Greater Wellington and Metlink flying the flag for climate action at Round the Bays

  • Published Date 18 Feb 2021

With the region back to COVID-19 Alert Level 1, Greater Wellington councillors are getting ready, getting set, and raring to go represent the council's climate goals at Brendan Foot Supersite (BFS) Round the Bays.

Greater Wellington Councillor and Climate Committee Chair Thomas Nash says, "This is the second year that I've participated in Round the Bays on the Metlink team and it's always a blast, but this year is special because I'll be sporting a '0' race bib to represent Greater Wellington's commitment to cutting our emissions and getting to net zero by 2030."

Last year, the council declared a climate emergency and with that set an ambitious target to be carbon neutral across all of its operations and subsidiaries by the end of this decade.

Council Chair Daran Ponter and Councillor Ros Connelly are also hitting the pavement at Sunday's race.

Chair Ponter is looking forward to running as part of a great big Wellington whānau. He says, "If you see us on the track, give us a wave or a high-five, and of course come by the Metlink tent at the Finishers' Festival for a post-race chat. Good yarns and a competition for tamariki to design a real-life Metlink bus are on offer."

To encourage everyone to get on-board with carbon-friendly choices, Metlink is providing free public transport for BFS Round the Bays participants and volunteers across the entire network (bus, train, and harbour ferry).

Cr Connelly, vying for the title of fittest Greater Wellington councillor, will be running her second half-marathon at BFS Round the Bays and is hoping to see lots of familiar faces from Upper Hutt take advantage of Metlink's offer.

"When you have a long race ahead, you don't want any extra hassle with traffic or parking. It's much easier to let our Metlink staff bring you into Wellington, plus it makes good environmental sense," she says. 

Metlink General Manager Scott Gallacher says, "Every year, Round the Bays brings thousands of people into Wellington. We've crunched the numbers, and if everyone took public transport instead of driving, there's a huge potential to keep literally tonnes of carbon out of the air - 28 tonnes to be exact."

"We'll also have free Metlink shuttles running from the Finishers’ Festival in Kilbirnie Park to the Railway Station and Courtenay Place to made the trip home even smoother," adds Mr Gallacher.

Participants who want to do their bit to help keep carbon emissions down by taking public transport on 21 February will need to show their race bibs to frontline staff to be welcomed onto Metlink services free of charge. Metlink reminds passengers that face coverings continue to be mandatory on public transport at Alert Level 1.  

Updated March 30, 2022 at 3:10 PM

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