Asked how she feels about being made a dame, Dr Juliet Gerrard is somewhat lost for words, an unfamiliar position for the woman whose job is distilling the most up-to-date scientific information for those making the decisions that will shape our future.
Gerrard, currently Jacinda Ardern’s chief science advisor, has been named a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours.
While she hasn’t really processed what it means on a personal level, it hasn’t stopped the Freemans Bay resident from sharing the news with her 75-year-old mum in the United Kingdom, who got a kick out of getting the good news on her birthday.
Auckland Transport and NZ Bus on Friday unveiled the new electric fleet for the CityLINK bus service.
Mayor Phill Goff said the 12 new buses would reduce carbon emissions and help Auckland work towards meeting its climate change goals.
The electric fleet would be quieter than the former diesel models.
“Electrifying Auckland’s CityLINK buses helps improve air quality by reducing pollution from black carbon and nitrogen oxide emitted by diesel vehicles,” he said.
“Black carbon damages health and is at higher levels in Queen St than in any other New Zealand city and many other cities in Europe and North America."
Goff said the launch was another step towards electrifying the rest of Auckland's bus fleet.
When completed, this would stop about 93,000 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere each year compared to 2019 emissions levels.
“We are working with central government towards bringing forward the transition to a fully electric bus fleet, and we’re looking to halt the purchase of new diesel buses from July this year as part of our commitment to a carbon-free city.”