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Home » Environment

Tauranga to lead NZ Earth Hour 2012 celebrations

Submitted by on February 19, 2012 – 3:24 pm


Media Release – for immediate release

Earth Hour 2012 will take place at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Saturday 31 March


The city of Tauranga will lead New Zealand’s Earth Hour celebrations this year, in special recognition of community action to protect our precious environment.


WWF-New Zealand has today announced it is supporting Tauranga to stage a special Earth Hour event six months on from the Rena oil spill disaster that struck last October. People from Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty rallied together to help clean up the beaches and protect wildlife in the immediate aftermath and months that followed.


“Earth Hour symbolizes our shared commitment to protect the planet,” says WWF-New Zealand Executive Director Chris Howe. “The response of the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty community – joined by Kiwis from across the country – when our worst maritime environmental disaster hit demonstrates this spirit of collective care for our planet.”


“Earth Hour is the perfect time to celebrate this remarkable effort, and the efforts of communities across New Zealand, who come together to protect our shared environment,” says Tauranga City Council Mayor Stuart Crosby.


Earth Hour, being held on 31 March, is the largest global environmental event in history. The annual lights out event has evolved to offer recognition of and opportunities for communities to be part of the solution to the world’s environmental challenges.


Michelle Elborn, Sustainability Advisor for Tauranga City Council, says, “Our Rena experience has provided our community with a serious reminder of the importance of our local environment and inspired considerable community efforts in the clean up. Earth Hour is about inspiring environmental action. It is therefore appropriate that our city takes a lead role this year, both acknowledging what has been achieved and motivating further future action to assist our beautiful local environment.”


Earth Hour began as a one city initiative in 2007, and has since grown to be a 5,251 city strong global movement, reaching 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across all seven continents, with celebrations led by local communities Anyone can take part in Earth Hour by switching out lights and unnecessary appliances for one hour on 31 March at 8.30pm – Earth Hour – to symbolize a commitment to protecting our world.


Councils, communities and individuals across New Zealand are invited to take part in Earth Hour by running events that engage and inspire people towards collective action on sustainable living.  More details on how people can take part at www.wwf.org.nz/earthhour


Earth Hour yesterday launched its global 2012 campaign “I Will If You Will” to showcase how everyone has the power to change the world they live in.  Along with a community event on the 31 March, Tauranga is supporting this global campaign by inviting the Tauranga community to pledge actions for the benefit of our local environment. For every pledge made a dune plant will be planted in return as part of our Coast Care programme. For more visit www.earthour.org


Media Contacts:

Rosa Argent, Communications Manager, WWF-New Zealand, 0272123103, 04 471 4292, rargent@wwf.org.nz


Michelle Elborn, Sustainability Advisor, Tauranga City Council, 07 577 7363, michelle.elborn@tauranga.govt.nz



Last year WWF supported five New Zealand councils and communities running Earth Hour events in Central Otago, Hastings, Selwyn, Tauranga and Upper Hutt.


In addition to supporting Tauranga with Earth Hour, WWF responded to the Rena disaster. For details visit http://www.wwf.org.nz/take_action/oil_spill




About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF and Leo Burnett. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action.  Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 and by 2011 reached over 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across every continent, receiving reports as ‘the World’s largest campaign for the planet’.


About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

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