Hannah is a Parks Project Specialist at Auckland Council with a passion for sustainability and future proofing parks. Her career to date has included two years on council’s graduate programme, working on low carbon research and with community organisations on ecological restoration. In her current role, she provides specialist technical advice, analysis and research to support to the Parks Services Unit. Her specialist portfolio is developing and delivering climate change and sustainability initiatives for parks.
She has completed a BSc in Environmental Science & Geography, PGDip in Environmental Management and is mid-way through completing her MSc in Environmental Management.
Outside of work she advocates for empowering young people and supporting their development as they begin their careers in the recreation industry. Hannah is the Chair of Generate New Zealand (a network for up and coming professionals in recreation), an Aspiring Director on the Recreation Aotearoa national board and is the Executive Officer for the Healthy Parks Healthy Cities committee, World Urban Parks.
Despite their inherent ‘green-ness’, the construction and operations of parks has a significant impact on carbon emissions. This project seeks to develop a carbon footprint for various types of parks in Auckland, including operational emissions, embodied carbon and onsite carbon sequestration. This information will be used to raise awareness amongst the professionals involved in designing and maintaining parks and to drive a change in practice. Auckland Council has a portfolio of around 4,000 parks, so being able to shape decision making and future management will contribute to reducing its carbon footprint.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
As a young person, I feel there has been a lack of action towards sustainability and climate change until recently. There has been a shift in society’s perceptions, and I believe we should be encouraging and harnessing this to do all we can for our planet. I have always wanted to work in sustainable land management and because of my career in parks I have come to truly value the green spaces we have in Auckland, which need our protection to continue to flourish in a changing world.