How’s your first term as a councillor going Celia?

Eco-councillor Celia Butler’s first term in local government – learning curves, climate policy and downtime.

When Celia Butler retired from her midwifery career she decided she still had “some life left” in her, so she followed her interest in local politics.

Tasman District Councillor Celia Butler

“I felt I was in a position where I could make a difference.”

Voted into council for Tasman in 2019, partly due to her passion for biodiversity, sustainability and climate, Celia has been on a steep learning curve.

“Everybody comes into council to a huge tsunami of information and understanding where everything fits in.

“The other thing is learning to be true to yourself. You realise how you all think in different ways… and you can’t do everything. You’re one person with your set of skills. The standards are pretty high and I’ve had to work hard.”

Celia is involved in a Bio-Strategy for the Tasman District. This will provide strategic direction and action plans for biodiversity and biosecurity initiatives for Tasman. She says it’s close to being endorsed by council and iwi leaders. 

She says council has a Tasman Climate Action Plan and is waiting to get a clear picture of their emissions so they can make changes.

She encourages those who want to create change to communicate with council in a collaborative, constructive way.

She says council are “quite supportive” to work for. She keeps herself well by avoiding Facebook, staying connected with friends, and spending active time outside.

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