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on paper and wood products, which guarantees that those products are sourced in a

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way that doesn’t threaten the habitat of animals in the wild.” Wellington Zoo also has a partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute NZ, which has a mission of empowering people to make a difference to animals in the wild.

To control Council spending and reduce the $500m+ debt Stronger local representation and a more transparent Council To support public transport and other transport solutions Innovative waste and recycling solutions To ensure there is enough affordable housing for people To fix boat ramps and associated facilities for fishing and recreation Experience: Former Councillor, NZ Police & Army, United Nations, JP, Masters in Business Admin, Local Sport Coach Contact: 027 434 8751 or

Cook Strait News 30-11-17  

Cook Strait News 30-11-17

Cook Strait News 30-11-17  

Cook Strait News 30-11-17