Laurie Foon’s been a champion of sustainable business and social responsibility in Wellington city. She was a powerful advocate for new sewage solutions introduced in the 2021 Long Term Plan to divert Wellington’s sewage away from the landfill! Her vision is that Wellington will become the 'coolest little sustainable capital in the world'. In fact, you'll probably bump into Laurie riding her bike, as this is her favourite way to get around the city.
Laurie is a passionate advocate for a circular economy, a prosperous local economy and making sure Wellington is a dynamic creative and collaborative city that our young people want to inherit. She is committed to circular food systems and led the adoption of a Sustainable Food Network plan for Wellington that will be launched by signing of the Milan food pact, creating a new grant for community composting hubs and enabling the use of council land for community composting and growing food. Organic waste currently makes up nearly 58% of what we throw into the landfill so it is now a priority waste stream for the council to work with the community to reduce this.
As chair of the Regional Waste Management and Minimisation Plan committee, Laurie has successfully worked on a national first, in collaboration with the 7 Wellington regional councils, to bring in the new Waste Management and Minimisation By-law which sees greater waste minimisation planning and waste reduction for the construction and demolition projects, requires events to plan waste and recycling systems. Laurie has also led other sustainable initiatives within the council that include the adoption of a new Strategic Procurement Framework, that will enable better outcomes for local business, communities and environment through the way the council spends its money.
As the Waste Free Wellington portfolio holder, Laurie has successfully championed the need for Wellington to invest in a step change to the way we treat our sludge. With the removal of sludge from the landfill, WCC will be able to reduce carbon emissions (landfill currently accounts for 6% of Wellingtonians carbon emissions) and commit to reducing waste by a third as laid out in the Regional Waste Minimisation Plan. This has also enabled a review of the proposed landfill extension which could have negative impacts on our biodiversity and waterways as well as further increase carbon emissions. Laurie has lived in Berhampore and raised her family there for over 20 years. In 2019, she was elected as a Wellington City Council representing the Southern Ward. Before that, she was the Wellington Regional Manager of the Sustainable Business Network where she supported local businesses to have a positive impact on our people and environment here in Wellington. Laurie is also well known for her commitment to pioneering eco fashion and challenging social norms through her now defunct fashion business Starfish.