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Published: 2003-07-09 00:00:00

A meeting in Hamilton next week aims to establish a group to actively promote sustainable development initiatives in the Waikato.

The Waikato Sustainability Forum includes representatives of Environment Waikato, Hamilton City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Social Development, Police, Federated Farmers, University of Waikato, Fonterra, Business to Hamilton and representatives of women’s, children’s and youth groups.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 15 at the Novotel Tainui from 8am to midday.

The concept of the group is based on the outcomes from the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Waikato Branch of the United Nations Association of New Zealand hosted a citizen’s meeting in October last year to discuss the Johannesburg outcomes and agreed to establish the forum.

The aim was to bring together diverse interests of decision makers and community organisations to identify, promote and engage in sustainable development activities that addressed the Waikato Region’s issues.

The keynote address at the forum will be given by Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Morgan Williams. Other speakers include Environment Waikato deputy chair Jenni Vernon, Bishop David Moxon, Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey and Waikato Management School’s Dr Juliet Roper.

The speakers will provide background to the wide ranging issues of the sustainable development debate, stimulating discussion and raising awareness of the need for a partnership approach.

The forum will discuss what is environmental, social, cultural and economic best practice and what is appropriate for the Waikato and find out what each organisation could contribute to a co-ordinated approach.